This is perhaps the greatest news to enter 2013: The best political sitcom Britain has ever created. The cleverness, the Machiavellianism of Sir Humphrey, and the incredible wit and cynicism that Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn could conjure will be like music to our ears once again. It looks good, and given the writers have performed this live on stage, it is set to be as good as when they left off.
However, one thing isn’t realistic. David Haig plays Jim Hacker. I don’t doubt his acting ability – he played the moronic Inspector Fowler brilliantly in The Thin Blue Line – and he looks good in GOLD’s trailers. But he just lacks something – hair.
This is the trouble with modern politics. The real minority out there are the bald. My hairline is receding and I’m trying, like Petain at the Battle of Verdun, to repel the onslaught of male pattern baldness. It’s an hereditary thing and puts me at a real disadvantage should I choose to enter politics at a later stage in my life.
That the people would be prejudiced against us is a great fear for all us baldies. The subconscious thought pattern of the average voter would be “that man can’t even keep his hair, how can we expect him to keep our country together.” Silvio Berlusconi even had to get a hair transplant to enable him to keep his youthful complexion, although other elements of his youthfulness got him into trouble elsewhere.
I jest and hyperbolize, of course. But it’s an interesting point. Look around the Western World. Where are the bald leaders? The most recent was John Howard in Australia and Chirac in France. Even Howard was dismissed as a ‘desiccated little coconut.’ France on the other hand has been very good; every President between de Gaulle and Sarkozy was bald. In Europe we have Herman van Rumpoy, but as we all know, he wasn’t properly elected either in Europe or in Belgium. Germany’s last bald Chancellor was Konrad Adenauer. The last bald US President was Eisenhower (discounting Ford, obviously who wasn’t elected, and then lost to Carter). McCain was the last bald nominee of a major party in 2008. Before that, it was Ike and Adlai Stevenson in 1956. The land of opportunity is really the land of lost content for the bald.
The UK seems to have had that, but in cabinet, there are only two more bald men than there are women (7 to 5). The Labour party really do discriminate against the bald. Their shadow cabinet only has 1 naturally bald man (Liam Byrne) to 12 women. You might say Chucka Umunna, but he’s still lucky enough to have growth atop his head. It shows that Labour really isn’t the party of opportunity, when only half of all men can realistically aspire to their front bench. Alex Salmond is a borderline baldie. Martin McGuinness, the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, is the only leader in the United Kingdom to be bald. Something has gone seriously wrong.
We used to be quite good. The last three Tory leaders (Howard, IDS and Hague) each lacked hair and the last two Lib Dem leaders (Cable and Campbell) were bald too. The last bald Labour Leader was John Smith, before that Neil Kinnock, and before that, Clement Attlee. The last bald Prime Minister was Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who wasn’t even elected. Therefore the last bald PM to be elected was Churchill (incidentally the last ginger PM). And even the great Winston Churchill never won the popular vote.
As a minority, the bald are severely under-represented in politics and any party that claims to be ‘equal’, the bald ought to be represented. But then again, that could be a storyline in Yes, Prime Minister. I would love to see ‘all bald shortlists’ to counter this problem and maybe, the slaphead can rise again. I look forward to that day, when political Fortune Favours the Bald.