If there’s one thing Prime Minister Stephen Harper can not be accused of it’s being funny. Reporter and biographer Lawrence Matin’s recent book Harperland paints the Prime Minister as a controlling, resentful, at times brooding and moody political leader. A man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly and in the words of one former cabinet minister “a man that could say NO better than anyone I’d ever met”.
But now comes news which may help explain the PM’s lack of humour. Respected international affairs magazine The Economist carried a report late last week that according to a recent survey, the majority of Britons feel that reaching the age of 52 is nothing to laugh about. The survey found Britons over that age laughed less and complained more. Men more so than women. According to The Economist this may be due to the fact that Britons lack significantly in joke-telling skills. The study found the average Briton only knows two jokes. John Major and Gordon Brown. No, no I’m kidding.
But think about this. Stephen Harper turns 52 next April. Have you ever heard him be funny? Ever heard him tell a joke? Lawrence Martin almost portray’s him as Walter Matthau in that movie with Jack Lemmon: Grumpy Old Men.
And yet Canadians, in ever dwindling numbers, continue to vote, and send a minority government to Ottawa. I guess the joke’s on us. Now that’s funny!