Alistair Campbell’s waterworks on Andrew Marr’s show yesterday has inspired this post on the Channel 4 website in which I’m quoted.

They asked me to answer the following:


- Why do you think we are surprised when politicians show emotion?

- Cynics accuse politicians of showing their “human side” to get votes. Is this fair?

So I turned it into a longer post at Comment is Free, here.

First bit submitted to them, which seems to be modified a bit online where links have been added went comme ca:

So Alistair Campbell is filmed choking back tears in his appearance on Andrew Marr’s programme. I have to say I thought my tv had developed a fault when the screen appeared to freeze. Quite apart from the fact that Campbell commands media attention when once he was vis-a-vis Blair his masters voice, why are we so surprised though when politicians show emotion?

Let’s face it politicians are rewarded for being tough. The public see them as engaged in a cynical battle for power where strength is seen as a virtue so when they turn up on our TV screens all dewey eyed it’s a surprise to see their human side. However whether their “backstory”/ humble origins etc really matters when most of the general public have never heard of them is open to question I guess.

More at CiF where I see the usual snide comments are already gathering…

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