I cant believe I am puffing Michael Gove (next, I will be saying nice things about Iain D…, no that would be a step too far…) but he has a very entertaining piece in today’s Times about how the whole world can be divided between PCs and Macs (unfortunately I cant find it on the bright shiny new TimesOnline web site). This follows on from the Mac advertising campaign using Mitchell and Web to show how PCs are all work and no play and Macs are fun fun fun.
Of course, as I am proud to be a PC I can see exactly what Gove is getting at. Most of my former colleagues in the campaigns dept are Macs, which is great unless you want some paperwork doing… I’d wager that Chris Huhne and Ming Campbell are PCs while Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg are Macs (great test of whether someone is a Mac is probably whether they actually know how to turn a computer on). My son is a PC and my daughter is a Mac – though as Gove says it is not purely a gender thing, I know plenty of female PCs.
In political terms the truth is that what works best is probably a partnership between a Mac and a PC – a bright, inspiring comet of a personality working in tandem with someone who is willing to hang around and clear up the mess after the other has swept out of the room. Consider the Kennedy Brothers (Bobby tried to morph into a Mac in ’68 but it never really worked and his best work was probably clinically tackling injustice on Senate investigation committees). Consider Tony and Gordon. Or Bill and Al. Even Harold Wilson and Roy Jenkins. And as Maggie once famously said – ‘every Prime Minister needs a Willie.’
The difficulty is, of course, that PCs prefer to network with other PCs and we know Macs cant engage with the real world for more than about 30 seconds at a time without breaking something. One of the reasons why Cameron hasn’t solved all the Tories’ problems is that he has surrounded himself with a whole bunch of Macs – the sort of people who might look great (to each other) working in an advertising agency surrounded by a cloud of coke but,the electorate rightly asks, ‘where’s the beef?’
And consider Gordon and Ed Balls….! Now, I have a lot of time for Ed B because any Norwich City fan cant be all bad but y’ do get the impression he traded his personality for a CIPFA membership sometime in his early teenage years.
So, my top tip for Gordon – make Steve Pound your Chancellor and the nation will be yours.
In the meantime – which are you, Mac or PC? And what is your perfect political partnership?