Personalities and Politics

Whilst I appreciate it is an easy trap to fall into, one of the dangers of being involved in politics is sometimes taking an exceptional dislike to an individual because of their politics.
Now I am not being twee here, for example I think it's right that, if someone shared the politics of Adolf Hitler it might not be a good idea to invite them round for dinner with a few of your friends. But where centre politics are concerned, whether right or left, I think it is important to divorce personalities from politics. If nothing else it helps foster respect from the electorate.
So I am a little bit bothered when some Conservatives and Liberal Democrats make a few personal jibes about Gordon Brown.
So I was a bit disapointed when Iain Dale made a sweep at Gordon Brown for simply being on the Rugby World Cup platform last night. It wasn't as if he was putting forward some policy that would upset the political opposition and I am wondering if he would have written the same post if it was a Conservative government and David Cameron was there instead.
Of course the acid test is how I would feel if any Conservative leader, past or present, was there and for me personally I would not have been bothered. If people don't like Gordon Brown then fine, if they don't like his politics then fine, but don't have a go at him for doing his job and try to avoid making personal attacks for electoral gain.

UPDATE: Iain has since made it clear that he was referring to Gordon Brown being with Heads of State, and Gordon being Head of Government. Fair enough and I take back my accusation


Iain Dale said…
Paul, I obviously didn't make it clear. I objected because he is not Head of State - unlike Sarkozy and Mbeki. If anyone should have been on the podium it was Princess Anne or Prince William. I would have also objected if David Cameron had done it. But then he wouldn't have been so crass.
Red and White said…
You make a good point about respect for the electorate. I must confess t is hard for me sometimes to treat supporters of Thaksin (I live in Thailand) without slight prejudice but it is important to try and do so.
Paul Burgin said…
Iain, I get your point and will clarify on my blog entry, however Prime Ministers have done this in the past. Harold Wilson and John Major spring to mind.
Anonymous said…
I'm so tired of Gordon Brown pretending to be English when it comes to sport. Surely no Scottish person wanted England to win the rugby - they hate the English! Every non-english person I know was supporting South Africa.
Anonymous said…
Last time I looked, John Major wasn't Scottish either.
Paul Burgin said…
Well it so happens that Gordon Brown is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, which includes England
Falco said…
And don't we know it with his "Britain, Britain, Britain, etc." mantra. No mention of England though, nor the West Lothian question, nor the Barnett Formula, etc.

I think the contempt that he shows England combined with trying to grandstand with the rugby team is what rankles.

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