Wed | Feb 21, 2018

As a man: Beware the motorcade man

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It is the last few days before the 2016 general election and the campaigning is heading to its

climax as the main political parties and the various other contenders of far lesser popular standing, and realistic chances of winning a seat in the House of Representatives, pull out all the stops.

Key to this politics running is driving - the motorcades that go back and forth to meetings in various key locations and the individual vehicles with public announcement systems which blast the general party and specific candidate messages in communities, whether they want to hear it or not.

And all of this driving needs a driver. Invariably a man, as far as I have seen in this general election campaign and previous ones. The motorcades also need male bodies to have a strong physical

presence (although it is the women who get most of the attention, in their get-ups and 'wine downs'). It is this motorcade man that persons who are not involved in the political frenzy must be very wary of and avoid at all costs.

A clue to his background (and all of those who find themselves on the political motorcades as supporters) is that it is possible for him to be on the buses, steering the cars and riding the motorbikes in party colours at any time of day. He has no work to go to - or, certainly, no work that requires his consistent presence. The motorcade and all that goes with it is his sole purpose in life at this point - and oh, is he important!

The importance is temporary, he knows, and must be exploited to the hilt. It is an importance that comes from association with the party machinery, and his power comes from the mass of persons he is travelling with. It is a sense of power and importance that is dangerous and must not be trifled with.

For those of us who are not so minded (and it is at least 50 per cent of the electorate, as half of those who could vote will not do so), as we navigate our way through the electioneering, this is a man to be avoided. He is puffed up with a sense of power and looking for someone to exercise it on before the election is over, the winning party celebrates and he crawls back into obscurity in whatever place he came out of in the first place, to wait on the next election period for his time in the spotlight.

It is at that time that he gets to flex a power that he ordinarily does not have, or, if he does, is limited to a very small space over some people who are at the lowest of the socio-economic ladder. This is a man who needs to publicly flex his muscle and - at election time - by driving recklessly, yelling at other motorists, flinging the vehicle he is driving across the road without a care in the world, and even going to the point of physically intimidating other persons going about their ordinary business, he will.

Not all of them are like that, of course, but there are enough of them to make a general rule of avoiding the motorcade man advisable for the rest of us. Their time will soon be over. Five days more.