Fairly simple. I very much doubt I would have been able to vote for Anne Robinson if she’d been the Conservative candidate for London Mayor last year, as she claims she was asked. Now, of course, I’ve no idea what conversation took place, but there’s being asked and being asked. There can be few men who haven’t – at the wrong end of an evening in the pub – been suggested as a potential Prime Minister after outlining their schemes to solve all the country’s ills. Then again, most men don’t then do an interview with The Independent and throw in such comments to get a bit of publicity for their new chat show.
What worries me is that a supposedly reputable paper takes such an interview, then creates an article and an editorial out of it without really questioning it. Have we really become so obsessed with celebrity? That such comments are seen as perfectly reasonable, that celebrity is the prime qualification for political office?
Gordon Brown, after all, promised an end to the Blairite obsession with celebrity – then invited just as many D-listers as would accept to Downing Street. And this is perhaps the problem with Mayoral systems, that we end up considering not the candidates with the best executive experience, or the best policy ideas, but the candidate with the best name recognition.
[As an aside, if you do a Google image search for ‘Anne Robinson’ virtually every result is from the Daily Mail – which says something, though I’m not sure what.]