Monday, February 01, 2010

Lord Mandelson: David Cameron is ‘inauthentic’ like Des O’Connor and Terry Wogan

It used to be said that politics is show business for ugly people.

But then John F Kennedy burst onto the world stage.

Followed by Margaret Thatcher.

And Ronald Reagan.

And Pope John Paul II.

Followed by Tony Blair.

Closely followed by David Cameron.

And...err...Scott Brown.

And suddenly politics was about the beautiful people.

And the more beautiful you were, the more people listened.

And while Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II had a background in acting (if that isn’t being a little generous in the case of the former president), and while Tony Blair at least flirted with the idea of a performing career, there was no sense in which their politics were deemed to be inauthentic as a result of their thespian inclinations.

But that is the accusation levelled by Lord Mandelson at David Cameron.

In a further reference to this tedious issue of ‘airbrushing’ posters (as though no New Labour advertising agency ever airbrushed any photograph of Tony Blair), the wholly authentic Right Honourable the Baron Mandelson of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the County of Durham, First Secretary of State and Lord President of the Privy Council and Secretary of State for Business and Secretary of State for Innovation and Skills (and Church Commissioner) has described Gordon Brown as a ‘more authentic’ figure.

More authentic?

Is it the possession of a 'clunking fist’ or the revelation that he throws foul-mouthed tantrums or physically abuses his staff evidence of authenticity?

Discussing the Prime Minister, Lord Mandelson told the BBC: "Look, you know he's not a sort of TV personality. He's not sort of Terry Wogan or Des O'Connor in the way that some people see David Cameron. Gordon Brown is actually a rather more authentic figure than that and I think when people evaluate the relative merits of both leaders, they may well come to a different conclusion from the one people are assuming now."


Des O'Connor is a former member of the RAF has been in showbiz for more than half a century. He is one of only a handful of British entertainers to be acclaimed internationally on stage and television. On stage he has starred at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, the Sydney Opera House, The O'Keefe Centre, Toronto and has made over 1,000 solo appearances at the London Palladium. He has met and worked with many personalities of the day, from rock and pop stars, actors and TV performers, to politicians, princes, to luminaries, such as Frank Sinatra, Adam Faith, Sean Connery, Liberace, The Beatles, Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Tony Blair, and members of the Royal Family.

It would appear that even Tony Blair is sufficiently inauthentic to desire to touch the hem of Des O’Connor’s garment.

It is also noted that he has recorded 36 albums and sold more than 16 million records, being awarded a CBE in 2008.

The man is a national and much-loved institution.

And Terry Wogan?

He is the son of a grocer whose inauthenticity went on to attract a regular audience of eight million listeners, making him the most listened to radio broadcaster of any European nation. His sardonic rambling and acerbic esoteric tangents are what made the Eurovision Song Contest bearable (if ever it were), and he has presented the BBC's Children in Need appeal since its inception, helping to raise tens of millions for charity. He became a British subject in 2005, and was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Another national and much-loved institution.

If David Cameron manages to be even half as popular and respected as either of these 'TV personalities'; if he manages to stay at the top of his game even for half as long, he will be the most successful prime minister in British history.

Perhaps Lord Mandelson might care to explain which ‘authentic’ people the Prime Minister tries to emulate.

Or is the fact that Gordon Brown has no greater conceit than perfect contentment with every aspect of himself and every judgement he makes evidence that his authenticity is no virtue and his lack of humility no attraction.

At least David Cameron understands that in a televisual age in which image is all, the medium is the message: there is no point contending against the vernacular.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Methinks His Grace doth protest too much.

HT: Prince of Denmark.

1 February 2010 at 09:26  
Anonymous graham wood said...

YG You said of Cameron:

"At least David Cameron understands that in a televisual age in which image is all, the medium is the message: there is no point contending against the vernacular."

If that is a priority then he has an unfortunate 'kink in his think'.
"Image" is certainly not "all" when people assess policies in the ballot box.
What he 'understands' I suggest is at complete variance with what the electorate are looking for before this GE.
He could make a start by trying to understand elementary democratic principles which seem to be lost on him - like dropping UK membership of the EU, and replacing it with basic representative self governing democracy.
That would be a good start - in fact it would give him a landslide electoral victory. But then we know he has a different agenda !

