The mother test

Britain awake

mother asleepmother asleep It is often said, and here we go again that, 'a week is a long time in politics'. True, and we now wish we had placed a bet on the timing of a general election. For as those who set themselves up as being 'in the know' propelled each other forward from speculation to certainty, we had our doubts. We had no proof from polling, no reports from think tanks, but it did seem to us to be reckless and out of character for our new PM Gordon Brown to risk so soon the position he has waited for all these years. Also it is a long time, in real time as well as political, since the season of party conferences. Test yourself,can you remember the venue for this year's Liberal Democrat conference? Never mind, as we have the idea that the party conference is an anachronism. For, while the party faithful, and assorted geeks and nerds, see the seaside bash as essential, the voters could not give a stuff. The very fact that the political establishment cannot wean itself off this wacky habit suggests to us that the gulf between the political establishment and the voter will only widen. But back to the topic of the election (postponed). We know of one Midlands' family where politics can be discussed at dinner without a ticking off. The males of the family had, in advance of the New Labour fest, made up their minds on Gordon, and it was not favourable. By contrast mother thought she would be fair and let him set out his stall. So she sat down in front of the television to watch Gordon's first conference speech as Leader, then afterwards she would make up her mind. As we now know the ordinary members of the cabinet had but a few minutes to woo the crowd, while Gordon had all the time in the world. After a while one of the males decided to check on progress. Putting his head around the living room door he saw Gordon on the screen, in full flow to the conference, and the world. While there on the sofa was mother, asleep. So forget Gordon using the UK troops in Iraq as a backdrop to electioneering (failed). If mother cannot stay awake, then not just a week, but perhaps an hour is too long in politics.