A thorough and forensic legal brain, with a detailed natural intelligence, well-read on a broad range of subjects. To be capable of influencing public policy, have great people skills, an understanding of fiscal matters and large scale projects. To implement social reform, have integrity, be trustworthy, have strength of character and eloquence. No, try good hair and nice teeth.
How can the Finance Secretary, the guy in charge of the kitty at the stag night, John Swinney, possibly stand there and pontificate about household budgets without factoring in the cost of haircuts and a decent quality shampoo and conditioner? I want my political leaders to have a full head of hair. You can't really blame someone for being bald but bad teeth? Well that's just down to too many sweets, washed down with Irn Bru, not brushing and visiting the dentist every six months.
Not wishing to sound sexist, but fearing the worst, I was watching the bird's favourite TV show, The Great British Bake-Off. I often feel guilty as an alpha male watching GBBO (TV loves its shows referred to by initial nicknames. Thankfully the show's original working title Cake University National Test was hastily changed). I always feel I should be out hunting or chopping wood for the fire. At the very least being a man's man, down the local, drinking a half and half and playing dominoes.
I do like the Bake-Off though; it's something of a guilty pleasure. It's dressed up as a prim and proper little show but has a very dirty mind, filled with double entendres and no end of drama. Soggy bottoms and lovely rings aside, this week I was amazed. I couldn't see perfect pies, custard cakes and wonderful craft and design for looking at how bad everyone's teeth were. Even one of the presenters Mel Giedroyc a lovely arts show host - on radio - great, I can't see her teeth. The contestants had squinty tombstone numbers, one woman had baby teeth. Those with a full set looked like they were sharing them with a horse. The others had a black mass of horror in between each crack and gap. What were they flossing with? Battleship chains? The UN should be called in to look for evidence against inhumanity to teeth.
It would be remiss to discuss politics and bad teeth, without covering Holyrood's very own Mona Lisa- she's being enigmatic baby- Johann Lamont- she seems like a lovely person but has teeth like a Dickensian grave digger. Incidentally, I've just booked my six monthly appointment as we speak. Want to win a referendum on independence? T-shirt or poster campaign: Dental work. Free. For all Scots. Do it now.
Arthur Rimbaud, the enfant terrible of letters was a precocious, incredible French poet who wrote reams of amazing work over a prodigious five-year period then just stopped at the age of twenty. Arthur Rambo, was a comedy creation of mine; part Dad's Army, part Sylvester Stallone in combat trousers and green wellies. He was right wing, a war-loving green fingered beast of an allotment chairmen. He was arrested for having chemical weapons. A chemical toilet and a Bunsen burner (unconnected to gas) used menacingly to threaten a councillor trying to sell the land to Tesco. He'd go to any lengths to cheat in order to win in a competition featuring prize turnips and leaks.
Rimbaud, the French man of letters would write;
'A thousand dreams within me softly burn:
from time to time my heart is like some oak
whose blood runs golden where a branch is torn.'
Arthur Rambo lived in an air raid bunker inside his shed and would write, on a huge billboard: 'Keep out or risk electrocution or at least some racist or political abuse'. In small print he had something for the lady, 'if you're a woman and preferably a looker and want my prize leaks to chop them up for soup for my tea, please call Arthur Rambo.'
I thought of Rimbaud and Rambo this week as I considered the challenge facing the West and more specifically, President Barak Obama in Syria. If you remove the destruction and cruelty of war, there has to be a part of Obama wishing Assad looked like Rambo. Then it would be easier to go in and have him. Currently, it looks like he's considering strikes against something of asitcom geek, a comedy nerd mixture of Latka from Taxi and a deflated Forrest Gump without his teeth in. At some point, he must look and wonder why he's entering into dialogue with a psychopath who looks like he's wearing his dad's ill fitting suit? Is it morally OK to attack someone who looks like they have spent three years trying to cultivate a Hitler moustache? Maybe if he had some of Arthur Rambo's secret turnip winning grow bags his 'tash would flourish.
Meanwhile Putin says that the UK is a small country no one listens to and when you compare the news agendas you could argue he has a point. While President Obama considers military strikes in Syria and commemorates 9/11- the UK news agencies are focussed on George Osbourne's haircut. Yes his hair. Don't get too cocky though, Scotland do don't fare much better. The major issue in Scotland is that a caber in the Pitlochry Highland Games is too light and too easy to toss- Oh my god; hold the front page!!! Tossergate? The organisers of one of Scotland's most popular Highland games have been forced to replace their caber because it was too easy for the tossers to toss.
The 500th anniversary of the battle between England and Scotland at Flodden was marked this week…
Alan Partridge type V/O : '…and I don't believe it…The full scale Flodden reenactment with Phil Edwards the boxing referee who officiated the Burns v Beltran fight called it a draw. Sensational.