1 February 2010 at 09:31  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

And was it not New Labour that imported into number 10, Britain's self proclaimed "beautiful people" of Brit Pop, like star struck groupies, wishing that some of the glitz would rub off in emulation of Kennedy's "Camelot" - another bunch of dishonourable, media managed, sleazy, untrustworthy, machine-politics charlatans.

Note to Dave. Real Prime Ministers don't have to do celebrities.

1 February 2010 at 09:32  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Both Des O’Connor and Terry Wogan are good at their chosen jobs. I would say that being like them is a good sign; if Cameron does as well in his chosen job as they did in theirs, he won't go far wrong!

1 February 2010 at 09:40  
Blogger John.D said...

I can only speak for my self here, but I agree with English Pensioner, we like our entertainers to entertain us YG. The fact that certain politicians can be entertaining is something else, but to try (try)and artificially be an entertaining politician will be fatal (has been fatal - I cannot stand the prick)

1 February 2010 at 09:46  
Blogger John R said...

You can always rely on Lord Mandelson.

Spin and spite every time.

1 February 2010 at 09:55  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Beauty contest. Rank the following:

1) D Cameron
2) G Brown
3) N Clegg
4) M Pearson

1 February 2010 at 10:00  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Well we know that Mandy is authentic - the twisted, oily spiv.

1 February 2010 at 10:29  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

an interesting article in the Telegraph this morning on body language, comparing Obama, Brown and Cameron. While Obama and Cameron get full marks, Brown gets a resounding no-no because of his fake smile.

'Seldom he smiles, and smiles of such a sort, as if he mocked himself and scorned his spirit that could be moved to smile at anything..'

1 February 2010 at 10:53  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Absolutely right Mr ultramontane g o catholic,

You can always rely on Mandy to come up with some vicious spiteful ad hominem attack to spice up the nastiness.
Brown 'authentic'?
Authentically hateful, unappealing, vindictive and probably mentally ill.
Authentically unable to lie straight in bed.


1 February 2010 at 11:03  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

What a great bunch of people to be compared to. I would be honoured if I was DC (still not going to vote for him though!).

1 February 2010 at 11:14  
Blogger John.D said...

The beauty of margaret Thatcher for me was that she was butt ugly, just the way I like my politicians. It seems to me that the tories are trying too hard to be sexy instead of just getting on with the business of politics. Brown may be a 100% genuine TWAT, but this is authenticity in action.

1 February 2010 at 11:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I listen to people like Wogan and Des there is an understanding that some of the things they say and the way they say them are influenced by the fact that they are seeking to entertain and appeal to a wide 'audience'. Some of the more cringe worthy behaviour and things that get said can be forgiven because they are only doing what entertainers do. But when politicians, and even the media when reporting the news try to get over zealous in the kool department by trying to assume what it is that we are made of, then it becomes a major turn off, and in some ways insulting.

Here is a video demonstrating what I mean.

Cameron is trying to be a sexy politician, and it's the trying bit that is putting people off because it assumes too much.

1 February 2010 at 11:46  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

John D.

Margaret Thatcher - butt ugly?

Francois Mitterand said she had the face of Marilyn Monroe, but the eyes of Caligula.

Even the dreaded Harperson is quite good looking with her golly gosh eyes, though as someone remarked, her teeth have been stolen from the late Queen Mother.

Gordon Brown 100% TWAT? - WYSIWYG!

1 February 2010 at 12:28  
Blogger Montcalm said...

Good morning your Grace,

Good morning everytbody,

Today is the remembrance of St Henri Morse, hanged, drawn, and quartered on 1645 at Tyburn, London. His crime ? He was an anglican-convert and a catholic priest. He said before his execution: "Tell to His Majesty and the Parliament that England will never know happiness without return to the Holy catholic church".

A catholic french boy.

1 February 2010 at 13:13  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

If Your Grace is able to intercede with Mr Cameron and persuade him to

● Set us free from the European Union,
● Halt immigration,
● Expel illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers, and
● Stop sucking up to Islam,

then Mr Cameron will get my vote, whatever Lord Mandelson says about him.

1 February 2010 at 14:10  
Blogger Mark Blades said...

Mr. Montcalm supposes that Henry Morse was executed for converting to Catholicism. Actually, he was executed for high treason.

