Onbezongen gives you a portrait of the homo politicus. Not the gauche politician from Yes, Minister, the idealised machine from The West Wing, the lonely evil genius from House of Cards or the has-been from Revue Ravage. The emphasis is on the realistic way in which we deal with power in our Western world. The piece also investigates the mostly irrational reasons for this hunger for power.
Onbezongen starts out from the idea that the politician’s talent is also ultimately the cause of his downfall. For time and time again, it is his drive that makes him go too far, his strength of character that makes him lose touch with reality, his charisma that fails to achieve its aims, or his suppleness that leads to him being accused of being untrustworthy and fake.
Onbezongen goes back to the seeds of political life: why do leaders have such a powerful desire for power in a democracy, where power is highly relative and where politicians are subject to the demands of voters, the media and interest groups? Why does a politician seek recognition in a job that is known to be the most unpopular ever?
As a party spokesperson, a cabinet member for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the European Commission, and finally as a speechwriter for amongst others Karel De Gucht and José Manuel Barroso, Vincent Stuer was able to penetrate deeply into the tissue of politics. These positions allowed him to closely observe and to study power and those in power. In addition, Vincent has been obsessively working through political histories and biographies for decades, with an impressive archive of anecdotes and quotes as a result.