Friday, 27 February 2009

Gordon Brown shows empathy

Commentators have pointed out in the past, and with some justification it has to be said, that Gordon Brown finds it difficult to empathise with people. So his dignified and heartfelt statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday over the death of Ivan Cameron was something good to hear. Normally there is a tremendous amount of antipathy between Brown and David Cameron but here was an occasion where GB showed a very human side to his character. Of course the Browns had lost their first child Jennifer and Gordon one sensed really felt for the Camerons; it was noticeable that he even referred to them by their Christian names - David and Samantha. When Tony Blair was the PM one could never be sure about his sincerity (eg when referring to Diana as "the People's Princess" after her death) . But Brown mercifully doesn't do acting, what we had from here was something genuine. The responses from William Hague and Vince Cable were good as well, and we need to remember with Cable that his wife died before time as it were so he has known personal tragedy as well.

Wednesday of course is normally the day for Prime Minister's Questions but, correctly in my view, it was cancelled. I don't think that the HoC was in any mood for the usual clashes that PMQs provides and it was right to suspend the sitting until 12.30. I notice that one of the Parliament watchers commented on the fact that Dennis Skinner tried to engage fellow MPs in conversation whilst the statements about Ivan Cameron were being made. What a totally outrageous person Skinner is - yes his hatred for the Tories is well known but his absolute lack of respect on this particular occasion puts him beyond the pale. Now aged 77 it's high time he was pensioned off.

There are plenty of enough reasons for people to be cynical about politicians but this was one time when almost all of them showed a degree of humanity.

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