By Barclay Shoemaker
Meet François Hollande. Allegedly he balls quite hard. On closer inspection we can see that he is also balding quite hard. This is because, despite the hip hop soundtrack and pseudo-gangster posturing, François is a French Politician.
Some may question the reasoning behind choosing Kanye West and Jay-Z’s anthemic N***S In Paris to back his latest campaign video; the song after all wantonly promotes lavish consumption and ostentatious spending at a time when Europe faces a huge debt crisis and mass unemployment.
Moreover they might be slightly non-plussed by the video, which features exactly zero campaign promises, but instead sees him riding around the country on various modes of transport, greeting seemingly adoring fans, all of whom hold up voting cards like judges at an Olympic Diving event.
As ego trips go, this video is the political equivalent of David Brent from the office: misguided, self-assured, and unintentionally hilarious.
The French Obama?
But if Barack Obama can throw parties with Jay-Z in attendance and Stevie Wonder performing, then why can’t all politicians follow suit?
Jay-Z, when he's not doing political shiz
Is this an Obamanation of politics, or are politicians simply embracing popular culture and trying to strike a chord with voters who are disaffected and apathetic? When less than 40% of the country votes in general elections and more 18-to-34-year-olds come out to vote for The Voice than their MPs, you can understand why drastic times call for drastic measures.
So is this a trend that will make the journey across the channel and blossom in Britain, or will this wave crash idly against the White Cliffs and become Have I Got News For You? fodder?
Throw Some David Camerons On It?
David Cameron has already tried and failed to play the hip card, being banned by Morrissey from liking any music made by The Smiths, allegedly his favourite band. So it’s probably safe to say we won’t see him striding into the House of Commons, flanked by Nick Clegg carrying a boom box blasting out Throw Some Ds by Rich Boy anytime soon.
Though it would be great if, instead of scoffing in Parliament, a few backbenchers could throw up guns fingers and scream “PARRRRR!”. Is this too much to ask?
What about having a girl in a bikini strut her stuff between questions at PM’s Question Time: that will increase the views of BBC Parliament to double digits, if nothing else. What about a Hunger Games-esque fight for survival in swing seats?
Flights of fancy aside, let us bask in the birth, and simultaneous death of all conceptions of Political Swag, at least for the time being.