I find myself clapping after a statement made by David Cameron MP. I stop mid-clap in shock and look around to make sure no one has witnessed this act, which of course will make it easier to pretend that it didn’t happen. There are many reasons why one would dislike Cameron: his tendency to change his views to suit his audience, the fact that he voted in favour of the Iraq war, disagreement with his political views and policies, so why do I personally dislike him?
Alas, I cannot say it is because I have carried out a discerning analysis of his political views and concluded that they do not align with my own. I cannot say it is because of his chameleon-like habit of changing his colours and skipping from right to left and left back to right. The reason I dislike him is because he is smarmy. Yes, you heard me. Smarmy. He has this self-serving pompous look about him. No, I can’t back this up with specific observations; it’s just a vibe that I get from him. The way he speaks: smarmy, the way he smiles: smarmy, the way he gesticulates: smarmy.
Maybe it is some sort of inverse prejudice; Cameron is the son of a stockbroker and was educated at Eton and Oxford. He grew up in Oxfordshire, read Philosophy, Politics and Economics and dabbled with recreational drugs. If that doesn’t smack of toffness, I don’t know what does. Basically, he’s a million miles away from me and most “normal” people. How can he possibly relate to my experiences and my problems? The closest he has ever got to my community is indulging in a saccharine photo-opportunity at a local primary school.
I mean, could this picture get any less genuine? It’s like, “Let’s have girls in scarves behind me to say that ‘Yes, I like Muslims’ and why not have me sitting on the floor to show that they are equal or even above me? It will portray a strong sense of humility in me and I’ll sit here and make all these important looking gestures and..[etc etc etc]” *Smarmy smile*
I just really really dislike him.
But then again, most of my political leanings are based on equally irrelevant factors. I listen to the debates in the House of Commons not because I think they are insightful or interesting but because I love the banter, jesting and lighthearted derision that takes place. I like the tradition and the big, fancy terms and titles such as, “The Right Honorable Gentleman”, and “Serjeant at Arms” and even “The Leader of the Opposition”.
Equally lightweight is the reason why Teflon Tony held a special place in my heart for many years; in 1998 with the burgeoning growth of the internet, I read that using one finger, Tony typed in a message for Cherie with the flowers he was ordering for her online. Perhaps that too was a ploy to show his “human” side but it worked with me. It made me like him and surely, that is half the political battle won?
Perhaps I should examine political agendas in depth rather than making decisions on whether or not I like a politician. After all, surely it is an abhorrent crime to like any of them?