Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Vladimir Voinovich, Russian wiseacre and author of the commendable Life and Amazing Adventures of Soldier Ivan Chonkin, once developed a political theory called the Bald and the Hairy.
He held that Soviet/Russian leaders who were thinning on top tended to be relatively decent losers. They ended up being marched off to house arrest (Khrushchev, Gorbachev) or dying of clap or whatever before achieving much (Lenin, Andropov).
Top Bolsheviks with the glossy coat of a labrador retriever, on the other hand, were their own men who didn't play by the rules but got results, whether in the fields of mass murder and world conquest (Stalin), collecting Mercedes and ballerinas (Brezhnev) or having it large on the world stage like a goose in a bad suit (Yeltsin).
Even Malenkov and Chernenko, usually dubbed pasty failures despite their shaggy manes, at least managed not get stomped to death by coked-up dwarves in the Lubianka cellars, unlike so many other Soviet also-rans.
Humbly following in the path of Voinovich's tennis shoes, I would like to propose the political theory of the Mismatched Collar and Cuffs.
It posits that British financial supremos whose silvery hair jars with their black and owlish eyebrows are doomed to career misery and alcohol-related humiliation - and not necessarily the fun type I enjoy most evenings either.
In evidence I cite George Brown, Wilson's buffoonish pisswizard, Norman Lamont, the cheap-bubbly berk who mislaid the pound sterling for several months, and current cashbox clown Alistair Darling.
As far as I know Mr Darling has yet to hit the bottle, but I'd certainly back Senator Blutarksy in advising him to start drinking heavily. Things can only get worser, so he may as well observe them sullenly through the bottom of a whisky tumbler.
Back home in Wales, having more than one eyebrow marks you out as a fairy child destined for greatness in the Land of Men. But at least our politicians are content to watch badgers rather than putting them in charge of the Mint.