What’s in a name?

There was, of course, no shortage of condescending little jokes and snobbish snipes following the announcement that the post of deputy public order minister, recently vacated by Vangelis Malesios, had been filled by the MP for Pieria, Pantelis Tsertikides. «Where did Simitis dig him up from?» «Tserpeklides they say, Tserinides, Tadenides, something like that.» Such intelligent observations were bandied about as political commentary. Most of us didn’t know the man; we hadn’t heard anything about him. And we used the fact that we didn’t know him as unshakeable evidence of his insignificance. Of course we did not take the trouble to check out his track record as parliamentary deputy, whether he mutely applauded his leader and colleagues or actually made a difference, so that we could have some basis from which to deplore his actions. Had he been famous, however, we would have regarded his promotion to deputy minister as entirely natural and welcomed him. Neither would we have been particularly concerned about how he had become famous. If Mr Tsertikides had appeared as a presenter on the Arion music awards ceremony and socialized with the nouveau riche and high society so that his picture had covered the glossy pages of celebrity magazines, then we would have known and have approved of him, purely due to his «recognizability.» Now, however, he is an unknown, so we have every reason to revile him.

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