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Opinion: Politics, like sport, needs big characters to keep people engaged, like Thatcher, Corbyn and Ronnie O’Sullivan, says Secret Thinker

I avoid politics like the plague. Not that I don’t think it’s important to vote, I most certainly do – after all, people died so we can vote.

But the state of our current political parties means I can’t bring myself to support any of them.

Love her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher was a character
Love her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher was a character

The lies, scandal, deceit, self-centred egos and general corruptness of spirit are so rife across the board, there’s simply no one to vote for these days.

It’s like a massive popularity contest with the main players seeking to entertain and please as many voters as possible.

It’s so bad I might as well stand myself. Oh for the days of Tony Benn or Ken Clarke, at least they had moral fibre. You might not have agreed with the antics of Corbyn and Maggie, but there’s no denying they could engage people and at least they believed what they were saying, rather than simply spouting rhetoric they thought the masses wanted to hear.

Fortunately for you, I’ve just remembered my maxim, not to bore on about such stuff, even in the pub, so have selected a different thought.

Talking of pubs, and not politics, whenever I’ve found myself in one recently there’s been a big screen showing snooker. And, like politics, absolutely no one was even the slightest bit interested in any of it, until that is, Ronnie O’Sullivan was on. All of a sudden, whether they love him or hate him, people began watching and commenting and even folks who can’t bear snooker got involved.

Ronnie O'Sullivan for Prime Minister! Picture: World Snooker
Ronnie O'Sullivan for Prime Minister! Picture: World Snooker

I’m no fan, but even I can’t help watching The Rocket. Once he went out in the quarter-finals I lost all interest and have no idea who ended up winning.

All sports have always needed flamboyant entertainers and even very watchable sports have had competitors who were more than just great players, Cantona and Di Caneo, Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather, Jonah Lomu and Martin Offiah. They were, of course, incredibly skilled, natural-born winners but they also knew how to engage their crowd.

Visually less interesting sports, including darts, Formula One and the aforementioned snooker have relied on characters even more.

Snooker once had the likes of Hurricane Higgins and Whirlwind White but now it really is only Ronnie.

Actually, come to think about it, rather than any of the current options I’d rather vote for Ronnie O’Sullivan to run the country. At least you could trust him to say what he really believes.

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