Jeremy Vine is on the radio just now having a discussion about Theresa May and the awkward spot of dancing she displayed during a school visit in Cape Town.
The Prime Minister is taking criticism and being mocked on social media and Vine is asking his guests whether that’s fair and is being able to dance something that really matters for the leader of a country.
The bottom line is this. Theresa May is not being mocked because she can’t dance. She’s being mocked because she looked so horribly awkward during that visit yesterday.
And it’s the reason behind this awkwardness that’s interesting.
My view is that Mrs May is awkward because she isn’t comfortable in her own skin. She’s trying to be someone she’s not. She’s putting on a front. She’s worried about what other people think of her and as a result, she can’t let herself go. So she’s caught in this horrible place where she’s trying…but not trying…where she wants to be seen to be enjoying herself but actually isn’t.
Fixing this for Mrs May, or any politician, is nothing to do with special advisors, managing the media and scoping out situations where she’s at risk. It’s everything about dealing with the issues unique to her, that prevent her from being herself. Exploring the areas where there’s a conflict between who she is as a person and the image she feels she has to project.
And it’s also about showing more respect for the people and situations she finds herself in. She could have practised.