Nothing Like Good PR and a Smile
George W Bush has paid a jokey visit to a hardware store in Dallas, Texas, which offered him a job as a greeter.
The former US president entered the Elliott’s outlet with his security detail saying “I’m looking for a job”, store manager Andrea Bond said.
The owner of the Texas chain made the offer earlier this month in a letter published in a Dallas newspaper.
But despite not yet having a publisher for his memoirs, Mr Bush decided on reflection to turn the job down.
Thought that this was quite good, I like the fact he’s up for a laugh and is quite aware of the good PR it gives. I mean say what you will about his Presidency but the one thing I think Bush is good at is being funny and a genuine person. I think that’s the main reason he got elected & re-elected. When it comes to Politics people feel distant from those who claim to represent them. I mean I don’t feel attached or on a par with any of the current crop of party leaders here in the UK. I know that shouldn’t play to big a part in casting your vote, what they stand for and plan to do should, however if you like who’s fronting the party you’re more likely to vote for them. Take Blair for example; I mean I know a major factor was that the Conservatives were in termoil but the guy was charasmatic, youthful and people connected with that.
I guess that says a lot about Politics today when people merely vote for you because you look good and give good sound bytes. This just adds to my apathy with regards to Politics in general. I had a minor passion about it when I was in College. I studied it at A-Level as well as join the Student Council whilst I was there. I even went as far as being voted on to the Council to help press students issues to the College as well as nationally via the NUS. I guess this was where things started to go downhill. Firstly I got a greater knowledge of Politics and its processes by studying so when I learned that parties rarely fulfil their manifestos (if at all) I thought “wha? Then why vote them in if all they do is backtrack?” If you plan to do something and you have the majority as well as the publics’ backing, which you do, then why suddenly pull up about it. Take Labour and the good ‘ol Euro. First it was the 5 Economic Tests, then those were satisfied, Labour decided the time wasn’t quite right yet. Next there were mootings of a referendum on the Euro but then it was decided we can’t possibly think for ourselves and make an informed decision. So Labour, rather than be ballsy about it and do what they say, decided to keep the status-quo and keep out of it.
The next chapter in the downfall of Politics in my life was an ill-fated trip to the NUS conference in, I think 2000, at Blackpool. I was really excited about going for two reasons, firstly it was a trip away from home and, since we had a free vote (as in our votes on the main topics weren’t pre-determined), any member of our delegation could vote how they like. However the glee soon turned to dread. Not so much the venue but the people. I got on well with one member of our delegation however the other person, well, let’s say we didn’t get on… at all. If I recall correctly on one of the evenings, sharing the room with the person I got on with, we were chatting about some of the ladies present at the conference which included the other member of our party who had her own room next door. During this conversation my companion asked my opinion of her and I said she’s cool but not someone I’m in to. Harmless enough I thought, non-committal and certainly not insinuating anything. However, next day almost as soon as I left my room, I was treated to a rant about how she wasn’t “one of the women here!” She even did that wonderfully annoying Dr. Evil quotes thing. So that put me in a foul mood which was only amplified when, later that day on a key vote, she told us that we must vote her way. The vote, if I remember correctly, was about having a march about fees with regards to the NHS and students. I didn’t feel that a march was appropriate at that juncture and was voting against as was my roommate. However she was completely for marching and started telling me how we should vote her way and that it’s imperative we vote as one. I carefully reminded her that we have no mandate and each of us could vote how we wish, so with disgust she voted for and we against.
The final straw on this mis-adventure was when our ex-Student Council President asked me to sit in on a vote for him. This was fine as all one does is watch the votes being counted and make sure no-one is adding ones in or fixing the vote somehow. The problem came when, unfortunately, the ex-SCP was out in the first round of votes and this meant I now had to wait until all the votes were counted. Again, fine, I understand why I can’t leave, the problem was that the provisions they provided were minimal and I had to buy in some. Now the hotel where the votes were being counted was damn well costly and as I didn’t earn any money whilst I was at College it put quite a dent in my pocket. I mean it was an all an experience, not a great one, but then life isn’t always a playground and I learnt quite a few lessons there. However to say it soured my interest in Politics is to put it lightly, it pretty much neutered my interested which didn’t help motivate me when exam time came; I passed though.
Politics for me hasn’t completed died yet but as the current issues continue it’s almost there. It’s pretty much that faithful family pet which slowly but surely gets worse and worse until finally you’re forced to do what’s necessary to make sure it suffers no more. I’m hoping that something will change this, I don’t want my brain to stab me in the back of the eyes every time Politics comes up in a conversation. I want to be interested again, I want to have an opinion and feel that my opinion counts and that a change in regime means a change rather than re-branding existing initiatives. Perhaps the migration to Australia will re-light this fire. As far as I remember voting is compulsory but I’m not sure how being a migrant affects this. I just hope that the admiration I had for my father when I was young and watching him enact change through Politics won’t be extinguished by an annoying woman who didn’t think before speaking and an organisation I feel is losing its value.