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Do judge a book by its cover

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

There is a 21st century world of 'first impressions' and beauty- contests', perhaps its motto is : "Do judge a book by its cover"!

Sartorial codes, financial success and social DNA normally cover most of 'appearances' of influence. But is it possible to defy stereotypes even if they are political appearance stereotypes? Can one buck the trend? Avoid the herd's expectations? Here are some illustrations of social and political attempts to transcend Britain's political hierarchies.

Harold Macmillan appealed to the outmoded aristocratic inspired electoral deference whereas Harold Wilson donned a flat cap to appeal to the 'authenticity' of his electoral claims, to working-class 'Northerners'. Both patronised their electoral power bases, and both weren't from the social classes from birth that they claimed to be. Any cynical political pitches will always try to fuse a version of anger, idealism, political courage and heartfelt sympathy and public displays of guilt.

Furthermore ensuing Acts of Contrition (very popular in this country) can overshadow any negative arguments that endanger plausible deniability. Indeed, both parties swap positions tactically and with tacitmutual agreement to do so. We can claim that the world of politics is a 'stage', one of mutual bombast, bravado, and ruthlessness. The aggregate flaws in a politician's performance will determine his electoral outcome.

We the public choose every blue moon to change things, but we prefer to reject that the 'Veneerings' who actually are our projection, our bias, our cynicism, and provide a colluseum for us to watch suits with polished shoes and cufflinks get beheaded for our amusement.

Little wonder that the general public don't trust politicians because they don't trust themselves because they are themselves.

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