Market Thinking

making sense of the narrative

The Rule of Five Foot Six

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One wag recently pointed out that the Rule of Six in the UK seems to have become the Rule of Six people; Boris, Gove, Cummings, Hancock, Rishi and Sturgeon. However, as the house of commons prepares to vote on the rule of six, there is another interpretation, there are more than six people running the country, but they are mostly pretty short, so rather it’s the Rule of Five Foot Six people.

We all know of the so called Napoleon Complex, which psychologists say is indeed a real thing. Napoleon himself was in fact 5’6″, which was actually around normal for the time and taller than, for example Nelson, who was a very slight 5’4″ (an early example perhaps of British spin doctoring). Some have suggested that there is an unspoken rule that French leaders should not be taller than Napoleon – Nicholas Sarkozy is 5’4′ for example, while Francois Holland wasn’t much taller. President Macron is officially 5’8″ , but like Tom Cruise with an official height of 5’7″ we suspect that our (new) Rule of 5’6″ probably applies here too.

Her Majesty the Queen is known to be short, at 5’4″, while Mrs Thatcher was not much taller, at 5’5″. However, we suspect that, like us, most people would be surprised to see just how small UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak actually is. Rishi Sunak is officially 5’7″, but unlike Tom Cruise, Rishi hasn’t quite got the ‘image management’ completely under control – as the traditional Budget Day picture highlights. Other sites say 5’6″, which if we look at the image below looks more like it.

Budget 2020 - Rishi Sunak and Team - Credit BBC
Rishi Sunak is officially 5’7″. Me neither..

His boss Boris Johnson is officially 5’9″ (again at best), as, officially, is his former rival Jeremy Corbyn. This number we suspect is picked as it is average height for UK males. His old rival Nigel Farage admits to 5’8″ while the famously short former speaker of the house John Bercow struggled to top 5’5″. Current political antagonists include Nicola Sturgeon (5’4′), Sadiq Khan (also 5’4″ but claims 5’6″), while of the other cabinet mebers, Pritti Patel claims 5’6″ but is elsewhere put at nearer 5’3″

Internationally, Angela Merkel is 5’4″, Putin is 5’7″ and Xi is 5’9″ (again at best).

In fact the only Politicians to be above the average height for a British male are the Americans, Justin Trudeau (6’2″) and Donald Trump (6’3″ – although he looks slightly shorter than Trudeau in pictures). Joe Biden is officially 6 foot although Mike Pence is more in line with current politicians at 5’8″. Current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is a towering 6’5″, while his predecessor Michael Bloomberg, whom Trump called Mini Mike , suggesting he is 5’4″, claims he is 5’7″.

On this curious trend of small politicians however, the narrative suggests that we will shortly (sic) find ourselves with President Kamala Harris. After all she is 5’2″

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