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Caustic wit comes as part and parcel of the political process. Sometimes it is vicious but in many ways often lightens what is a depressingly serious subject. Everyone reacts differently to it, for example we remember the very different responses from Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Baker to spitting image puppets. I can't imagine Gordon Brown enjoying caricature but I think David Cameron would probably enjoy it. When we the public see intelligent politicians lampooned it is great fun and politicians themselves are just as good at dishing out the wit given half a chance. Basically it comes with the territory. When a politician takes to a platform with a political opinion, there will always be those that afford that opinion the gravitas it deserves and there will always be others ready to mock it and lampoon it. Politics would be the worse if we didn't have the humour to go with it. Besides politicians are very tough people, they can take it!

Politics would be the worse if we didn't have the humour to go with it.

Margaret Thatcher was completely lacking any sense of humour. Her delivery of scripted "gags" was painful, usually because she didn't understand what was funny about it.

Didn't do her any harm electorally though, did it?

Bruce, Margaret Thatcher's attempt at Python was about as poker faced as it gets, but in a way thats what made it so funny. We need humour in life. Back in 1983 I went to watch Norman Tebbit speak in Bolton, back then I was a young man expecting a serious night of political speaking where I might hopefully learn something new. However the most facinating event of the evening was a full scale punch-up between a Tory party activist and a member of the SWP! It was a really good fight and people found it highly amusing. I can't quite remember how it started but I think the left-wing activist tried to climb on top of a table with a megaphone and very quickly found himself being dealt with. Nobody likes to see a political speech being disrupted but these moments have their humour too.

Well, Thatcher apparently asked an adviser if Monty Python was "one of us".

There was also the occasion in the late 1970s where Jim Callaghan gave a speech comparing himself to Moses, leading the Labour party to the promised land. A gift for any opponent capable of thinking on her (or his) feet, but Thatcher blew it. Provided by her speechwriter with the line "My message to Moses is, keep taking the tablets" (tablets of stone, geddit? Aka a pun) she decided this would be better rendered as "Keep taking the pills".

The politician with the greatest natural gift for humour in debate that I can remember in recent years was the late John Smith. He had Tories rolling in laughter as he destroyed the Major government. "The man with the non-Midas touch is in charge. No wonder we live in a country where the Grand National doesn't start and hotels fall into the sea."

Bruce, there have certainly been some great moments of comedy in politics, some crafted, some incidental. Who can forget Ronald Reagan's classic put down of Jimmy Carter during the presidential debate or Rosie Barnes unintentional advert for 'Sure' after her election victory. Gordon Brown is trying his best to enter the comedic fray with his weekly comments about us having 'full employment' and only the other week Clegg and Huhne were doing their bit to make us smile on the politics show. It will take something though to beat Kennt Everett's classic "Lets bomb Russia" line, a joke which got headline coverage on radio Moscow at the time.

That video is painful to watch. Poor Fred!!

How sad must the person be to make a video like that? That to me isnt very funny.

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