Hit or Miss? Gordon Brown and Alastair Campbell show their emotions

Tear jerkers: Politics is getting emotional, but how effective is it?

Interview: Gordon Brown and Piers Morgan
Interview: Gordon Brown and Piers Morgan

Tony Blair's former director of comms Alastair Campbell became visibly upset during an interview on the Andrew Marr Show last Sunday. This weekend will see the broadcast of Gordon Brown's TV interview with Piers Morgan, during which the PM breaks into tears when talking about the death of his daughter. The displays have prompted mixed reactions from commentators.

How I see it

Lord Chadlington, Chief executive, Huntsworth

Seeing Gordon Brown or Alastair Campbell teary-eyed on television, is it spin, weakness or an honest uncontrollable emotional response?

When Margaret Thatcher left Downing Street for the last time, eyes red-rimmed, no-one thought her tears were spin. Like her or loathe her, we trusted her emotional integrity.

There are other political leaders who seem to have barely a nodding acquaintance with the truth. Hooked on spin, they have thrown away their claims to authenticity. If we can't believe their words, then why believe their tears?

Today, the 'stiff upper lip' is an attitude of derision and parody. But I want today's political leaders - and their advisers - to keep their emotions in check and stay cool, calm and objective under pressure.

In a frightening, unpredictable world, anything less is unacceptable.



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