The dry-run of the also-rans, Ask the Chancellors, took place last week. As anticipated it was dull and dreary. The equivalent of the ‘procurement police’ saw to that with a strictly observed 76-point code, answers time-limited, and the audience banned from clapping or jeering, not that there was much to provoke either.
AA Gill, in typically ascerbic mode, said that “In the end it was all about the tie. As much time will have gone in getting the look right as the content. The look is as important as anything they have to say. They know the voters won’t be able to differentiate between them”.
Our three PM reality show contenders know this. They are well aware of the Nixon factor and are preparing accordingly with numerous coaches and advisers focusing in on look, style and tone of performance.
In one guise or another they each have a “saatchi” (see last post) to stiffen up their attitude. They each have wives, all of whom would be more attractive performers in this male-dominated show, to advise on how to make the emotional connection.
Certainly two have called in people who did it for Obama. One gives lessons on “how to sit, how to stand, how to gesture, how to pause”. Another, helping intonation, gets his pupil to say a seven word sentence seven times, each time emphasising a different word. Imagine Gordon practising …..
All this effort may seem faintly ridiculous as a way of deciding our future but the fact is most close pitch decisions, political or business, come down to “A sort of gut instinct. A feeling. It’s not what you say, it’s what you look like saying it”.
Who will chose the ties? After the negative reactions to Sam’s dressed down Dave and Sarah’s casual Gordie, it will probably be the focus groups.