Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A piece of advice for the Presidential consort-elect

Greetings from Europe's last remaining empire!

All of us here in Amaranth were delighted to see that the Liberal Democrats have reverted to the old ways and elected a baroness to be their new President, and our heartiest congratulations go out to her on the occasion of her success. An invitation will be tendered by our Ambassador to visit us in due course.

Now that the noble Baroness Ros has swept to glorious victory, I feel that I should give some advice to young Mark in the art of being a good consort. After all he's never done this before, and given that there is no precedent in the history of the Liberal Democrats for a male Presidential spouse, perhaps the words of someone who has spent many years by her husband's side ruling a nation with a proud history might be of value.

There have always been differing stances on the role of the spouse in such circumstances. The Hillary Clinton model, where you take an active and public role in decision making, tends to be unpopular, even if you're good enough to do it. On the other hand, if you do take that route, there is always the chance that you will gain a place in the United States Senate (sorry, make that the Federal Executive).

The Laura Bush model, of doing good works and looking generally fragrant, tends to be less contraversial, although it helps if you didn't really have a profile beforehand. It does help if you have a decent sense of what is fashionable, although you really do need to showcase domestic designers if you can.

On the whole, it is probably better to err on the side of maintaining a low profile. Keep up your hobbies (in my case, madrigal singing and whitewater rafting) whilst ensuring that you're seen at all of the right events. If you do already have an interest in politics, don't stray beyond those areas where you have established a track record.

One of the side effects of being the consort is that people tend to see you as a conduit for getting a message to the supreme ruler. Don't discourage them from doing so - just don't promise them anything, you don't have the power to deliver - and make sure that you pass the information on. Oh yes, and be discreet, it doesn't pay to seen to be otherwise.

There is plenty of fun to be had though. The occasional foreign trip allows you to broaden your horizons, and there will be a slew of functions to attend, some formal, some not so formal.

In summary, my advice is to keep cool, remember who you are, and live as though there's a gentle waltz playing in the background as much as you possibly can. Achieve that consistently, and all will be as well as it can be.

Good luck, Mark and God bless...

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Being fragrant and well-dressed shouldn't be a problem for Mark...