The Three Stooges of Politics
As a Farrelly Brothers remake – complete with Jersey Shore cast – nears screens and as the global economy is leakier than a colander, several political commentators have been lining up their triptychs of dangerously incompetent politicians who are less a comfort – more of a menace as the "Three Stooges Of Politics". I’ve decided I can do better than arbitrary pointing at problems, and will assemble my own crackpot-team – with judgement unclouded by administration, nation or political colour.
Moe, Larry and Curly? Dick, Chuck and Harry? John Boehner, Roy Blunt and John Shadegg? Government, Spending and Entitlements? Funny? Funny how? They don’t amuse me – While any slight incompetence or turmoil is quick to be leapt on by somebody, and the perpetrator branded as hapless – to brand them as laughable as the classic comedy troupe does a disservice to them. Not only them, in fact, but it does a disservice to the truly idiotic, and true comedy geniuses of the political world, beyond bare incompetence into something unbelievable.
The first pick is a safe pick, a man that no political comedy troupe could be complete without. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, fits the blueprint for what the rest of the world think is a stereotypical Englishman. The man, for whom ‘bumbling’ is not so much an adjective as it is a raison d’etre, managed to joke his way into holding the keys of one of the world’s leading global cities – all on the back of appearances hosting a satirical news quiz, Have I got News For You. His non-sequitirs and anarchic method of getting words out of his mouth translate to his speeches, which a farcical, yet have an absurdist, comedic beauty to them.
Johnson’s famous ‘Wif-Waf’ speech, concerning the London 2012 Olympics
Boris would be just plain likeable, but unfortunately his political ineptitude remains as farcical. The man who struggles to wave flags, also struggles to not offend every group of people he encounters. Anarchic and unorthodox is his style, yet he strays into making gaffs which betray his staunchly conservative ideals when in environments off-speech. Famously, he referred to his £250k per annum income for a side-job as a newspaper columnist as ‘Chicken feed’ while recently appearing completely out of his depth when confronting the London Riots (which he struggled to return from holiday to address).
Strangely, he has managed to avoid a murky past, often linked with the Bullingdon Club – an Oxford University Society open to only the richest, public-schooled students that would allegedly smash up restaurants and rare instruments as a matter of habit. It’s curious how people will suffer fools gladly.
The Rome randy-man, Silvio, bats away accusations and allegations with such solid defence, he should be opening for Italy’s cricket team. Through countless controversies, womanising, corruption allegations – he has somehow become Italy’s longest serving post-war Prime Minister.
To focus on a single instance of his absurd unfitness for office would be missing the point. The Burlesque-pony is a thoroughly impossible politician, who affects a sheen of ridiculous so effortless distracting as his smirk – a compound creature of almost every scandal and every faux-pas who seems to remain invulnerable.
But let’s focus on one recurring instance anyway. Below is video from November 2008 in which he refers to Barack Obama as ‘tanned’ he later said “I’m paler [than Mr Obama], because it’s been so long since I went sunbathing.” Less than 6 months later, when visiting a camp of 30,000 people made homeless during a 2009 earthquake, he said to an African priest: “You have a nice tan” then grabbing the priest and saying “hold me tight and call me papa”
Clown or racist? If only it was that simple.
I was hesitant to include Gaddafi. Despite his dazzling dress-sense, his deranged rantings and his all female Amazonian guard, I struggle to make light when he is wanted for crimes against humanity. While the man has ruled Libya with an iron fist for 41 years, it seems that his reign is coming to an end, as his people revolt, propelled by the Arab-spring – Yet I still struggle to think about his ‘voluptuous blonde’ Ukrainian nurse that he does not travel without.
And it is not because of the lecture he gave to 200 young Italian women, urging them to convert to Islam either, the reason he appears here. The decider for me was the fact that: he lead a coup in Libya, held power for 41 years through a military dictatorship, yet never he never made it past the rank of Colonel. What does a man have to do? He deserves this.*
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*Yes I know, he didn’t promote himself because it was a socialist thing.
Disclaimer: The views represented here are just that, views, and in no way should any information be taken as any more true than a Wikipedia page. Nor should any new emotions – empathy, affection or admiration especially – be invoked within the reader, all politicians are arseholes. The writer acknowledges that, while he claims all of the above are idiots, each one of them is a crafty bugger who’s managed to cleverly exploit image, position, or power to remain within office – Like a politician is supposed to. This, in a sense is the great contradiction within this article and society itself: The very reasons why these are such buffoons and so politically/publicly inept is the reason why they are probably some of the cleverest political figures who have ever existed.