Thursday, 18 December 2008


I came across an interesting comment in an article in Total Politics (a rather good newish political magazine for politically minded geeks) the essence of which is that being a politician is a balance between intellect and ego.

I have ruminated on this and the more I think about it, the more profound I find the comment. They all have to have overly large egos to want to stand for office in the first place, so let's take that as read. But in my experience - and I'll let you into a Cragsbury secret here, I once was a local politician who like all of them harboured secret desires of being Prime Minister - many confuse their ego for their talent...or lack of it.

So here is a first stab at the current crop that fall into the obvious three categories:

Too intellectual to be understood by earthlings

David Willetts
Oliver Letwin
Frank Field
George Osborne
John Redwood
Ed Milliband
Lord Adonis

Too much ego not enough talent

Gordon Brown
David Davis
George Galloway
Harriet Harman
Peter Mandleson (huge talent but ego of intergalactic proportions)
Simon Hughes
John Prescott
Liam Fox
Robert Kilroy Silk
John McCain
Hilary Clinton
Sarah Palin

Reasonably well balanced (ie considerable talent and normally keep their egos in check)

Tony Blair
Vince Cable
David Cameron
Jack Straw
William Hague
David Laws
Alan Johnson
Nick Clegg
Ken Clarke
Bill Clinton (although his ego almost kills him from time to time)

I am also on a quest to find single words that accurately sum up a well known politician. Now these are not just any old words to denigrate one of our great leaders. No, these are very specific words that completely capture the essence of the individual. So far:

Buffoon - Boris Johnson
Twerp - Michael Gove
Vacuous - Harriet Harman
Mendacious - Peter Mandleson
Smug - Alex Salmond
Curmudgeonly - John Prescott

More please...


Anonymous said...

Malevolent - Gordon Brown

DiscoveredJoys said...

In my opinion....

Incompetent - Jacqui Smith

Menacing - Jack Straw

Oleaginous - Ed Balls