Reasons To Be Cheerful #30: British Politicians

15 May
pryce huhne

Pryce and Huhne in happier times

This week fomer political bigwig Chris Huhne and his estranged ex-wife Vicky Pryce were released from jail early. For those of you not in the know, the former happilymarrieds took the whole ‘sharing everything’ thing a bit too far when MP Chris gave Vicky some of his driving licence points. A present maybe? Anyhoo, it got me to thinking. They may be on the whole, less attractive, less shiny and more ’embarrassing dad’ than their American counterparts, but actually, British politicians have got quite a lot going for them. Here’s the breakdown:

1. Scandal

Everyone loves a juicy scandal. It is a fact. And just look at the gems that some of Whitehall’s finest (ahem) have kindly provided us with. The above – Vicky Pryce, scorned by her Energy Secretary husband’s affair, told the courts that he had forced her to take his driving licence points. The courts disagreed. Both went down. Or what about ‘grey’ John Major? Forever remembered as the most boring of Prime Ministers, it only turned out that he’d been knobbing Edwina Currie all along! And Mr Hague – yes you William. Nobody, but nobody believes you shared a room with your 25-year old male special advisor for reasons of economy. Soz.

Hague and advisor: who says MPs can't dress?

You say he’s just a friend

2. Cashing In

Any politico worth his or her salt must know how to turn a sticky situation around.  The most common tactic normally involves a book deal. Vicky Pryce has already announced hers. And who can forget Jeffrey Archer’s seminal masterpiece, A Prison Diary? Oh, you have? Well, nevermind. Crafted out of hardship, Archer’s three volumes were written during two years of incarceration that included weekdays working at Lincoln’s Theatre Royal. That’s hard graft for you.

Putting on a brave face

Putting on a brave face

3. The Common Touch

While many of our major politicians have graduated straight out of the Bullingdon Club, there are plenty who really know how to connect with your common man on the street. UKIP – a party that can be summed up by its self description as a ‘Libertarian, non-racist party’ – has enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to its personable leader, Nigel Farage. Undaunted by the closeness of his surname to Faberge (as in the posh egg), Nige offers the people what they want, like to ban the smoking ban and ship the foreigners out. The left too, has its fair share of ‘say it like it is’ players. Just ask the Labour supporter referred to by Gordon Brown as that ‘bigoted woman’.

Just like the common man, Nigel Farage loves a fag

Just like the common man, Nigel Farage loves a fag

4. PEOPLE SKILLS

British politicians are good at making friends, and they like to branch out. Just think about it. Dav Cam exchanges intimate texts and dinners with Rebekah Brooks; the Blairs were helped out by fraudster and friend, Peter Foster, and before anyone knew what a WMD was, Tone had all of Britpop round for tea. Over at the Lib Dems HQ, resounding failure Lembit Opik became such good friends with the Cheeky Girls that he decided to marry one of them. It didn’t work out.

Cheeky

Cheeky Girl

Don't look back in anger. There really WERE WMDs

Cheeky drink

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Tony Blair may well be the closest we ever come to a Barack Obama)

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