An extremely unpopular MP has just informed voters that the upcoming general election is not a popularity contest.
The MP addressed the crowd and urged them not to vote based on which party or which candidate they liked best on a personal level, but to instead base it on what is likely to happen to constituency and country if the candidate they vote for gets in.
The assembled crowd were seen to roll their eyes, jeer, and ultimately laugh the speaker off the stage. Hardly surprising, perhaps, as the MP in question has one of the lowest approval ratings in the whole country, and also a very narrow majority from the last election.
While the principle of judging on actions rather than words is logical enough, the episode here did illustrate all-too-precisely the way that the crowd will judge the speaker more than the words.
“It’s like when people talk about how much looks or money matter,” Professor Hugh Seywot explained. “When someone says money doesn’t matter, listeners instantly relate the statement to the speaker’s personal bank balance, and say, ‘that’s easy for them to say’ or ‘well, they would say that’ depending on whether or not the speaker is rich. Same with looks, depending on whether the speaker looks like a supermodel or an old music hall comedian.”
It certainly seems to hold true in the case of the unfortunate MP. As for what words will be uttered from the local party press office after the election . . . well, that probably depends on whether that MP is still an MP or not.