“Of 40 people questioned, none could put names to photographs of all 23 Cabinet ministers. Only one managed to recognise more than half of them… A total of seven ministers – nearly a third of the Cabinet – went unrecognised by all surveyed… during a major economic crisis the Chancellor of the Exchequer was no more recognisable than Robin Cook, the former Foreign Secretary, who has been dead for three years.
“David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, who faced rumours of a leadership challenge this summer, was recognised 13 times, but no fewer than three people thought he was Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats. “
I wonder what the success rate would be for photos of European Commissioners? I’d be amazed if anyone from pretty much any EU state got more than two or three right. Let’s find out – here they are. With no cheating by looking at the filenames or checking the Commission page, how many can you honestly put a name to? How many could you put a job to?
Go on, try to put a name to a face: Joaquín Almunia, José Manuel Barroso, Jacques Barrot, Joe Borg, Stavros Dimas, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Mariann Fischer Boel, Ján Figel, Dalia Grybauskaite, Danuta Hübner, Siim Kallas, Neelie Kroes, László Kovács, Meglena Kuneva, Markos Kyprianou, Peter Mandelson, Charlie McCreevy, Louis Michel, Leonard Orban, Andris Piebalgs, Janez Poto?nik, Viviane Reding, Olli Rehn, Vladimír Špidla, Antonio Tajani, Günter Verheugen, Margot Wallström
Despite readers of this blog being likely to be rather more knowledgable about EU affairs, I’d be surprised if many of you – if you’re honest – would be able to get more than ten right. For the rest of the population? Hell, I’d be pretty surprised if you end up with more than one in ten who’d be able to recognise Barroso…
Is this why EU debates tend to seem focussed more on the policies than the personalities? Has the EU managed to create politics without politicians?