News

There’s one photograph all politicians fear: the one of them eating

Politicians used to be allowed to be distant and dignified. And when it comes to eating in public, it should stay that way. Just ask Ed Miliband or David Cameron

Short of being photographed as one of those curving toilet doors on a Virgin Train slides gently open, revealing a mess of bare knees and shirt tails, there is one photograph that the modern politician fears more than any other: the eating shot. Look at what that image of Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich did to him: the way the lips folded back and curled, how the eyes began to roll back in his head like he had reached some private moment of truth. That one image raised a brutal question: could you imagine this man, the one with the expression like the ketamine has just kicked in, running the country?

Now consider all the politicians run ragged by the election campaign so far, and have pity on their souls. For all day every day what they are thinking is this: please God, let nobody take a picture of me eating. It so terrified David Cameron that, apparently haunted by Miliband bacon sandwich gate, he responded to a hot dog encountered on the campaign trail by eating it with a knife and fork. And he still managed to look a bit of a knob.

Continue reading…