Loathsome Politicians

What is it about politicians that makes them all so loathsome?

I can remember every single British Prime Minister all the way back to Harold Macmillan, and I can safely say that I loathed every single one of them.

In fact, I don’t think I loathed Harold Macmillan that much. I don’t remember seeing that much of him. But I remember the rest of them, and I loathed them all.

I think maybe it’s just that I saw too much of them. They were on TV or in the newspapers far too much. You kept seeing their faces staring out at you like Big Brother.

They all started out as being fresh, interesting, new faces. And then they became familiar faces. And then the loathing started. And once the loathing had set in, it only ever got deeper and deeper.

And I loathed some much more than I loathed others. I had a peculiarly intense loathing for Harold Wilson. He had a bumbling insincerity that I came to detest. And I loathed Edward Heath’s sickly wooden smile. And of course I loathed Margaret Thatcher. And most recently Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and David Cameron, who were all equally loathsome, but in different ways.

I haven’t started loathing Theresa May yet. Kitten Heels remains an interesting new face. She hasn’t done anything too awful yet. I  saw a clip of her speaking at the dispatch box in parliament a couple of days ago, and making a slightly risqué joke that had the house roaring with laughter. She can tell jokes. That’s good. Margaret Thatcher couldn’t tell jokes. Neither could Edward Heath.

But if I haven’t started loathing her yet, I’m sure I soon will. It always starts up sooner or later. It took a long time for me to start loathing Tony Blair. He was a rather likeable, regular guy when he first entered Downing Street. And the charm took a long time to wash off. But eventually it did, of course.

It’s not just that I loathed all the Prime Ministers. I loathed all the drab, grey, interchangeable ministers around them as well. And all the trade unionists. Remember Arthur Scargill? And all the London mayors: e.g. Ken Livingstone. Although I haven’t learned to loathe Boris Johnson yet. He’s still rather fun. But the humour is wearing thin.

And of course there was Old Rivers of Blood with his thin crocodile mouth. And the bellowing Reverend No Popery of Northern Ireland. They were deeply – even spine-chillingly – loathsome too.

I reserve my loathing exclusively for British politicians. I very seldom loathe foreign politicians. More or less every French or German politician seemed like a statesman by comparison with the slime in the UK parliament. Charles de Gaulle. Helmut Kohl. Bettino Craxi. Towering figures. Even Soviet leaders had a grim charm about them. Nikita Krushchev, Leonid Brezhnev. And of course the very affable Mikhail Gorbachev. And now the razor sharp Vladimir Putin.

And US Presidents are, as I wrote last night, pretty much Roman emperors. You can’t ignore them. But I haven’t loathed many of them either. John F Kennedy was a superstar, although I think that may have been because he was married to the infinitely refined and beautiful Jacqueline. JFK minus Jackie might well have been just another boring US president, like Gerald Ford. The only US president I got to loathe was Richard Nixon, but that was only during the Watergate affair. And right now I can’t say I even loathe Hillary Clinton. I feel a bit sorry for her, if anything. Although if she ever sets foot on British soil in one of her dumpy pantsuits, as President of the United States, my loathing will be intense.

melaniaIn this respect I think that Donald Trump’s secret weapon is his wife, Melania Trump. She’s another Jacqueline Kennedy. I think she can knock men dead at a range of two miles with those laser eyes of hers. I think she could stop an army with those eyes.

I was listening to Michael Savage complaining yesterday that the Trump family were all so good-looking. Didn’t they have a drooling aunt Norma somewhere, he asked. But actually I don’t think Donald Trump is at all good-looking. He’s ugly like Pompey the Great. And his sons are too. He’s got the face of a bar-room bruiser who’s been in too many fights. It’s really only Melania who is absolutely stunning. Or at least those killer eyes are stunning. If Michael Savage thinks they’re all good-looking, it’s really only because she’s so good-looking that she’d make any doofus she stands next to seem like Cary Grant. Melania Trump is probably the single best reason there is for voting for The Donald: to put a goddess in the White House.

Anyway I think that it’s probably just over-familiarity that makes politicians loathsome. After you’ve seen a face enough times you can see all the flaws in it. And in the end you can only see the flaws. You can see the greed and conceit and mendacity oozing out of every pore of it. And you can also catch it in every inflection of their voice.

If politicians want to stay popular, they should stay out of the public eye. Once they’ve become familiar faces, loathing is sure to follow, like an army of ants. If you want to remain interesting, you must remain unfamiliar. Once they catch up with you, you’re dead meat.

