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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 30-Aug-06

 


Wednesday 30-Aug-06

Showbiz and politics

Bruce Willis has been over here in the UK recently, and I saw him on 'Jonathan Ross', a rather impertinent late-night show host who teased Bruce about his lack of hair whilst Bruce did his best to look cool. Image is terribly important for movie stars, and is also important in politics where voters choose as much by what they see as what is actually done. Tony Blair has managed ten years at the top by careful image management, but like Margaret Thatcher, another master of image, reality bites and unwise words and decisions eventually stack up against you. Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate, as they say.

Bruce Willis, meanwhile met David Cameron, the youthful leader if Britain's Conservative party who is beginning to look like he might be prime minister in a few years time. Bruce commented afterwards that Cameron looked good and was a nice fellow, so he should win the next election. It may be easily dismissed as trite nonsense or overt political support, but there is sound evidence that he is probably right. How you look and how come across are critical success factors in a world obsessed with fashion, 'personality' and image.

The UK is gradually following the US lead into the cult of personality, though the US is way ahead with Reagan as President (and who know, maybe Schwarzenegger one day?), though we can boast actress Glenda Jackson as a long-standing politician and athlete Seb Coe (now Lord Coe). When this happens, I suspect that the power behind the throne tends to strengthen and what is elected is even more of a mouthpiece than otherwise.

The electorate cannot know what is in the minds of those they elect. All they can do is guess from what they see. And if they see a nice-looking chap who smiles a lot and cycles to work, then they may guess that he is kind and caring and worth their votes. It worked for Tony Blair -- perhaps it will work for David Cameron too!


Your comments


I just got a nice business idea. I'd start publishing a political fashion catalogue - or a fashionable politics catalogue - so that we can make some reliable assumptions as to the next election by the readers' choice: Who's hot?

I somehow luckily got to visit the site and read your blog today, and happen to like it. It's quite great to have something meaningful to read. Thanks, Dave.

-- jin

Dave replies:
Hi Jin -- Fashion and politics are not so far apart, as you indicate, with short-term attention and motivation a common theme. Politicians want us to love them just long enough so they get our vote, then they want us to get out of their neatly-coiffed hair.



 

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