Friday, November 26, 2010

Look!

Becoming hypersensitive to the use of the imperative 'Look!' by those Westminster folk, as a springboard to launch into scripted schpiel.
'Look!' as political vernacular seems to have come out of the Tony Blair school of media training, and although none are immune, it's the Labour media-savvies, those pioneers of PR politics, that seem to employ it most. Milibands and Balls are particularly fond of it, Brown was besotted, and of course Tony pretty much re-invented the word. And you can see why. In the beginning it was useful, a clever way of distracting us from the dithering that's gone before, like a pedestrian eyes down, daydreaming, being pulled up short by a rogue cyclist mounting the pavement..(well, all politicians are these days). 'Look!' is softer than 'Listen!' yet strong enough to detract attention and get the intended point across, and doubtless according to the TBSMT manual, to be employed whenever time is running out.
And yet, as with all 'marketing and comms' tactics, it doesn't take long before we see what you're doing, all that contrived syntax and body lingo - throwing an arm over the shoulder or patting the back of anyone you wish to be seen to lord it over etc. It's becomes obvious, counterproductive and frankly, a bit tiresome. Not least for the hapless victim.
Now, whenever I hear 'Look' demanded by a politician I brace myself for 'the message', rather than listen to it. Can't help it, it's pavlovian. Maybe it's just me.

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