The only reason that artists like David Bowie remained popular for their entire lives is probably because they kept changing their public persona, kept re-inventing themselves, so that nobody ever caught up with them. They remained enigmas. Nobody got the measure of them. The pursuing wolf pack never caught up.

In some ways, a public persona is always changing. If nothing else, it changes as people age. After a while, everyone gets a new persona, automatically.  When the obese Chancellor Nigel Lawson went on a diet, and wrote a diet book, he slimmed down into a different man. And with the lost pounds, my loathing for him also evaporated. Even loathing departs after a while.

A.J. Ayer finally lights up after 17:30 minutes.


About Frank Davis

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34 Responses to Loathsome Politicians

  1. I feel angry with myself as I feel I was fooled by Thatcher and Blair, I thought they were great at first, now I look at them totally different. I also wonder if the man with the ciggie would be thinking differently nowadays, because of the hatred and fear of smokers which has been fed to normal thinking people? I notice the interviewer has not got a FAKE cough and has no fear of SHS. I have a problem with getting into the conversation between them because of that sadly.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Yes, it’s amazing, isn’t it? Brian Magee didn’t start coughing and waving his hands around. The show wasn’t stopped, and the studio evacuated. A team of firemen didn’t hose down the cigarette. What utter madness we have come to!

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      You have a problem getting into the conversation because he hasn’t got a fake cough or fear of SHS?

      Apols if I’ve misunderstood what you’ve written, Mandy. Actually, the discussion is a bit heavy…

      *Cheers, Clicky… Have a fish

  2. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Nice to see an attractive images of smoking on the front of the FT ;)

  3. sackersonwp says:

    By being seldom seen, I could not stir
    But like a comet I was wonder’d at;
    That men would tell their children ‘This is he;’
    Others would say ‘Where, which is Bolingbroke?’
    And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
    And dress’d myself in such humility
    That I did pluck allegiance from men’s hearts,
    Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths,
    Even in the presence of the crowned king.
    Thus did I keep my person fresh and new;
    My presence, like a robe pontifical,
    Ne’er seen but wonder’d at: and so my state,
    Seldom but sumptuous, showed like a feast
    And won by rareness such solemnity.
    The skipping king, he ambled up and down
    With shallow jesters and rash bavin wits,
    Soon kindled and soon burnt; carded his state,
    Mingled his royalty with capering fools,
    Had his great name profaned with their scorns
    And gave his countenance, against his name,
    To laugh at gibing boys and stand the push
    Of every beardless vain comparative,
    Grew a companion to the common streets,
    Enfeoff’d himself to popularity;
    That, being daily swallow’d by men’s eyes,
    They surfeited with honey and began
    To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little
    More than a little is by much too much.
    So when he had occasion to be seen,
    He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
    Heard, not regarded; seen, but with such eyes
    As, sick and blunted with community,
    Afford no extraordinary gaze,
    Such as is bent on sun-like majesty
    When it shines seldom in admiring eyes;
    But rather drowzed and hung their eyelids down,
    Slept in his face and render’d such aspect
    As cloudy men use to their adversaries,
    Being with his presence glutted, gorged and full.


    That’s the trouble: politicians don’t read Shakespeare.

  4. margo says:

    Melania Trump? You’re joking, surely – money-grabbing plastic person who can’t even write her own speech? No accounting for taste, that’s all I can say!

      • Lisboeta says:

        “Those eyes” seem to be the result of too much face-lifting. Ironically, they also mirror the squint acquired by smokers who didn’t remove the cigarette from their mouth until it was nearly burning their lip. I used to know a couple of those old-timers: skilled craftsmen, too busy with the job at hand to faff about with the fag until it came time to grind the nub into the floor. Both long gone (in their 90s) — and their crafts with them.

        • beobrigitte says:

          they also mirror the squint acquired by smokers who didn’t remove the cigarette from their mouth until it was nearly burning their lip. I used to know a couple of those old-timers: skilled craftsmen, too busy with the job at hand to faff about with the fag ..
          Indeed, these craftsmen have gone. I can prove it.
          The only reason why my front door + french back doors are PERFECT was the ASHTRAY I supplied him with after I saw him sneaking into the garden for a cigarette….

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      Well, she’s not the first, Margo ;)


      If she wants to use plastic surgery to beautify herself she can, but she also runs incredible risks as the majority of people in this world really don’t need it

    • garyk30 says:

      You have known her for a long time?

