14 January 2010

Kremlinology 14: Dead Caterpillars

Brian Tobin did it.

Roger Grimes did it.

Well, yes both served their political party as leader and served the province as Premier.

jerome-kennedyBut before they became premier, they took the rather obvious step of shaving off a moustache they’d sported for years before.

There’s no coincidence.  As the groomers and other hangers-on start to gather around prospective political leaders, one of the first things they suggest is that the ‘stache has to go.

And go it does if the pol has leadership aspirations.  In countries following the British parliamentary tradition, facial hair on politicians generally – but especially on first ministers – has been out of fashion for a century.

After the fashion changed, along came the rationalisation that people don’t trust their first ministers to have beards or moustaches. There’s probably no empirical evidence to support that but it is there all the same.

And you can be guaranteed the advice will come to a politician who wants to lead anywhere:  shave it off.

It doesn’t matter if the thing works aesthetically.  Take a Gander at Jerome!’s official mug shot. The moustache is neat and well trimmed.  It’s also a natural colour, something St. John’s municipal politicians could notice. The ‘stache also gives him the appearance of having a mouth sized in proportion to his face.

He looks pretty good.

So the only reason he would dump the dead caterpillar – short of some sudden, previously undiagnosed skin condition – is political.

stacheless Here’s the new Jerome!, incidentally, in a screen cap from a recent CBC television interview.

The difference is quite striking.

Striking yes, but in some respects a difference brought on by the same limited, unimaginative thinking that wanted to take Trevor Taylor and put him through an Eliza Doolittle kind of sanitizer merely to get rid of his accent.

In Trevor’s case, his accent was not impenetrable and his tendency to use colourful language reinforced his core strength:  he spoke sincerely, honestly and straightforwardly.

In Jerome!’s case, the moustache didn’t really serve as a distraction. What had been working against him was his tendency to speak rapidly and  - when he got excited - to have his voice head for a pitch heard only by dogs. 

Jerome! has evidently been working on speaking more calmly and speaking in the lower part of his range.  All that has helped him immensely and his recent performance in the new portfolio has been extremely good.

But getting rid of the moustache?  That’s probably the least of his worries.

The only thing Jerome and his handlers have done is sent an unmistakeable signal that he wants to be Premier.

Oh yes.

Mustn’t forget.

And that he might get a chance at the job sooner than people think.



Wm. Murphy said...

And that he might get a chance at the job sooner than people think

What is it that people think...and what do you base this on?

Wm. Murphy

WJM said...

In Trevor’s case, his accent was not impenetrable and his tendency to use colourful language reinforced his core strength: he spoke sincerely, honestly and straightforwardly.

But on the other hand, according to the talking points that certainly aren't used to flood the intertubes and radio waves with ridicule, because there are no talking points and never have been (nothing could be further from the truth), Yvonne Jones' accent, which is certainly no thicker or impenetrable or lacking in folksiness than, say, Tom Hedderson's or Trevor Taylor's, and certainly less than that of certain other prominent politicians, is not worthy of leadership or your vote.

Funny, that.

Ed Hollett said...

Well, since DW has already indicated he will be running again, I figured that's what most people took to be the case.

He said it in at least one year-end interview if my short term emory still works.

But the fact jerome did the shave over Christmas makes me wonder, hence the whole kremlinology post.

Winston Smith said...

Is it just me, or does Mr. Kennedy now look like Peter MacKay?

This could be a doppelganger in the making, given the reputed peace fatwa issued in the ABC jihad.

Ed Hollett said...

It must be you.

WJM said...

I see what Winston is saying... his face has the shape of the offspring of a horse and an almond.

Winston Smith said...

Well, the pictoral evidence doesn't lie. The person in the image certainly looks like the new Mr. Kennedy chatting with a familiar-looking politician.