I am I admit a little smug. Smug is a wretched word describing a condition of self-satisfied, self-restrained righteousness that is most unattractive. I’m smug because I’ve lost 10 kilos since Christmas. I look like Gary Lineker. “Well fit” as they say in my gym (I made the gym bit up, sorry, there has to be a limit).
And then I saw that picture of our leader on holiday in Cornwall.
He looks a bit pie-addicted, a bit… how shall I put it?... well tummied. The sort of Tory who hunts and is “no stanger to the Melton Mowbray.” As Caitlin Moran said he looks like a ham. I’m afraid he does.
David belongs to a particular breed of politician – I refer to well known porkers like the remarkable Alex Salmond seen here describing the size of the haggis he has his eye on for a light snack between bills.
So am I just being fattist in the same way Julius Caesar was thinnist (hating Cassius’ “lean and hungry look”)?
On balance I prefer life affirming enthusiasts who eat and laugh and party. Bill Clinton, naughty in so many ways, was kept in shape by a chef who doctored his food with highly flavoured low calorie stuff. (“No Bill that wan’t a pie it was a calorie free soya and, lentil crispie.”)
It’s the larger than life bit that worries me. It suggests they may lack the restraint that we seem to need in a crazy world.
In a book called the Peter Principle written by Laurence J Peter in 1969, a study of why things always go wrong in business, he has this to say about leaders:
“(Many) simply follow precedents, obey regulations and move at the head of the crowd. Such people lead only in the sense that a carved wooden figurehead leads the ship.”
If we want our figureheads to be slim, fit and attractive we have poor pickings amongst our current front benches. But maybe the zeitgeist has shifted anyway as America suggests looking at future presidential candidates, from Mr cool, sleek Obama to a new breed of figurehead like the hotly tipped Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.
I’m tempted to get off the slimming wagon. After all, scrawny suddenly seems so yesterday. But even as I feel like partying I look at the photo of the Cornwall Corpulent again.
Diet Coke anyone?