Will the real pigs please stand up?
When it comes to judging characters I’ve always believed that what people say when caught off guard counts a zillion times more than what they say when prepared.
This might sound like stating the obvious, but in the case of politicians working the democratic system, it holds especially true.
Whilst democracy seems to be the best form of governing, at least to date, it does require popularity, and this requirement has been known to turn the best of men and women into vote-grabbing greedy sods.
It also has an overnight predisposition to inflate egos to the size of Mars.
In addition, politicians form part of a special creed of people that is not only trained and experienced in persuasion, elusiveness and the general art of bush beating, but most of them also happen not to give a hoot about losing face.
Let’s face it, if you’re the type to lose sleep over accountability, unfulfilled promises, and the possibility of other members of your clan making you look like a Neanderthal, chances are you wouldn’t be in politics in the first place.
It is because of this conviction that I only listen to parliamentary and public speeches for the fun of it and not to inform myself about our leaders’ real positions, believes or future plans.
Sometimes I find that I learn more from a politician’s off the cuff Facebook status, photo or comment, than from a prepared hour long speech at some political meeting, because when it comes to attracting votes, clinching that seat, or grabbing that incredibly lucrative EU package that most of us will only ever dream of, most will knowingly and confidently twist anything beyond recognition.
They will promise to behave differently to how they behave at home, they will pussy foot and quibble beyond believe, they will hide behind treaties, say that they never had sex with that woman, and smile in confidence and crack a joke or two.
As historian Daniel J. Boorstin once said “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire PR officers.”
All we need now, is to learn to tell the difference.