« Andrew Lilico: The role of religious policy justifications in two kinds of liberalism | Main | Louise Bagshawe: An open letter to Frank Field MP, Kate Hoey MP and Gisela Stuart MP »


Graeme Archer

How true, but how very depressing. On all sorts of deeply personal levels.


What utter tosh! This might be the Westminster Village view of things, but out here in the real world we couldn't give a stuff what our politicians look like as long as they are competent.

Ann Widecomb for example is an excellent MP and has a popularity way beyond Westminster that most of her colleagues would kill for.

Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, ken Clarke, the list could go on. These are conviction politicians who actually believe in something. Sure they might not wear the best suits etc, but does any of that matter?

I and my friends want a good health service, schools, strong defence, lower taxes and a looser relationship with Europe. If the Elephant man promises to deliver those sort of polices then he has my vote!

Tony Makara

When I was a teenager I used to beat my brains out trying to understand why it was easy for me to pick up certain girls and impossible to pick up others. Over time it finally dawned on me that what makes a person physically attractive is all down to the individual. People are attracted to 'Types' and if someone isn't your 'Type' or you are not their 'Type' you can forget about 'clicking' with each other, even though you both might be good-looking in the general scheme of things. People have a fixed idea about what 'Type' they go for and thats it.

A similar situation does apply in politics, except that 'Type' isn't determined by looks but rather by personality and the way the person comes across. They are certain politicians who we like even though we don't share their politics and others who get on our nerves even though we like what they are saying. The problem Ming faced was that he just didn't 'click' with most people. Ming lacked dynamism and that was best seen at the Southhall bi-election when Paddy Ashdown turned up to lend support, Paddy hugged the cameras and Ming looked completely upstaged.

The ideal politician must 'click' with most people and have a broad general appeal rather than have 'niche' appeal to a small group. I don't think looks are the problem, or age, but personality is. I think voice is a big factor too, its all part of the projection package that people subconsciously buy into.

William Norton

Peter: I expect Iggle Piggle's lawyers will be on the phone to you any moment now.

Letters From A Tory

Ming Campbell never had any spark and always looked like he was dragging his feet. You are absolutely right that he looks a lot older than he is, which is compounded by his lack of energy and vibrancy.

The Lib Dems really did have to get rid of him.


Old Hack

Age was not as important as character or even name in this overall mix of how people perceived Campbell.

He looked like a patrician, sounded less than authorative and underperformed at PMQs.

Age is not an insurmountable barrier, neither are baldness or gender. Ming blamed the media for questions about his age hidering his leadership but frankly that's a cop-out. He simply did not lead his party.

People expect their leaders to lead, and leadership is something quite undefinable but when you see it you know it. Ming didn't have it, Brown is finding out he doesn't have it and I strongly suspect that Clegg doesn't have it either, unlike Huhne.

Cllr Adam Tugwell

Peter, what concerns me most is that you have such a good knowledge of CBBC characters that you feel able to identify similarities between DC and 'Iggle Piggle'. This aside, if the suggested likeness goes further and DC can even produce a fraction of the power of attraction on voters that Iggle Piggle et al effect upon children like my own, then he's on to something.

As far as Ming is concerned, there may well be an element of truth to what you are saying, as aesthetics seem to have become by far the most important thing in many areas of life as opposed to the substance and content factor which isn't quite so easy on the eye. Aesthetics are of course a matter of ultra importance to our yellow friends, as what they look like on the outside is so very important. Painting the vacuum within is one challenge too for them far me thinks...

Matt Wright

Personality and passion is the key not so much looks. Well thats the only hope I have anyway!!!


Nicholas Bennett

Although I disagree with his views on Europe, Ken Clarke (b 1940) has the energy and passion which Ming lacks.


Maybe its me but there's a distinct lack of decent crumpet on any of the Parliamentary benches


Always surprises me how much short politicians are.

Graeme Archer

Maybe its me but there's a distinct lack of decent crumpet on any of the Parliamentary benches

Posted by: TaxCutter | October 24, 2007 at 01:10 PM

It's better than it used to be though, innit? Just!

Roger Evans

Lucy - well observed, but politics allows short people to cast long shadows...

Fred Kite

Very well observed Peter but I think you stopped short of the reason that looks are so much more important than - the female vote.

When it comes to selling to women, looks are the most important factor and the editors who design covers for women's magazines are not the only ones who know that.

Many US pundits have claimed that it was Kennedy's appearance in general that led to his victory over Richard Nixon (not just Nixon's uncomfortable appearance on the famous TV debate)

Fact is that women could have ensured a third term for Bill Clinton in the US if the system had allowed it. They could also have ensured that Churchill would never have been elected leader.

Australia's current leader not withstanding, we will probably never again see a short, bald male as an elected leader - never mind an older one like Ming.

Simon R

I think it was Barbara Castle who opined that Thatcher maintained her hold over the Tory Party for so long because they all fancied her. I wouldn't like to comment.

Personally I would agree that it's looking like an individual and standing out from the grey mass that matters. Politicians are on the whole an ugly bunch, so looking vaguely normal like David Cameron is one way of doing it. But not the only one. Gwyneth Dunwoody is one who I would say has done well out of looking like an old battleaxe. Anne Widdecombe has already been mentioned. New Labour women as a rule tend to look the worst, like awful lesbian school teachers. Blair's babes my arse. You have Ken Clarke with his impressive paunch and suede shoes, which projects a very 'don't care' sort of confidence. The same could be said of Boris Johnson's unkempt albino mob. It's all part of his carefully crafted bumbling image, and has become a powerful trademark.


'Australia's current leader not withstanding, we will probably never again see a short, bald male as an elected leader - never mind an older one like Ming.'

Rudy Guiliani
Fidel Castro
Jacques Chriac only just left office.

This is rediculous, all poticians are hideous!!! david Cameron is not a handscome man, he has the same head shape as iain dale, which is a large cranium and small mandible which makes them look like they have large pointy noses and receding hairlines.

Gordon Brown is one of the ugliest people I have ever seen, and I think that the less I say about him the better.

Simon R

He is revolting isn't he? His face looks like it's melting. Certainly not someone you'd care to meet in a dark alley.

Sally Roberts

There could be worse things than being compared to "Iggle Piggle" I think! He's described as "...physical and energetic like a well-loved teddy, always jumping and bouncing. He's curious and adventurous,..." and so what if he DOES need a comfort blanket? - Don't we all?!

Sally Roberts

Roger Evans @ 3:50 - Very well said! I am only 5ft 1in myself and my mother (who was even smaller) always used to say "The Best Things Come in Small Packages"!


Rudy Guiliani
Fidel Castro
Jacques Chirac

Castro isn't exactly elected and horrible policies aside, LePen was the uglier than Chirac. Rudy? Only time will tell

The comments to this entry are closed.

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker