Sunday 17 April 2005

The pending election: some advice.

OK, so here's a bit of election commentary then. I said there wouldn't be any, yet here is some. Sue me.

Whoever you vote for, they're going to need organisational skills if they win, right? Even the lowliest of MPs has some tasks to complete (I'm told), and, ideally, you don't want said tasks fucked up. At the very least, you'd like a smidgin of competence, right? Right. And what if they end up a minister or secretary of something? Then they could be organising really important stuff, like avoiding nuclear war or providing free milk to dockers. So an important criterion to consider when choosing whom to vote for is, when they're given a task, do they get it broadly right, or is it an unmitigated disaster? Well, I have worked out how you can tell.

You see, I've been looking at the various vote-for-me posters littering our world, and I have noticed that most of them have something in common: bloody awful photos. The sort of photo that, if it were of you, you'd say, "Oh, that one was at that party. God, we were all so drunk. And Keith had got hold of the camera, and he's just got no hand-eye co-ordination at the best of times, but then Samantha jogged his elbow just as he hit the shutter. And I think I was about to throw up. And, anyway, I always look like a monkey in photos. And, Jesus, that lighting's just dreadful." Except these are photos of (probably) sober candidates, in professional photographers' studios, with professional lighting, not at parties, not throwing up. And they've had a whole load of shots done and spent ages going through them all to pick just the right one — what you're looking at could be what they think is the best of maybe a hundred shots. Even worse, they might be right: it could actually be the best one. And it's not just crap. It's really, really crap, with a capital crap.

So your candidate was given a very, very simple task; simpler than most of the things they're likely to be asked to do as an MP: "Get a decent photo for the posters. Here's a wodge of money. Hire a professional photographer. Make sure the end result says 'Vote for me. I'm reliable, honest, friendly, efficient.' You don't have to be good-looking — hey, you're a politician; we're not demanding the impossible here — just try not to look like a leering brain-dead twat."

Now, would you want someone who can't even manage that handling the situation with Iran?

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