Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Why so miserable Gordon ?

I'm not going to comment on the Rugby World Cup Final - a triumph in the end of skill over passion, and in spite of the disputed try probably a fair result. It was the presentation of the silverware at the end that got me going.

There was Sakozy as the host who, despite being a Tory still managed to look cool (well he is French after all) and then there was Gordon Brown, in contrast looking every inch the disgruntled Presbyterian bank manager.

Putting both to shame was the South African President Thabo Mloeki; the only one who actually looked like he wanted to be there. He was wearing a Springboks anorak and jumping up and down with excitement, laughing and joking , slapping the players on the back as they collected their medals. In fact I ignorantly assumed at first that he must be a member of the South African coaching entourage who had somehow got onto the platform. So obviously did some of the England players who appeared to ignore him when they collected their medals.

But why must politicians look so miserable in public - do they think it gives them some sort of gravitas ? Maybe Mloeki is a bit more self confident - after a lifetime in exile working for the ANC and with family members shot by the apartheid regime he possibly doesn't feel the need to prove anything.

Statesman who appear as human beings are surely worthy of more respect than stuffed shirts.

Remember the images at the previous South African victory in 1995 with Mandela in a Springboks shirt and cap embracing Francois
Pineaar ? This was not simply a well-spun photo opportunity - Mandela actually does have a genuine passion for the game - as incidentally did Che Guerva, who was apparently a useful scrum half.

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