The dictionary definition for gesture politics reads: “Any action by a person or organisation done for political reason and intended to attract public attention but having little real effect”. A recent example was the high profile use of Home Office Vans telling illegal immigrants to GO HOME!
David Cameron is no more guilty of gesture politics than the rest of them- Milliband, Clegg, Osborne, Balls-it’s a staple of political life.
Where he is the master is in his powerful, practised use of gesture when speaking.
He knows that body language and gesture, tone and expression count for much more than words alone .Even when on the defensive, digging himself out of a hole ( like the recent vote on Syria that went against him) he manages through strong gesture to look as if he is in command.
His clever use of body language cannot be just down to his personality. He appreciates that ‘intent drives gesture’ and sets about making his intentions very clear. When he stepped into the limelight 8 years ago with his ‘no-notes’ speech (since aped by Milliband) he knew that the way he said it was more important than the what.
The world’s most powerful female politician displays her strength through stillness and one characteristic non-gesture that conveys certainty and reassurance.
Her ‘intent’ is clear.