He first refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to the crown and was banished from the kingdom. He returned several times and was jailed twice.

During one of his forays abroad he became one of those abominable Jesuits. This group had a history of dedication both to the Catholic 'church' and to overthrowing the Protestant crown and instituting the Romish religion. However, there doesn't seem any evidence, that I can find, that Morse was directly involved in any plots.

Morse could have stayed away from England or given his oath of allegiance and who knows what would have happened. He certainly had fairer treatment, according to the standards of the day, than the [genuine] Protestant martyrs executed by Catholic Mary.

1 February 2010 at 14:48  
Blogger John.D said...


Une demande. Votre weblog est en français. Veuillez suivre le lien ci-dessous et mettez un dispositif de traduction dans votre barre latérale ainsi je peux la lire. Merci

1 February 2010 at 15:02  
Blogger John.D said...

Excuses. Le lien :

1 February 2010 at 15:03  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

Your Grace,

The following line of yours interests me.

"there is no point contending against the vernacular."

Although I am an atheist I find myself somewhat envious of those able to exist with a supreme arbiter.

When I see somebody benefit from a selfish action I lament the lack of final judgement which if existed would be one of the few motivating factors for otherwise invisible acts of good.

Surely it is this faith in an absolute rather than relative right that means there is a point in contending. In the first place because your immediate peers are not your ultimate judges, and secondly, because that is the only way to change and shift the vernacular.

Your sentiment to me suggests more 'can't beat 'em join 'em' than 'be the change you seek' or whatever.

In short, I would have thought as a believer the state of the vernacular means less to you than your conscience's view of right.

Or perhaps I misinterpret.

Yours in constant admiration,

Old Slaughter.

1 February 2010 at 15:35  
Blogger John.D said...

Old Slaughter

At the risk of making too many comments in one post, I am humbled by your wise words. The author of this blog is anonymous and posts as the dead late Cranmer. There could be many reasons for this, and not willing to put one's head (ashes) on the block could be interpreted as one of them. However, we have recently learnt that the author is a graduate of Cambridge University so I am able to deduce from this a significant level of determination and courage of conviction.

The anonymous status has many privileges and functions, not withstanding the platform it provides for Christians to develop ideas and challenge some of the contemporary persecutions that befall them. The Cranmer blog is a most excellent place for challenging what the author sees and comments upon from a Christian perspective. As is regularly witnessed here in the comments section, not everyone will agree with the author and indeed we do often squabble among ourselves over the most trifling of things, but all to the greater good of Christian partisanship and cross border alliances. Here is where freedom of speech prevails above party politics and denominational loyalties.

It has come to my attention and belief that some of what Cranmer postulates is hypothetical and is offered up to be challenged. And challenge it we do!

1 February 2010 at 16:01  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

@John D.

I would agree. It is very much in that spirit that I ask. I wasn't trying to catch him out. Antagonism always seems so inappropriate here.

1 February 2010 at 17:16  
Blogger Miss Snuffleupagus said...

Thatcher? Surely one of her greatest achievements was to rise to power as a woman, in spite of her looks? I burst into laughter when I read her name, assuming you were joking, but then later it seemed not...

1 February 2010 at 18:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Labour engange in this kind of childish name calling. It certainly doesn't make me want to vote for them and it's extremely poor taste to drag polite and pleasant entertainers into the fray.

1 February 2010 at 20:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown authentic?

Hmmm, yes I suppose his show of severe mental illness is authentic. I have rarely seen an actor or actress convince as he does.

As a PM?

Definitely not.

He has only been elected by his own constitutency, which happens to be located in a country that has its own Parliament.

A PM is supposed to be a servant of the people, he behaves like a Dictator.

And Mandelson...forced to resign twice because of fraudulent behaviour.

Bribed back into the UK by Brown with the lure of ermine, loads of taxpayers money and power enough to make ones eyes water.

Who voted for him?


I don't like or trust Cameron

I loathe and despise Brown

I consider Mandelson on par with the creatures that inhabit the area where the solid matter I flush down the loo lands

3 February 2010 at 09:09  
Anonymous dissertation said...

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11 February 2010 at 07:25  
Blogger Jamie Spencer said...

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12 October 2010 at 08:18  

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