Which modern politicians do you admire?

Analysis of political issues across the world

Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Elliott » 15 Aug 2011, 00:16

I mean politicians who are active today.

For me the list is extremely short.

Richard Shepherd seems an honest man, and an old-fashioned gentleman (which I naively think we should expect politicians to be).

Lord Pearson I think genuinely means what he says. He says what he believes! And again, he sounds old-fashioned and posh.

Nigel Farage is probably full of hot air, but I do like him. He has a roguish quality and I can imagine him getting things done. I very much hope that UKIP will have a better standing in Parliament after the next election.

David Cameron nearly made this list, but he seems too much like he wants everyone to like him, and that reminds me of Tony Blair. I never know whether to believe anything Cameron says. He sounds like he means something, but then I remember that he was in the Bullingdon Club and I do wonder what kind of person enjoys smashing up an expensive restaurant.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Mike » 15 Aug 2011, 00:56

There are no politicians to admire here in Australia at the moment. They are, to a man and woman, slaves to focus groups and media-driven trivialisation of policy. Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is a complete nobody, a Labour apparatchik programmed with a barrage of clichés for every occasion. She has no personality whatsoever, no firm beliefs of any kind, and no ability to connect with her electorate on any level.

Our opposition leader Tony Abbott is, if anything, even worse. A complete and unabashed media whore completely incapable of thinking beyond five-second soundbites, he represents the nominal conservative party but his proposed alternative to the notorious carbon tax just introduced by Gillard was...massive direct government intervention! His policies have been hopelessly contradictory and his populist stunts have become an absolute laughing-stock.

Gillard's predecessor as Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was very much a product of his times, a career diplomat with incurable delusions of grandeur. He saw political rhetoric as reality and pieces of paper as the solution to all the world's problems, and although he had marginally more popular appeal than Gillard he was eventually deemed unelectable by the Labour party machine, which forced him out in 2010.

And there's no-one outside of this grim triumvirate who inspires any confidence, with the possible exception of Malcolm Turnbull, who's far from perfect but at least has some intelligence and a few ideas of his own.

It says something about the current state of Australian politics that the politician I probably admire the most of the current crop is the Greens leader Dr. Bob Brown - not because I agree with his policies (in fact I disagree with the majority of them), but simply because he's been laudably consistent in them (much easier as the leader of a minor party, of course).
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Gavin » 21 Aug 2011, 11:46

MP Phillip Hollobone instantaneously won my respect with the comments cited in this article. He showed a courage very rarely seen among politicians as he gave voice to what many ordinary members of the public were thinking.

I wonder how his bill is progressing now. I assume it was stopped in its tracks by the powers of bureaucracy, human rights, EU etc. to the detriment of all of us.

I also like Daniel Hannan, MEP. It was nice to see him in conversation with Dalrymple a year or so ago. That was such a civilised evening. As Hannan pointed out, Dalrymple has a very jovial manner despite the subjects of which he writes.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Elliott » 21 Aug 2011, 18:18

I also like Daniel Hannan, in the sense that he's easy to warm to and seems quite sensible. However, as somebody pointed out when commenting on one of Hannan's articles, he is in the pay of the organisation he claims to want to bring down. It's the same thing with UKIP who apparently get millions from the EU. Is it wise of us to take these people seriously? (On the other hand, I realise Hannan could be doing good precisely by being in the EU, being involved with the decision-making etc. I just think the job would be "morally cleaner" if done from outside the EU, campaigning to get us out.)

The Hollobone article about banning the burka takes us into territory in which it is very easy to appear bigoted and narrow-minded. I think most of us know what most of us think about it, so there's probably no need to verbalise those feelings.

But I will say one thing about any potential ban of the burka: I think it may be one of those laws which can only be phrased in such a way that will inconvenience everybody else. You can't explicitly say "we're banning the burka and niqab"; you have to say "we're banning clothes that cover the face", which could include other forms of dress - motorcycle helmets, those masks some cyclists wear across their mouths, etc. You'd end up creating a piece of unwieldy legislation, a sledgehammer to crack a nut. This is the problem with the West: we're too polite to say what we really mean for fear of causing offence, so we'll end up inconveniencing everyone equally.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Gavin » 21 Aug 2011, 18:54

You certainly raise an interesting point, Elliott. Everybody knows real purpose of these proposals (though they are rarely made and even more rarely implemented): to restrict the Islamisation of the UK.

There will be occasions when they can't take these measures clandestinely, viz. in ways which affect everybody else.

For example see the case of Gavin Boby, who is trying to limit the building of mosques in the UK. It's hard for him to come up with excuses so he is just telling it how he sees it: Islam is at heart an imperialist and intolerant faith and its spread must be limited on those grounds. (It is interesting to see however that his adversaries do use euphemisms - e.g. a "community centre".)

It is funny how politicians bend over backwards never to say anything negative about Islam, when one only needs to open the Quran on any page to see it hardly preaches multiculturalism. I think think they know that this is the case but genuinely are frightened of what would happen if they were to speak the truth (as for example Geert Wilders does). They would have to increase their own security rather more for a start, it would have an impact on trade, national security and more.

