Thursday 12 August 2010

Action man

I wonder if The Boy will grow up with any political heroes? Even at a young age, I realsied that our political leaders were not of the same calibre as Churchill, or Disraeli or Gladstone, and these days they're nothing more than middle-rank managers. For a while it looked like Blair would be a great, but he turned into a lying murderous war-monger who achieved nothing of any value on the domestic stage either. I suspect that history will eventually look kindly on Thatcher...she was a charismatic leader who made great changes. What a shame I can't think of a thing she did that I agree with..

Away from the UK, it's equally hard to find political leaders of any real stature. Obama stands out as much because of his atrocious predecessor as his rhetoric; ultimately he may well turn out to be another Blair. On the European stage, Merkel has seems a good leader, but hasn't got the presence, Sarkozy is a populist and Berlusconi is a joke everywhere except Italy. No wonder The Boy and his generation struggle to find inspiration from our political leaders.

South America has some interesting characters - Chavez, Morales and now Santos all lead in a continent that has a history of political idols.

But my favourite is Vladimir Putin. And not just because I bear a pasing resemblence to him as I showed here.

He's everything that a Russian leader should be (to an outsider anyway) and has done much to restore Russia's pride and confidence in itself. At uni, I studied Soviet government and it remained a mystery from the start of my course until the end. And the same is true now with Russia. Nominally a democracy, voting is probably not quite as free and fair as it should be...but equally the people end up with the leaders they want. How Putin moved from being President to Prime Minister is an interesting study in the complexities of political manouvering in a deeply complex system. His successor, Medvedev was refered to as a dwarf by several of the Russians we spoke with when we visited. I'm sure Mr Putin is as flawed as anyone, but his action hero antics are fantastic especially when seen in the light of the grey-suited behaviour of other global leaders.

As seen in this video

Or this one:

Or here

At least you know where you stand with him...say the wrong thing and you're likely to end up with a dose of radiation in your coffee....