    • beobrigitte says:

      Ah, but those eyes!
      They are the weirdest I’ve ever seen!!!

      Melania Trump? You’re joking, surely – money-grabbing plastic person who can’t even write her own speech? No accounting for taste, that’s all I can say!
      I don’t know about her money grabbing, but the plastic (surgery) is obvious! I’m afraid I can’t see any likeness to Jackie Kennedy, who – as far as I remember – was the envy of many women at the time. Not for John but for her living her life the way women at the time could only dream of.

  5. Barry Homan says:

    For Frank

  6. James says:

    The ones I loathe and detest ,with an all,consuming rage, are the ones who have never had a job ,other than politics, like Kinnock junior, et al , it’s the sense of entitlement that grates. Freeloading bastards.

  7. Loathe the late Earl of Home? Never! A great PM in that he did bugger all and was proud of it. Maggie? Loved her and loathed her in equal measure. The rest were total arseholes.

  8. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Growing up, my familiarity with political figures was reliant on whether or not they did a good Mike Yarwood impression ;)

    I liked Thatch, and got ridiculed at school for having the temerity to voice such an outlandish opinion. That was a great time for political satire…

    The best Blair, by a mile, was by Harry Enfield…

    Of the politicians I have actually met: my MP has a weak handshake and ran away from my doorstep when I tried to talk to him about plain packaging (but he did vote against it though); Barry Sheerman is Labour but lovely – he took me on a personal tour of the Houses of Parliament and I stood in the cupboard Emily Davison hid for the 1911 census – there’s a plaque on the inside of the door…


    I worked under Jane Ellison at John Lewis in the Direct Marketing dept. I quite liked her then but wouldn’t piss on her now if she on fire and screaming in agony. “The devil is in the detail,” she was fond of saying at the time. Pfft… What a fucking, useless cunt of a bitch she turned out to be.

    And I absolutely loath Hillary Clinton.

  9. waltc says:

    Excerpt from your buddy Limbaugh’s Friday show, quoting a well-placed Democratic operative –a convicted white collar felon (Creamer)– who admits on tape to masterminding dirty tricks against Trump and planting the meme of his supporters as “deplorables.”

    Substitute the word “smoker” for “conservative” and you’ve got the progressive’s playbook against us. As for the converted critics w/i our ranks, the role seems to now belong to the vapers.

    “In general,” writes Mr. Creamer, “our strategic goal with people who have become conservative activists is not to convert them — that isn’t going to happen. It is to demoralize them — to ‘deactivate’ them. We need to deflate their enthusiasm, to make them lose their ardor and above all their self-confidence…[A] way to demoralize conservative activists is to surround them with the echo chamber of our positions and assumptions. We need to make them feel that they are not mainstream, to make them feel isolated… We must isolate them ideologically…[and] use the progressive echo chamber,” meaning the media and the blogs and whatever. “By defeating them and isolating them ideologically, we demoralize conservative activists directly. Then they begin to quarrel among themselves or blame each other for defeat in isolation, and that demoralizes them further.”

    Rush then comments: ” My instincts never fail me. This is exactly what I’ve known this is all about. It’s all about deflating you, demoralizing you, depressing you, suppressing you. And it’s created the infighting. Look, we can’t unify around anything on our side, not even the concept of beating them. We’ve got factions at war with each other. We’ve got conservatives saying vicious things about other conservatives that they never even say about Democrats.

    We have conservatives in the media, we have conservatives in politics, conservatives in elective office who sometimes say more caustic, critical things of fellow conservatives than they ever say about Democrats. And this guy Creamer says that this is what they hope to achieve. ”


  10. Clicky says:

  11. Pingback: Collective Madness | Frank Davis

  12. beobrigitte says:

    What is it about politicians that makes them all so loathsome?
    There is a long list, top is being impressionable idiots. (Some exceptions, e.g. Helmut Schmidt apply).
    I learned of another Helmut Schmidt answer last night.
    Apparently one of the (?anti-smoking) interviewers told Helmut Schmidt that his 9 year old son had asked to pass the request on to Helmut Schmidt: “Please stop smoking”.
    Helmut Schmidt replied: “Please tell your son I confirm the receipt of his request”.

    I can only guess that the (rather unhealthy looking) guy from “Pro-Rauchfrei” (Pro-Smokefree) was relieved when Helmut Schmidt died prematurely of “smoking related diseases” at the age of 96.

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