Sunday, 8 June 2008

Charisma - an empty vessel?

I was particularly struck recently, while listening to a clip of Hillary Clinton addressing a rally, that the audience were not actually listening to what she was saying!

Whenever she started to speak, she would get out perhaps a dozen words before the cheering and whistling would start. The American audiences have this strange ability to emit falsetto yells of enthusiasm which effectively drown out everything the speaker is saying, so that the only people who could hear Hillary were those who were plugged into her microphone feed (i.e. the media).

I have noticed the same phenomenon when listening to live concerts being broadcast in the USA – the experience for the serious listener is all but spoiled!

Why then were the audience there?

Some were there, no doubt, for the prestige value amongst their friends, but many more must have been there because of Hillary’s CHARISMA; not her policies, not because of her effusive gratitude towards her supporters – no; because of her celebrity status, ‘personality’, and Charisma.

And Barak Obama has more!

I was similarly struck, in the UK, during the plummeting of Gordon Brown’s stature in the public opinion polls.

In the run up to the Crewe and Nantwich bye-election, there were many vox-pop interviews and more than one person gave the reason for voting against the Labour party was Gordon Brown’s lack of Charisma. Had these people been asked about Brown’s policies, or what he has achieved up to now, most would have had no idea.

Speaking for myself, I would rather have a dedicated, honest, intelligent, compassionate politician than one with Charisma any day of the week!

Certainly Mr Brown and his advisers have made some stupid mistakes and they have spent too much money, but they have also achieved a great deal. Compare their achievements in the Health Service with the 13 years under the Tories, when Ken Clarke amongst others completely messed it up!

But, God help us, David Cameron has more Charisma!

It may well be that we have had a Labour Government for too long – but I am sure as hell not ready for the Tories yet!

Maybe there is a Green Party member out there with some CHARISMA!

1 comment:

Rebecca Taunton said...

An interesting post. Charisma seems to be one of the most important things for getting votes these days but then that's not a surprise if you consider how people cherish the popularity of the stars and fame. I blame television and magazines.

I'm certainly not ready for a Tory government, and I only just remember the last!