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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Those narcissistic politicians

Yesterday's Telegraph reviewed the Christmas cards of leading politicians and it did not like what it saw. Never mind selfies, the paper says that the first thing to notice about the Christmas cards of the three main party leaders is that they share a common theme. On the front of David Cameron’s card is David Cameron. On the front of Ed Miliband’s card is Ed Miliband. And on the front of Nick Clegg’s card is Nick Clegg.

This week, the Christmas cards of our leading politicians have been released to the media, and, as usual, they themselves feature prominently in the designs. I suppose it’s understandable. After all, the sort of people politicians send Christmas cards to are the sort of people who will want to show them off. A card with a nativity scene or a chortling Father Christmas would be no use. It would be indistinguishable from a card sent by an unimportant person.

Instead, it must be instantly identifiable as the work of a statesman. It must say to the startled neighbour or guest, “Yes! The people to whose home you are privileged to be invited are of sufficient status to warrant the leader of the Liberal Democrats devoting 0.6 seconds of his incalculably precious time to dashing off his signature on their behalf!”

If anything, politicians’ Christmas cards are designed to appeal not to the vanity of the sender, but the vanity of the recipient. 

A bit harsh perhaps but at least David Cameron is not sending out a pop-up model of the House of Commons, the UK equivalent of Obama's card as shown below:.

Now  that would be worth displaying on a mantlepiece.

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