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Stand Lady, Stand

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THESE DAYS you would have to spend an entire wet weekend searching to find a politician, of any party, who isn’t earnestly seeking to ‘engage’ with the voting public. Of course there is the occasional oddball who, determined to show a radical streak, goes one step further and insists that he will ‘re-engage’ with the rest of us.
Apart from that there seems to be precious little difference between the lot of them. The leaders of the main parties, those seeking to be the leaders of the main political parties and the close associates of the leaders of the main political parties all look the same, have similar voices and mouth the self-same platitudes at the drop of a television station cheque.
Nick Clegg and David Cameron are complete and utter duplicates of each other. The brothers Miliband, Ed Balls and Andy Burnham do not possess a spark of character or personality between the lot of them and could almost be clones of Cameron and Clegg. Each and every one of them could cross the floor of the house, join another party and carry on giving exactly the same addresses and interviews and nobody would notice.
There’s a thought - David Cameron as leader of the Labour Party. He wouldn’t have to trim his sails by a centimetre would he? In just the same way Andy Burnham could have the Tories eating out of his hand inside a week and not change a thing.
I reckon there must be a factory somewhere knocking them out. The designers are all working to a blueprint that should have been thrown away when Tony Blair gave up but somehow got placed on the wrong pile of documents.
The modern trick of those at the top of politics is to say nothing but, at the same time, make lots of noise. So we get a littering of ‘enpowerments’, ‘deliveries’ and ‘connecting with the publics’ in everything they almost spout on the basis that if you say nothing you will upset no one.
And then into this clique of identikit puppets come an outsider, Diane Abbot. She doesn’t look like the others, she doesn’t sound like the others and she has views and ideas that are all her own and owe nothing to think tanks or focus groups - she doesn’t stand a chance.