Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What Kind of Poetry Do You Read, Mr President?

Simon Jenkins points out - here - that both Thatcher and Blair succeeded by ignoring their parties. This, Simon thinks, was a mistake. Probably. On the other hand, who can blame them? David Cameron, he thinks, is making the same mistake. Again, probably. But what neither wise Simon nor anybody else has pointed out is that Cameron's real innovation is to ignore the press. He keeps getting bad coverage but sails on regardless. This may be a mistake - but who can blame him? All of which is but a prelude to boasting of my new killer question for politicians. I've tried it once and it worked like a dream. With airy insouciance, you ask: "What kind of poetry do you read?" What then flickers across their agonised features would be categorised in some quarters as cognitive dissonance.


  1. I don't know whether to admit it or proclaim it. I don't read poetry. There, I've said it. I've nothing against those who do, but it does nothing for me. I don't know whether it's like your first glass of Guiness - you need to persevere, or whether I was immunised at school with Kipling and Coleridge Taylor (and chance encounters with Patience Strong).

    I think I'll try some of these other names you've been mentioning though...

  2. No compulsion involved, David. It's just one of those things that certainn types of pompous feel they can't admit that they don't do.