As I have already said, I do like politicians to be human – a little human weakness brings a remote politician down to an accessible level.
Of course there are exceptions – I happen to believe that George W has taken this philosophy to an uncomfortable extreme. Condoleezza Rice, however, has until now appeared to me to be too perfect – hair, complexion, carefully crafted speeches – so I was so delighted to hear a clip of her apology to Barack Obama over the unauthorised access to his passport information, in which she earnestly promised that she would ‘stay on top of it and get to the bottom of it.’ I guess only a politician could do both....
In the Philippines, devoted Catholics re-enact the Crucifixion, even to the extent of participants flagellating themselves with whips or bamboos before being nailed to a cross.
Enter Francisco Duque, Health Secretary, who has been refreshingly down to earth with his sound health advice.
The six-inch nails must be thoroughly sterilised, and participants should make sure that their tetanus shots are up to date. Furthermore, he says that ‘the best penitents can do is ensure that their whips are well-maintained’.
This advice seems to me to serve two purposes: it reminds these Devoted Christians of the obvious health risks; but more importantly, it reminds them that they are, after all, mere humans like the rest of us!