In the 2015 British election, leaders of both the main parties spent a lot of time on photo opportunities that tried to show they were down-to-earth, common men who ate regular food. I guess having a potential premier who can eat a bacon and egg butty like a regular working-class guy is the end-goal of British politics. Not that I mean to mock, because after all, Canadian politicians are tripping over themselves this summer to trumpet the “middle class,” whoever they are
But the Brits take their photo opps very, very seriously, and it seems the sandwich thing got out of hand in the recent election campaign. First, the sitting prime minister, Conservative David Cameron, was mocked for eating a hot dog with a knife and fork.
Then, the Labour Leader Ed Milliband was severely mocked for his inability to eat a bacon and egg sarny without looking like a fool.
Then Cameron, mocked again, for handing his wife a knife and fork before eating a bacon and egg sandwich themselves.
It seems being able to eat a sandwich with only your hands is a necessary skill to lead the British people. And then there was the photo (above) of Cameron reading to school children, when the young lady had enough and put her head on the table. That didn’t look good for Cameron either.
But frankly, all this photo opp back and forth showed is that it is very easy to make a politician look silly in photos, especially during campaign times. As one writer at the Guardian newspaper suggested, perhaps we should ban photo opportunities entirely until after the election:Let’s literally go dark for a month before the election. No pictures, no videos, only policies.”
But then what would tabloid editors and editorial cartoonists do?
By the way, the Conservatives won the election, so maybe sleeping kids and knives and forks are better than looking awkward while chewing.