After the tumult of the last few months in British politics, one could be forgiven for suffering from slight whiplash. The Greek tragedy of Boris Johnson’s lockdown party shenanigans and subsequent ousting, followed by the Liz Truss Thatcher-cosplay-meets-financial-markets-tantrum imbroglio was enough to make anyone lose the plot.
Which utter carnage cleared the way for one of the most impressive political comebacks of all time. Behold! Mr. Rishi Sunak, sporting a slim-fit suit and shiny-shiny shoes, striding out of the wreckage and right into №10 as Britain’s first non-white Prime Minister.
Despite what certain South African chat-show hosts might like to assert, there was no “racist backlash” to Sunak’s ascendance to the office of PM. None that I could observe anyway. No one cares about Sunak’s ethnicity. The only gripes I’ve seen about him relate to the fact that he’s a Tory (fair enough), that he is too rich to understand the concerns of those struggling to make ends meet (we’ll see about that in due course), and that he holds a Green Card and thus cannot have enough loyalty to Britain to be PM (total rubbish). Skin colour just didn’t come into it.
Britain gets a rather lovely leader
What with all this chatter, one fact has been somewhat obscured. Namely, that Sunak is smokin’ HOT.
Only very few countries have elected attractive people to the top office (Finland’s Sanna Marin, the US’s Barack Obama and Canada’s Justin Trudeau being notable exceptions — in my book anyway). Taking a look at the benches of the UK House of Commons, nobody is more shocked than I am at Britain’s sudden elevation into this rarefied milieu.
Now, Margaret Thatcher has been known to inspire some rather odd erotic feelings among males of a certain type, although I think (or rather HOPE) this is a niche pursuit. Boris Johnson has famously had more than his fair share of luck with the ladies: quite what they see in him is entirely beyond me. There has never been a leader of such broad appeal as Rishi Sunak. Or Dishy Rishi, as he is fondly known among his fans.
Sunak is suave. He is in shape. He is never less than impeccably dressed. He is almost unnaturally clever. And he appears highly competent. Which, after the last few years of chaos, debauchery and ditziness, has taken on a whole new frisson unthinkable before the great competence drought of the last few years. Oh yes — bring on that competence!
Furthermore — let it be known that I love a man with a good, strong nose. I once ran right across the room in the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, NZ, because I couldn’t help but cop a feel of the nose on the bronze bust of Roald Amundsen, who also had a sizeable beak. As you can see from this picture, I was far from the only one to give in to this particular urge. A strong nose is, I believe, a sign of character, strength and resolve. Sunak has an EXCELLENT nose.
So, yes. I am a proud member of the (surely not inconsiderable) contingent of British ladies who find themselves feeling more than a little coy and schoolgirlish when the door of №10 swings open and Dishy Rishi strides out — briefing in hand, looking purposeful.
A crush of the utmost decency and decorum
However, I have noticed that my crush on Mr. Sunak is — how shall I say it? — of a thoroughly chaste nature.
There are some crushes which trigger thoughts lewd and lurid. I’m thinking of Sean Bean in the Sharpe series (he can pop my bodice buttons any day). I’m thinking of Daniel Craig in the James Bond movies (he can shake AND stir me). I’m thinking of Ben Stiller’s arms in Tropic Thunder. I’m thinking…that I have to go and wash my face with cold water!
A crush on Rishi Sunak is quite different. He inspires decent, modest thoughts. And, above all: BEST BEHAVIOUR. Possibly because he comes across as such a decent, solid bloke. A bit geeky in fact. He is teetotal, likes Star Wars, appears to be absolutely besotted with his wife Akshata and is a devoted dad to two daughters. Debauchery? Not a whiff of it. It’s really quite alluring. Especially after the Boris Johnson years!
The whole thing reminds me of the national swoon caused by the scene in the 1994 television adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) bumps into Elizabeth Bennett (Jennifer Ehle) after a swim in a nearby lake. With him sporting nothing except soaking wet underwear and a pair of riding boots, the two conduct one of the most sexually-charged exchanges ever to have been committed to film. The restrained passion is so crackling, watching it has a slightly voyeuristic feel to it.
At the time the scene aired on TV, a strange noise was heard in Paris: the sound of 10 million British women biting softly down on their lower lips and having a collective fit of the vapours. Billowing 19th century undergarments had never looked so good. Both the scene (and the series as a whole) became an instant, nationwide hit and a landmark moment for British womanhood.
Keep your kit ON
And the point of this classics-inspired diversion? That, as far as sex appeal is concerned, less can often be a whole lot more.
The attraction of Mr. Darcy derives from him keeping his clothes ON, conducting polite and stilted conversation with the object of his ardent desire and letting the undeniably passionate undercurrent work its magic. It is the power of things unseen and unsaid. In the same way, Dishy Rishi’s appeal derives from him making the ladies want to conduct themselves with the utmost grace and decorum in his presence— while still flirting shamelessly, of course!
It is far less a wish to have one’s wicked way with him than the idea of getting just close enough to be able to catch the scent of his cologne, make polite but flirtatious conversation, then shake his hand and leave with a smile. And I’m telling you — it’s very nice indeed. Long may Dishy Rishi reign.
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