Monday, November 14, 2011

Um, Yasmin?

A slightly weird piece this from Yasmin Alibhai Brown. Effectively, it complains about the role charisma plays in democracy, and compares Berlusconi to Boris (and, bizarrely, to Ayatollah Khomenie, who might be a touch uncomfortable in that company).

But what to make of this?

Increasingly, winning elections is for those who grasp populism and are able to deploy it to their advantage.

Breaking news from 5th century Athens!

Some of us are grim and humourless enough to believe the adulation of colourful figures corrupts democracy.

Some of us have read enough history to know that democracy is all about colourful figures, albeit tempered by sufficient institutional strength to deliver checks and balances: Disraeli, Palmerston, Lloyd George, Churchill, Thatcher.

We are a fast-dying species. The winners will take it all.

This column was delivered to you from a sandwich board on Oxford Street.

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