Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Political power and the elements

I have always been fascinated by observing the political scene from the point of view of the interaction of the elements in politicians. This country, now, is offering me fascinating insights into the different forms of power-play the elements of its leaders engage in. And of all the elements on show in our politicians, the one which engages me most is the Water element.

It is important to remember here that Water likes to do most of its work in a hidden way, like the powerful surges of the tide which leave the surface of the ocean unruffled. In my view, we have or have had three examples of Water in those in power. First, Gordon Brown, an ex-Prime Minister, who fought a deadly, often concealed battle with Tony Blair over 10 years to try and gain the ultimate prize. Then George Osborne, now Chancellor, and somebody, as I heard one political commentator say on TV last night, who always stays behind the scenes and only reluctantly comes out into the daylight. And finally, to complete my trio, Ed Milliband, the leader of the Labour Party, again a hidden man, disappearing in the past behind the obvious charisma of his brother, but stealing power by means of what appeared to be a series of hidden manoeuvres, truly a Cain and Abel story.

All three, Gordon Brown, George Osborne and Ed Milliband, show what are to me unmistakable signs of the Water element, a bluish-black colour, on TV at least, groaning, forceful voices with an inexorable push behind the words, and those fearful eyes which show Water’s ever-present fear. All three, too, are proof of the Water element’s all-devouring ambition to get to the top, allied with an unfortunate capacity to cause unease in those it encounters. None of these people exhibit the ease Tony Blair (Fire) or David Cameron (Earth) are able to draw on in their interactions with the public. Perhaps it is Water’s misfortune, that, though the likeliest of all elements to force its way to the top, it can never for a moment rest easily there, as Blair and Cameron did and can, for “uneasy sits the crown”, and its own unease and fearfulness in the relationships it tries to develop with its political colleagues and the public sow the seeds for what may be its inevitable downfall, as it did so spectacularly with Gordon Brown. We have yet to await George Osborne’s public fate, and perhaps David Cameron will shield him better and oppose him less than Tony Blair did Gordon Brown. Ed Milliband, still surprisingly so unknown a quantity, appears to be very awkward in his role, making many people already yearn for the days when his brother David, so very much more charismatic and at ease with himself  (Metal?), charmed Hilary Clinton.

Lest you think that Water’s power only shows itself in men¸ I must add to this trio Cherie Blair, the ever-present, watchful presence behind Tony Blair’s throne.

And finally, as I have often said, my diagnosis can only be tentative, as I have never met any of the famous people I write about face to face.

Who ever thought that understanding about the elements was only of benefit to acupuncturists?

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