A new poll this week has revealed that both our country’s potential Prime Ministers have fallen out of favour with the public. It’s hard to believe of the duo, who have the combined charisma of a fart in an elevator. As it transpires, a ComRes poll has revealed that only a mere 25 per cent of the public say they have a “favourable” view of David Cameron, while an even less inspiring 19 per cent say the same of Ed Miliband. The poll has left us querying how on earth this could be the case. The answer, of course, is that the two contenders argue their cases with the enthusiasm of a McDonald’s Drive-Thru employee.
It’s clear to any observer that there has been a correlation between the rise in what some might call “extremist” views (i.e. UKIP) and the increasingly watered-down, glazed-over, monotonous, toe-the-line speeches that are being apologetically scattered like stale breadcrumbs across the country by the two party leaders in the run-up to the election, devoid of any content more exciting or passion-inducing than a slightly blackened banana. That’s essentially what mainstream UK politics is. Whereas as UKIP… Well, UKIP are banoffee pie, aren’t they? Like mainstream politics, but with a fun twist of angry racism. In all honesty, it’s never a good thing when Nigel Farage (whom the poll found to be favourable to 26 per cent), a man who legitimately looks like a finger puppet, is found to be more likeable as a politician than you, is it?
The place of passion and fire in a politician’s arguments should not be overlooked. Consider any truly legendary political or revolutionary figure, who changed the face of politics in some way. Gandhi, for example. He wasn’t one for mincing his words. Then consider Che Guevara. It’s hard to compare Che with David and Ed, isn’t it? He never got that cold, detached look in his eyes that you see in David Cameron’s when he’s giving a speech, where you think that he could quite possibly be mulling over the plot of the previous nights Holby City. And it’s certainly difficult to envisage Ed Miliband touring South America on a motorcycle giving revolutionary speeches, with his hair billowing behind him. Although the image is hilarious.
It comes down to the fact that it’s near-impossible to respect anyone who doesn’t strongly believe in anything, as the poll demonstrates. The line-toeing in an attempt not to anger anyone has backfired dramatically on the two, who seem too scared to commit to anything, and it really comes across as condescending, as if they don’t think they should reveal any complicated details to the plebs.
But is it really plausible for Dave to be shouting and screaming strong, well-defined arguments with some actual focus in this economic climate? Would it not unsettle the balance? Of course not. Strong leadership is respected in times of crisis. You never see indecisive firemen, or a slightly distracted bomb-disposal officer. In any case, they need to take a leaf out of Farage’s book before he starts to become a real contender, which would be awful – both on account of his politics and the fact that he looks like a puppet.