To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure.
Sir John Major and George Bush senior overlapped in power between late 1990 and early 1993, and their close relationship is illustrated by transcripts of conversations obtained by the BBC.
It’s tough at the top, whether you’re the British prime minister or the US president, and it can be an irritating nuisance having to fight elections to stay there.
The two world leaders frequently commiserated with each other in their time in office on their unpleasant experiences of the democratic process, which neither appeared to enjoy.
“It’s been a miserable five months here campaigning”, President Bush said in March 1992 to Prime Minister Major, who replied “It’s been miserable here too”.
‘Rooting for you’
Sir John told Mr Bush that he had walkabouts which “were really nasty and ugly” and the crowds were “horrendous”.
He also gave the president his disgruntled view of the British media, that “the Conservative press here has been bloody” and “haven’t been reporting our policy”, while “the BBC has been appalling too”, adding that “for what is supposed to be a public television service, it is not impartial at all”.