Listening to an interview recently on Radio 4, I noticed how frequently some of our politicians begin a reply with - "Look,..." and it made me angry.
Thinking back, I remember Gordon Brown using this intro, as did his predecessor Tony Blair.
Transactionally, it's interesting to note the two different levels of communication at play here. On the social level, "Look,..." is an invitation, and a plea for a kind of matey informality. 'Come on, I'll level with you....'
On the psychological level, though, there is a different message being delivered. A couple of possible interpretations -
"Look, (you clearly don't get it, so I'll have to explain it again)..."
"Look, (I have explained this before, so this is the last answer I will give to this question - don't ask it again thank you)..."
As Eric Berne suggested, the psychological-level communication determines the outcome of the transaction. So in their matey, friendly, I'm-just-like-you approach, these politicians are betraying a secret -
they really "look" down on other people.