Unpopular party leaders
AND what, Sir or Madame, do you think of our Prime Minister? Not very much, thank you. And what. Sir or Madame, do you think of Mr. Heath'? Not very much either, thank you. And I agree with you, Sir and Madame, on your good judgment.
The indictment against the leaders of our two main political parties is pretty damning if the Daily Telegraph Gallup Poll is any guide. According to Gallup inquirers, Mr. Wilson is considered by average voters to be the worst Prime Minister we have had for 31 years. In case Ted Heath was about to roll in the Parliamentary aisles at this assessment of his rival Gallup also reported the average voters' opinion of Mr. Heath. They considered him the worst leader of any Opposition since Gallup began operations 31 years ago.
I should prefer not to believe the poll findings but unfortunately I consider them a fairly accurate reflection of public opinion.. Neither Mr. Wilson (13 per cent) nor Mr. Heath (14 per cent) were thought of as men of vision and it would be a brave man or a foolish man who contended other. otherwise.
The trouble with both Wilson and Heath is that they give the impression of being content to deal in the small change of government: of fearing that the fraud squad might be called in if they underwrote any vast visionary or idealistic project: of being fussy wellmeaning tenants of their present posts: of never really looking like, or behaving as, lords of the manor.
The public sense this inadequacy in their leaders and despise them for it, but being the British public they will tolerate it and even derive some masochistic pleasure from it. And this is just as well because the Gallup gurus tell us that the public see no obvious replacements for Mr. Wilson and Mr. Heath. And that last bit of information strikes me as being the worst possible feature of a macabre poll.
REFORE Sir Hugh Greene " leaves his post as Direc
tor-General of the B.B.C. in March I hope that he will do something about two irritating techniques employed in current affairs programmes on television. The first is the use of the telephone by the anchorman in the studio allegedly to get in touch with Bloggs in Paris or Sydney.
Why can't we just hear Bloegs' voice without the telephonic pantomime?
The second stupidity, beloved by the television boys, is to broadcast the voice of Bloges in Outer Mongolia when the quality of the re production is so appalling that we can catch only the odd word in the welter of
atmospherics. All News Editors are proud to have a man on the spot but if a
newspaper office receives a grossly garbled cable from its correspondent it does not use it. A garbled voice should receive the same treatment from the B.B.C.
LACK of space prevented me last week from printing the verses I received from an anonymous writer in reply to my recent piece on Wimbledon and, in particular, the futility and absurdity of watching tennis on television. This week I make amends:—
Poor Mr. Albrow, unable to see The ball on the screen of his own TV.
Yet he remains quite convinced No art is evinced Because "it', not cricket"— said he.
Poor Mr. Albrow, unwilling to ,see
Th,enaestfleorryt less ease of true ball
So the finesse of a shot Leaves him cold—not hot. Because "it's not cricket" said he.
Poor Mr. Albrow, distressing to see His prejudiced "reasons" against tennis TV.
The objections he used Were completely confused, Because "it's not cricket" maybe.