Political Edge

Sharon Osbourne, Vinnie Jones, Katie Price, Gordon Brown? I must admit I was more than a little surprised to the see the Prime Minister on Piers Morgan’s ‘celeberity’ chatshow

Sharon Osbourne, Vinnie Jones, Katie Price, Gordon Brown? I must admit I was more than a little surprised to the see the Prime Minister on Piers Morgan’s ‘celeberity’ chatshow.

Brown’s appearance was certainly emotive, but also unnecessary. Chat shows should not be something that features on the agenda of someone who is leading a country.

Politicians should stick to politics rather than attempting to sway voters with endearing personal showcasing.

Also, there is huge hypocrisy involved with this latest venture into personalised public relations. Brown had previously taken the stance that he would never talk about his private life. Perhaps desperation over the impending election drove him to reverse his original position. I strongly suspect his arm was firmly twisted by the spin doctors at Downing Street.

David Cameron has made it clear that he will not be doing anything similar to Brown, and rightfully so. Politicians need to maintain a professionally focused approach rather than playing the family card.

Whether you liked her policies or not, Margaret Thatcher was a great leader. She wisely advised, “to wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.” I severely doubt we would have caught the Iron Lady sitting opposite Piers Morgan.

What matters is the policies that will change the lives of millions of people, not, as Piers Morgan managed to extract, how many women Nick Clegg has slept with. I don’t want to know what politicians are eating for breakfast, what their hobbies are, or how energy efficient their kitchen appliances are. It is merely a trivial distraction from what actually matters.

On reflection Brown has probably done quite well out of his appearance on the ITV chat show. However, we mustn’t forget he got to where he was under the image of being the quiet but efficient and hard-working chancellor. It is this quality he should be utilising against the relatively inexperienced pairing of Osborne and Cameron.

I sincerly hope that in the future, I won’t have to witness any other politicians on such shows. These shows are for ‘celebrities’, an ambigious term, but it certainly shouldn’t include politicians.

4 comments

  1. Fantastic article, couldn’t agree more!

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  2. A good article. As you say politicians should leave their private life out of the public sphere. However, politicians are in the public eye, and the ‘celebrity culture’ of the 21st century means that their methods of communicating with the general public have to adapt to this. I don’t think that Gordon Brown can be criticised for his appearance with Piers Morgan. Whilst the ‘trivial matters’ of his life can be seen as a distraction, I don’t think that they have any real or damaging effect on my perception of his policies.

    So, yes, I agree with you. However I think that in the 21st century, these appearances are a good way of communicating with the public and building up a good public image; as long as politicians remember that their obligations lie with the public, and not with their own self promotion.

    On a side note, one of the most interesting politics articles I’ve read in a long time!!

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  3. David Cameron has played the family card more than any politician I can think of. Inviting cameras into his home whilst he made breakfast? That Christmas card of him with his family? The massive media circus that surrounded the death of his son with Tory Central office using the opportunity to brief that his experiences with Ivan and the NHS had made him a supporter? How many times have you seen Brown’s children?

    This is how politics is done. The more the voters like you, the easier it is to get things done.

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  4. Tim,

    I agree completely that Cameron is worse than Brown, spin is definitely his forte. It was Brown’s appearance on the show that was the catalyst for the article, I wasn’t trying to claim he was an exception.

    I disagree with your second point though, what makes things easier is having a majority in parliament and having the media on your side.

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