Saturday, 15 August 2009

Image is everything . . . at least for some

Actually, it has always been that way. A couple of millenia ago, Jesus said of some of the religious leaders of his day, “Everything they do is done for men to see.” And he continued:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness*. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. ” (Matthew 23:5, 27-28)
In other words, they were seen as decent blokes, due in no small part to the fact that they carefully cultivated their image. We might say that they did a fairly good job of fooling most of the people, most of the time.

In politics, image is particularly important. (In fact, when it comes to getting elected, it is everything.) And in modern Britain, a politician's image needs to include "caring".

What we need, however, are not politicians who appear to be caring - but who care for little other than their own image. We need politicians who actually care.

And who care about things like the fact that Britain’s cancer survival rates are among the lowest in the western world.

And who are prepared to ask hard questions about why that is.

And, who will, if need be, say unpopular things to the electorate about what might require to be done.

*dead people’s bones and uncleanness. You just know that this post is going to be about the NHS, don’t you?

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