We have certainly got ourselves into a tricky position. Perhaps coming up with these excuses is the easiest way to restrict Islam in the early stages, and inconvenience is a price the rest of us will just have to bear (as we do at airport queues).
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Gavin » 21 Aug 2011, 18:56

Regarding Mr Hannan, good point also. I wonder if he would openly admit he would like to be out of a job, with the dismantling of the European Parliament. Of course, he could easily get another.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Elliott » 21 Aug 2011, 19:02

Gavin wrote:Regarding Mr Hannan, good point also. I wonder if he would openly admit he would like to be out of a job, with the dismantling of the European Parliament.
Yes. A similar dilemma must apply to diversity and equality officers. If there was loads of diversity and no inequality, they'd be unemployed, so they must keep finding inequality to justify their salaries!

Of course, he could easily get another.
A think-tank? A quango? I'd rather not see Mr Hannan doing those things!

Perhaps Hannan is a man whose raison d'etre relies on the age he's living in. We don't remember Bishop Wilberforce for being a bishop, after all.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Gavin » 21 Aug 2011, 19:34

I also like Iain Duncan Smith. He was speaking some serious sense following the riots. I am glad he's in charge of welfare reform but expect he will not be allowed to take bold enough steps to correct things.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Steve » 31 Aug 2011, 19:53

I too admire Daniel Hannan. As an American, I must admit I know of almost no other British politician (speaking of nationalty only -- I know Hannan is not in the British Parliament).

Here in America, I have great respect for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, whom I think has the right philosophy, policies, temperament and rhetorical skills (some would disagree on that last bit). I was excited that he was considering a Presidential campaign and was very disappointed when he backed out (his wife and daughters asked him not to do it).

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is also very high on my list. While not conservative on many social issues, he is the strongest and most inspirational leader on fiscal policy.

I also like Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, freshman Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona (who has announced he will soon retire), Senator John Thune of Minnesota and many others.

I must say, there are many good politicians in the U.S. at the moment. It's unfortunate for me and the country that our current crop of Republican Presidential candidates is so weak, but they would all make better Presidents than our current one. I am optimistic about our future leaders. Unfortunately, they are counter-balanced by an equal number with an entirely different philosophy and vision.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Gavin » 19 Feb 2012, 22:58

Also interviewed by Andrew Marr today was William Hague, and I should have mentioned earlier that I like him a lot too. He seems to be realistic and very well informed. He also has a good sense of humour!

I would fault his PR on that scandal re. his colleague sharing a room with him. I think he should have just laughed that off (and pointed out that it saved the taxpayer money).
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Gavin » 24 Feb 2012, 09:59

I also like Geert Wilders. If nothing else his honesty, since he seems to be saying what he really believes - which is almost unheard of among Western politicians. But of course he is also trying to defend European culture and specifically the culture of his own country. For his pains he lives under constant armed guard.

I think Dalrymple has in some places written favourably of Wilders, but he has stopped short of fully endorsing him. He said words to the effect that he would be wary of any politician who campaigns on one particularly issue. I can see Dalrymple's point, but it seems to me this is rather a big, looming issue which affects many others.

You can see Mr Wilders in conversation with a BBC liberal here (the same one who presided over Dr Starkey's "mis-speaking" some weeks ago too, actually).
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Elliott » 24 Feb 2012, 14:37

That interview actually isn't as bad as I was expecting.

But Emily Maitlis, the interviewer, goes down the same blind alley as liberals always do: saying that there's lots of violence in the Old and New Testaments just like in the Qu'ran. While this may be true, the fact is that Jews and Christians are not a terrorist threat in every country in which they reside, and the countries in which Judaism or Christianity reigns supreme are not backward hellholes with dysfunctional cultures but all Islamic countries are.

We can argue about the details of religious texts and whether they're supposed to be the word of God etc. etc. but this is all utterly irrelevant. The fact is that, for whatever reasons, Islamic culture is abhorrent, backward and aggressive, and the integration of Muslims into the West is defined by how far they are able to shed Islam.

As for us, the people whose countries are taking on millions of Muslims, we are not being enriched by it - and the facts of blatant cultural disparity are not changed by an examination of minutiae.

As for Geert Wilders, I thought he seemed very reasonable. He should probably do something about his hairstyle so that liberals can't point to it as evidence of madness.
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Re: Which modern politicians do you admire?

Postby Tomasz » 01 Mar 2012, 21:55

In Great Britain, we have nowdays one great politician - Alex Salmond. His ideas re not mine and I disagree with his vision independent Scotland. Howeever we should fairly see his achievements. He changed SNP from small, not treadted seriously party to big, well respected, having power in Scotland. He marginalised Tories, Labours and Liberal Democrats in Scotland. With iron consequences, step by step Salmond is going closer and closer to final target. We can disagree with him, but is difficult to refuse his talents.
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