For bizarre reasons i watched (endured) BBC3's countdown of the top 5o most annoying people of 2007. For those who avoid such programmes, this is an opportunity for annoying journalists and comedians to slag off the equally annoying celebrities on whose career said journalists depend; yes high-brow entertainment. But it was interesting to see politicians appearing in the list, and the reasons for their entry.
I am not sure if any Conservatives were in the list, if they were they were 49 or 50 as I missed the start, only government front benchers made it above that. The first was Gordon Brown at No 39. To the tune of The Stranglers' golden brown the voice over talked of the events of the summer that were beyond his control but then the bit that really annoys us: his attempt to write himself out of Labour's history for the last 12 years. So no disagreement there then?
Next we find at No 25 Patricia Hewitt for the smoking ban, and at No 14 Alan Johnson for equating obesity to global warming. The message here is clearly that politicians should not try to interfere with personal freedom.
But the most annoying politician, who would have guessed it, well probably all of us, it was of course Tony Blair in the top ten at No 8. Why, for his long looonnnngggg goodbye. Sandwiched between Britney Spears and Paris Hilton (which is no place for a good catholic boy to be [sorry couldn't resist]) he was roundly mocked for attempting to build himself a 'legacy'.
The programme perfectly showed how politicians are, or at least seem to be treated by the media and public as, essentially just celebrities that talk about politics. There are boundaries of behaviour set for them and as long as they confine themselves beyond those boundaries they are safe from too much approbation. Perhaps these four have all been too high profile for annoying the public, Brown and Blair I expected to be there, Hewitt and Johnson I didn't; but there is perhaps something of a logic about it in terms of the opinions of those who would construct and those who watch these programmes.
The great moment for me, a sour faced Gordon Brown coinciding with the lyric 'never a frown with golden brown'; perhaps someone should do some new lyrics and put it out as Brown's campaign song!!!