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Personality politics

Posted by Simon Parke, 25 September 2017, 6.12am

Some people like to vote for personalities.

It’s all about the leader.

So some people sing ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn’ as though he’s the messiah.

Others, with different politics, believe ‘Good Old Boris’ will sort it all out with a witty turn of phrase and a tousling of his hair.

The Americans voted for a bit of a personality in Donald Trump, didn’t they?

No one was absolutely sure what he believed or what he would do, but, well - he sure as hell was a bit different.

‘Let’s give him a go!’

With the re-election of Angela Merkel as Chancellor, however, it seems the Germans prefer a different model: stability.

Angela Merkel makes no play on her personality…apart from her normality.

No one thinks she’s the messiah.

(Germany has probably had enough of those.)

But in a turbulent world, they just like the stability of her policies.

Personality politics gets people excited, it draws large crowds, stirs hysteria, promises great things.

But it will always let them down, because - beyond the hysteria - the personality will let them down.

The human personality is seriously flawed, and – whether in business or politics - power only makes things worse.

So we won’t blur policy and personality, they are best kept separate.

We may wish to vote for their policies.

But if it’s all about personality, we vote for something with more cracks in it than an evening with Tim Vine.


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