Media & PR

What is so special about political spouses?

A TV talk show being recorded - CC0 Public Domain

Interviews with, features on and photographs of the spouses of our political party leaders are still very much the in thing. These days there’s a bit more of an acknowledgement that not all such spouses are women, but otherwise, the focus on spouses has remained.

But why?

It’s true that party leaders have high profile jobs, where their actions can affect many of our lives and where the job requires working the sort of ridiculous hours that support from your family is vital.

But they’re hardly alone in that.

Take newspaper editors, for example.

On the appointment of a new editor do we get discussions about how well suited their spouse would be for the new role? No. So why single out the spouses of political party leaders for this sort of attention?

2 responses to “What is so special about political spouses?”

  1. People are interested in what sort of people party leaders are (in a way they are not about newspaper editors), but most politicians are incredibly boring, so newspapers focus on their spouses in the hope of finding something interesting to write about.

  2. Power, and therefore those in power, are always of interest to the people who haven’t got any. They wander what it is like. And they do not want to find ordinariness. (Which perhaps is why the likes of Johnson, Rees-Mogg and even an old leftie like Corbyn have much following.) People in power are not like one’s next door neighbours. Their spouses are of even more interest as they are not as visible and accountable to ordinary folk. This all I have learned at our local hairdresser where half the neighbourhood including me goes for bad but cheap haircuts and invaluable gossip. The neighbourhood barbers are even better source of vox populi I am told. Local candidates should make use of such places as a rule.

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