Monday, February 02, 2009

Celebrity politiics

Being a man of a certain age I have to confess that I'm missing the delightful Carol Vorderman from our TV screens - but what on earth are the Tories up to recruiting her to head a "maths task force"?

I've no idea what Ms. Vorderman's political affiliations are, but I certainly won't be swayed to vote Tory just because she does (if she does) and I'm damn sure it won't make a bit of difference to the electorate either.

I'm well aware of Ms. Vorderman's acute mathematical mind as well, but does fronting a game show for 20 odd years qualify her as an education guru?

My biggest concern, though, is that this strikes me as the kind of celebrity politics which this nation could do with a lot less of. I know that the Tories - and others - will claim that this is using the celebrity culture to drive up interest in certain things, but I'd argue that there are probably very few kids who either know or care about Ms. Vorderman.

I'd also argue that for those that do, using celebrities tends to give children unrealistic expectations. Rather like the way they use football players to try and connect with kids leaves many children with the false impression that they can realistically expect to become professional footballers and earn bucket loads of money - which very, very few actually can and even fewer actually will.

Likewise with Ms. Vorderman - it will give many kids the impression that being good at maths might help them to achieve their dream of being on telly. Which it won't.

It is a real problem with our politics today - that they are dominated by personality rather than policy. Indeed, politics is very much a reflection of Britain itself - an ultra thin shiny veneer covering a massive substance, value and moral free void.

1 comment:

bernard said...

You say: "- that they are dominated by personality rather than policy."

I would say politics is increasingly dominated by women, which accounts for the welter of laws & regulations.