Friday, 23 January 2009
What's in a name?
I don't know when it was that party image makers started to shorten the first names of politicians, it just seemed to creep up on us. Almost overnight the rather pompous sounding former Oswald Mosley admirer and Bilderberg Group member Kenneth Clarke became avuncular man of the people "Ken" Clarke. The sort of bloke that you wouldn't mind having as a brother-in-law. Likes a pint, good with the kids. Good old Ken. I bet his Mum never called him Ken.
I'm not sure that the device has worked so well with Vincent Cable. Vince Cable sounds like a 50's biker complete with massive quiff, shirt collar turned up, handy with the nut. Anyone less likely to have hung out at the Ace Cafe than the Honorable Member for Twickenham would be difficult to imagine. Along with a great many others I have a bit of a soft spot for Vince, there is an air of intelligence and decency about him that is unusual in a politician. However his appearance as a castaway on Desert Island Discs did reveal a couple of shortcomings. His mind numbing taste in music and his truly awful choice of father. Cable Snr. comes across as an authoritarian, right-wing,bigoted god-botherer. He finally got to meet his maker after catching pneumonia as a result of leafleting for Margaret Thatcher in the pissing rain.