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Dreams of Marmite Men by Misti

Shameful though if might be to admit, I endured my history lessons by drifting to another place and time.  Instead of factually absorbing historical deeds I imagined myself riding alongside Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest military leaders in history.  Our swords slaying the enemy, bloodied bodies littering our paths as we battled our oppressors, high on the endorphins of fear and rage.  Such romantic notions hardly followed time-told depictions but exceeded to include fair maidens (namely me!) leading our conqueror to victory.  With unassumed gallantry I’d then disappear into the shadows of darkness, remaining forever the secret that history would never reveal…

I did however pass my examination with the help of a photographic memory that sadly deposited all such information in the spam bin upon procurement of said qualification.  Yet retained in my mind is a deep mark of respect to this legend who was a true military genius and renowned for his dictatorial and ruthless approach.  A talented strategist and a master of intelligence and deception,  spying upon opposing forces gathering vital information, whilst cunningly seeking to conceal his own deployments!

Despite his noble birthright, Napoleon cared not so much for the trappings of gentry but instead found nothing more satisfying than being amongst his men, whom so at ease with their General, would speak to him with genuine fondness and not await the courteous invitation to be addressed.

Many mistook the brilliant genius for a mere servant such was his poor man’s gait.  Yet once his gaze was cast he’d relentlessly pursue one’s thoughts until purpose forgotten they became a mindless victim of his motionless assault.  Powerful in the extreme, his features endorsed his trait.  Yet his mouth was said to soften and envelop all when in relaxed company.

Though born to parents of noble Italian ancestry, Napoleon had grown up witnessing the suffering of the Corsican people and the scar had infiltrated his young mind.  In later years as the great military and political leader and indeed Emperor of France he implemented reforms to include higher education, road and sewer systems and established the Banque De France.  These introductions were easily influenced by the hardships he had witnessed as a child and continue to stand the test of time…

One cannot help but feel inspired by such greats and though I may not have become a talented historian I held tight to my ideals…

‘Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.’ In that statement I’m afraid I was hooked.  Winston Churchill held me captive in that one simple but effective line!  Over and over again I would replay that speech, desperately attempting to consume the power of this great man!  Though his speech was impaired, his tone permeated the minds of even the disillusioned, inspiring them with belief that the British were indeed a force to be reckoned with!  Regardless of how futile the battle might appear to the educated mind, his optimism bestowed hope upon all and just as though he were the Father of the Nation, one felt safe and proud…

Both men remain the subject of study for any aspiring leader, whether political or military.  Yet to date no politician has come close to such accreditation from its people or history books.  And in truth Britain has never since felt inspired to stand as tall and united in the face of adversity.  It seems politicians of the modern era stand upon their fictional soap boxes disconnected from reality, eyes devoid of emotion, voices boasting confidence with carefully orchestrated speeches, yet not delivering any belief…

Move over Simon Cowell for these men were early pioneers of media, Napoleon having published his own newspapers and Winston Churchill both author and reporter of his own poignant speeches, indeed a radio personality to boot!  Their purpose may have been to rule great nations and to conquer great battles but they were the media guru’s of their time!

The formidable bulldog and the valiant French General were perhaps enlightened and endeared due to their common touch, they chose not to reign with an air of untouchable importance but to revel as the common man’s equal.  Today’s society struggles to feel such a bond with our leaders and in fairness it is no longer earned.  We have become segregated and angered and have more respect for the likes of celebrity icons such as iconic footballer David Beckham.  Having achieved a worthy status as Captain of England, he went on to play for Los Angeles Galaxy, Madrid and Milan to name but a few.  His successes aren’t limited to the game but include a superior global brand, he is acclaimed to be one of the highest earning athletes of all time.  Yet it is without doubt his marriage to the Princess of Pop, Victoria that has enriched his profile.

From feisty footballer to pin-up model, David can seemingly do no wrong.  His matrimonial slip-ups (to pardon the pun) left the media in a frenzy to portray him as an overpaid, over-rated and over-sexed Lothario!  Yet in wearing their hearts on their sleeves, or at least in Victoria’s case in her ever-present pout, allowed the World a rare glimpse of celebrity reality without the barricades.  Humanised by both his betrayal and honesty to one’s fans, David quickly established that repenting for his sins was a dish best served hot on the heels of infidelity.  Suddenly people turned from slander, to sympathy then succumbed to the charms of the beautiful couple desperate not to add to the once fashionable divorce statistics.  Instead they endured heartbreak and finally reunification live to the World.

One wonders what it is that makes these men stand apart and I can only draw upon their common links.  They are all charming, which brings me to include media mogul Simon Cowell to the equation.  They hold an almost lethal but appealing quality yet whilst they mean no harm they can foster a reputation for slyness and manipulation.  If welcomed to their fold you will be touched by their loyalty, passion and creativity.  They can be shy and retreating but equally will use their sharp mind and engaging personality to succeed.  Flamboyance is not their style, preferring to remain inconspicuous and choose subtlety and cunning over brute force.  They will indeed feel the pain of disloyalty and strike accordingly.  Under their rule you will be greatly protected but in return will be expected to fight their good cause.

There is a over-whelming desire to both love and hate these prominent figures, which in essence awarded them the right to dominate with such an incredulous force.  And so they must also be held to acclaim for their input to the lives of ordinary people in providing a better world be it through battle, reforms or indeed in financing charitable organisations…

So in summary, I would advise future politicians to take heed! Don’t bite the hand that feeds your desire for power, don’t run for riches and shun the plight of the poor.  A Prime Minister must not only lead his nation to victory but must become one of the people, to bask in their glory, to drown in their sorrows and must choose to stand at their side and to live their life with them.  Only when we find our nation graced with such a hero can we accredit that Prime Minister with our utmost respect, loyalty, devotion and a place of supreme honour in history!