Retail politician? Who’ll buy?

Retail politicians and premiership

Michael Gove, January 2012
Prime Minister? Me? Now there's a thought!
This Thursday’s Thought is raised by an article in the Independent by John Rentoul: what’s a ‘retail politician’? Perhaps, in contrast to a second-hand car salesman, estate agent, etc, someone you’d buy a policy from?

Not, at least, the kind derided by Lear:

Get thee glass eyes;
And, like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou dost not.

Not that it’s stopped The Telegraph using those very words about the current Prime Minister in an article entitled ‘Why shouldn’t David Cameron holiday in Tuscany?‘ (yes, that’s a thought for another Thursday):

They’d conclude that Cameron was just another scurvy politician, posing as a man of the people when, in reality, he’s a well-heeled member of Britain’s plutocratic elite.

Whatever the answer, it seems that Michael Gove ‘is not a retail politician on television’. Ah – so it’s how you look under the studio lights that matters? Still, according to John Rentoul, he still ‘could be prime minister’.

Now there’s a thought!