speeches from party leaders, blah, blah, blah, others will comment better than I can, here we go two three four, oops that is the beginning of a song which has as part of its refrain "Gordon Is A Moron". Except that in the song ("Jilted John" by Jilted John, sometime around 1978, do try and keep up) Gordon is the character who is cool and trendy and gets the girl and is the winner and goes around laughing at the loser who tries to outdo him. Hmmm.
At election time I am always interested, not in the Westminster village or equivalent, but in what other media do. In 2001, after the UK election, I went to Australia for a four-week visit (a private one) and they were in election campaign there. The Labor (their spelling) leader in opposition was Kim Beazley. Australia has a Labor government now. Anyway, Kim B was featured in a women's magazine in an article titled "The Women Who Love Kim Beazley" which I thought was great campaigning, and that all political leaders campaigning for election should try to place that kind of story. It was the kind of article women would show their husbands. I remember talking to Alastair Campbell about it later. There was another piece about Kim, in a men's magazine mainly about large pieces of DIY equipment and garden machinery, which Australian men seem to love, but with irony (there is a chain of shops selling things like lawnmowers and leaf blowers and power saws called "A Man's Toyshop") but I digress. It is important to reach people who do not read articles about politics. Then the response is real.
The latest edition of UK Marie-Claire has an article about an award called "Empowering Women", associated with survival of domestic violence and linked to Women's Aid, of which Sarah Brown is one of the judges. I do not suppose the Kevin Maguires of this world think stuff like this is important, because it is only GIRLS who suffer domestic violence. But I am glad Sarah Brown is doing this. And the truths about domestic violence are several. The utterly vast majority of it is perpetrated by men upon women. But women do perpetrate it upon men - I have seen it myself. And the man's reaction I witnessed was exactly as a woman's reaction usually is when hit - I know from personal experience. There is a significant level of concern about domestic violence within lesbian couples. And gay male couples do not seem to understand it as a concept. So - the diversity of humanity.
Sarah Brown, I think you are good news. I am sorry you and Gordon lost a child, I lost one too but your loss was worse than mine. I am sorry your second son has cystic fibrosis and I hope all concerned can help him to stay well. I am sure you know Sarah, but it is not generally known, that boys who survive past puberty with cystic fibrosis (and most do these days) are infertile. The condition means that effectively you are born with a vasectomy. I know this from a former constituent who had cystic fibrosis and had survived into his 40s (two sisters had died in their teens), and not unreasonably wanted a family.
In these days when it is very unusual to lose a child, both the party leaders hoping to be Prime Minster have had that experience. It is something which is not supposed to happen. My father died young, before both his parents, and they were never the same again. But he made it to adulthood - obviously.
Let's try to have this UK election with a little less ugliness and a little more humanity, hein?