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Tom Mendelsohn: Gordon Overshares

Posted by Eagle Eye
  • Thursday, 8 April 2010 at 02:10 pm
Gordon's cloth ear for man-of-the-people stuff has struck again. This morning, at the big Labour press conference at its central London HQ, he announced the following:

'She's the love of my life, and we work well together and we like going round the country together, and I'm looking forward to the campaign.'

What this has to do with politics, the election or anything else very much remains to be seen. I think that it's his misbegotten desire to seem like a man of the people that is what undermines Gordon so often. Every time he says something saccharine - like that time he weighed in on Susan Boyle's nervous breakdown on live television - he looks more like a fool and less like a statesman. He just can't competently do empathy - he always comes off as uncomfortable or insincere or trite or creepy.

His strength is surely in his leaderly gravitas rather than his down-to-earthiness, so he should be concentrating on that. He needs to be emphasising his readiness to lead a new government, and how he's the best man for the job, rather than trying to scrape off the dregs of the sappier end of the mumsnet vote with patent wishy-washy nonsense like this.

I know it's a more emotive age that we live in, but there's no good reason for our designated leaders to barrel in with all these confessionals of their own. Don't do it Gordon, it just doesn't suit you.

Back at the press conference meanwhile, Peter Mandelson, Labour's designated eater of souls, also felt moved to comment, presumably to fill the silence of the stunned aftermath: "There you are, isn't that nice," he said. 

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