Monday, November 19, 2007

The Mystery of Popularity


Over the weekend the chit chat was all about the astonishing reversal in Mr. Brown`s fortunes. In a U-Gov poll his personal net approval rating was 59 % a month ago now it languishes at 33%, with 44% saying he is doing badly. As someone pointed out on Andrew Marr, this volcanic instability is unmatched since the Falklands and the peculiar thing is that nothing much has actually happened to explain it . There have been floods and workaday calamities, but Brown solidly Wellington booted played well. The ghost election seemed to tip the balance and now there are cracks in the administration large enough to turn into a Tate “Installation”. Jaqui Smith , has gone from evincing Delia Smith-ish commonsense to not waving but drowning. Understandably perhaps she has appeared at sea on extending 28 days detention .

The most damaging rift is that demonstrated by David Milliband`s public oath of fealty .Pinocchio wanted to be a ‘real boy’, and took offence at having his speeches edited by Uncle Brown. Rumours that the close knit brown guerrilla insurgents are unable to make the transition from to ministers abound. Balls , the wartime consigliere , can`t leave the Brown court to its new “officials “.

The truth is that it was more Brown's Gravity defying popularity that was the mystery.Rubbing its eyes the nation only needed a reminder or two to notice the government the detested was in fact, his. One thing that does not help Flash is that he seems to lack that likeability , so important to the English.. At PMQ`s his naked rage has done much to put middle England off

Staying popular , especially for the long haul is a mysterious business and few have the ingredients. Brown could do worse than to study the career of Bruce Forsyth. From appearing at the Palladium in the 5O s through his high point of entertainment gold on the Generation Game he has been the maestro of family friendly light entertainment . As I sat with my little son watching” Strictly” it occurred to me that this man has now entertained generations of families throughout the country and in his 80s he is as much cherished a national institution as any I can think of. By the way, he hasn’t done too badly for company either , the woman on his arm . Thats Miss World that is.

I daresay it is not ‘clever’ but Shakespeare, about to be done , rather pointlessly , again by the BBC , was sneered at thy the University wits. Not all cleverness advertises itself so immediately .



Hurrah for Bruce Forsyth, and hurrah for us that we would rather be stuck in a lift with someone who makes us smile than with someone who wants to rule the world . Hurrah incidentally for old people in general who are a repository of experience too often treated with contempt in our youth obsessed society One of the things I have loved about political engagement has been the opportunity to get out of the rut of speaking only to my contemporaries.

6 comments:

Philipa said...

Did you see the 2 page spread of Camerons Blue Brigade or something - the new Tory PPC's - twas in one of the sundays, Times or Facist Male, I forget which.

Agree with you about old people N, not respected enough.

Ed said...

I don't understand the control-freak mentality. Why would anyone want tell others how to live?

Newmania said...

I think a sense of my own absurdity saves me from wanting to tell others what to do. Hope so anyway

Newmania said...

I think a sense of my own absurdity saves me from wanting to tell others what to do. Hope so anyway

Daisy said...

ed i think it comes from thinking too fondly of oneself and this is generated through several parts of our society...it's wrong to whip children...it's wrong to use the death penalty...
it's odd how seemingly rational people think that their way is the only way and all life should mirror their own...

Philipa said...

Daisy you are SO right - I agree completely. And the people who seem most sure that their way of living is the only correct way of living are..... the religious.

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