Youth and beauty are really poor reasons for picking world leaders. Lots of people in the real world and on tinterweb point out that Obama is younger and prettier than McCain. Well, no doubt about that. E.g, Things younger than McCain or look at this image on Covert History with obvious implications that Obama is fitter to be president as well as win the swimsuit round.
Ditto, in the UK, which tends to copy the USA, but following the precept that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. The homely older Brown is contrasted with the younger better-looking David Miliband.*
I’m certainly all for Obama, although less won-over by the Blairite-careerist-style charm of Miliband. (Am buggered if I can see any significant policy difference between Brown and Milliband. I want Alan Simpson for PM, whether he’s standing or not….) But, is “younger and prettier” really an adequate criterion for picking a leader?
The only justification I can see for this is where a leader is just a front-end. A marketing device, cynically stuck there while the real power gets operated elsewhere.
Who cares about how user-friendly the front-end is, when it comes to politics? Or if we are all happy to pick the prettiest candidates, with the longest political-aristocratic pedigrees, then we’ve only got our own stupidity to blame.
* No, that’s not the sociologist (“Belgian-born Marxist theoretician Ralph Miliband” a/c Wikipedia)whose books I read as a student. He’s said sociologist’s not-at-all-privileged-by-birth (sarcasm alert) nuLabour offspring. Wikipedia is quite informative on how he got to Oxford.
David Miliband was educated at schools in London, Benton Park School in Leeds and Boston, Massachusetts before being educated at Haverstock Comprehensive School in North London, where he obtained a Grade ‘D’ in Physics A-level, and 3 Grade ‘B’s. Despite these results being lower than the normal entry requirements, via a scheme for children from deprived backgrounds, he was admitted to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he achieved first class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. (from his Wikipedia entry)
Blimey, how lucky that schemes for “deprived kids” are so broadly defined. I mean you can hardly get more educationally-deprived than being the son of a world-class academic. (w00t, my A level results piss all over his. 😀 In your face, foreign secretary. 😀 But, obviously, I had the good fortune to grow up on a council estate so I didn’t get the benefit of schemes for deprived kids like him…..)
Nor is it his brother Ed who has also overcome the obstacle of his background to get into Brown’s cabinet.
Isn’t democracy great? None of that ancient “hereditary principle” crap, so discredited by the Enlightenment. I mean look at George Bush who won political power on an amazing log-cabin-to-White-House trajectory.