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Do you judge politicians by their appearance? Should we?

(9 Posts)
EachPeachPearMum Fri 12-Jun-09 20:34:24

The criticism that politicians are subject to was raised on another thread. They are frequently pilloried for their dress, hair, demeanor.

Neil Kinnock was forced to step down as leader of the Labour Party due to his unelectability, in part I believe due to his appearance rather than his policies.

Robin Cook was frequently ridiculed for his looks and his speaking voice.

Michael Howard had 'something of the night about him' so quoth Ann Widdecombe who also is frequently the subject of media ridicule.

Is the appearance of those who govern us important? Shouldn't we be more concerned with how they use their powers, their minds, and their consciences?

Or should we be concerned that they are kempt, urbane, well-dressed? As Oscar Wilde said- "it is only the shallow people who do not judge by appearance"

EachPeachPearMum Fri 12-Jun-09 21:02:02

Anyone want to talk politics?

Laugs Sat 13-Jun-09 13:43:48

I don't think we should, but I'm sure we all do. In the media it feels like everyone has to be photogenic these days, even authors and chefs - people whose looks couldn't have less to do with their jobs.

I have to say I judge Gordon Brown on his appearance: not his looks per se, but the way he carries himself. He often looks ill at ease, which doesn't really inspire confidence in him and his actions. Then again, DC looks too smooth to me and that never fails to remind me that he entered politics from a media background - would he get his hands dirty? Is he in it for the right reasons? Does he really care enough?

As for normal MPs, I think they are all so 'on message' these days, that is hard to glean where they're really coming from and what their actual policies are (or would be, if they made them). We make judgements based on what we know, and sometimes all that is is what they look like.

It's human nature to judge. I'd love to be able to judge more politicians on the power of their ideas.

HecatesTwopenceworth Sat 13-Jun-09 13:49:21

No we don't and no we shouldn't. It is shallow. A person should be judged by their words and actions, not their looks.

Also interesting is youth worship. Everyone must be young. It seems like many people think that the older you are, the less you know. hmm how does that work then?

The experiences of a lifetime and the wisdom that (normally) comes with age count for nothing, what we want are pretty little 20somethings and they are seen as knowing more and being wiser, because they are young. hmm and an older person is a 'codger' and is subjected to the what does that old fart know about anything attitude (well, a lot more than someone straight out of bloody school, that's for sure!!). so odd, this youth worshiping culture. In other cultures, age is respected and it is understood that age brings experience and experience brings wisdom.

HecatesTwopenceworth Sat 13-Jun-09 13:50:22

Sorry, that should be no I don't (I know others do!) and no we shouldn't.


See, if I was older and wiser, I wouldn't have made that typo, I'd have known to preview! grin

Bucharest Sat 13-Jun-09 13:52:11

Of course we shouldn't, but of course we do....
I cannot listen to Gordon, or rather, I can only ever half-listen, because I'm waiting bated breath for that jaw thing to happen. I can't relax until he's done it at least 3 times per sentence. I decided on this basis alone (deep, me) that I loathed the man. Thankfully, reading John O'Farrell, I've decided he's quite a nice blokey....

Ann Widdecomb's bust amazes me....(for a "bust" it most definitely is) I always worry she must have terrible backache and therefore find myself not listening properly to her either.

Course, I'm in Italy, where we've got Silvio and his astro-turf hair to keep us amused...(similarly, but in the opposite way, our MInister for Equal Opportunities is an ex "showgirl" who looks like she works (or lives ) in a beauty parlour or behind the Chanel counter, and I can't take her seriously either...

More seriously, maybe we shouldn't see them. I wonder if there could be some kind of experiment whereby we just heard their voices: would we feel differently about them?

LeninGrad Sat 13-Jun-09 14:25:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babybarrister Sat 24-Oct-09 22:05:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GochaGocha Mon 02-Nov-09 17:07:43

You know what they say:
Politics is showbiz for ugly people


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