12 Apr 2010


Ever started a post and it's turned into a bit of a monster in that you thought you had little to say on the subject and yet find that, once started, you actually have plenty to say? Well, this is rapidly becoming one of those posts - I just seem to keep adding as more occurs to me.
Anyway, let me begin by saying that this is in no way meant as a comprehensive guide to the British electoral system but rather my take on one issue that intrigues me.
Here in the UK we are in the grips of GENERAL ELECTION fever. Something I admit I don't have much interest in as, to be honest, to me it seems to make very little difference as to who gets in for long gone are the days when LABOURstood for the 'common' man (and later women for don't forget it wasn't until 1928 here in the UK that women were granted the same EQUAL voting rights as men) in the street and the CONSERVATIVES for, well, the rest.
Mind you. I suppose it was much easier then as there were only the two parties to choose from whereas today we have the three main parties - Labour, Conservative (Tory) and LIBERAL DEMOCRATS (Lib Dem), plus a variety of other, largely lesser known parties, as well as the INDEPENDENT Candidate(s) who is not usually affiliated to any party and, finally, occasionally a rather, shall we say, 'Odd-ball' party such as THE MONSTER RAVING LOONY PARTY.
But I don't really want to go into all that, no I'll leave that to Husband dearest who has begun blogging again such is his interest in the election (click HERE to see what he has to say on the matter).
No, I want to talk about the wives of our prospective Prime Ministers, two of who are somewhat in the spotlight at the moment.
The much talked about Sarah, wife of our now Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Brown, (both pictured to the left) who had, as the Telegraph, reported (but not until after they had commented on her dress) THIS TO SAY at the Labour Party Conference earlier this week.

Samantha (Sam Cam), wife of Conservative leader David Cameron. (both pictured to the right) who if we are to believe everything the INDEPENDENT newspaper says is "slowly and unavoidably (but I ask, is she?) becoming a public figure."
Since when did wives become so involved in the political careers of their husbands? Since when did what they had to say make a difference as to who we voted for?
Ok, there was the wife of HAROLD MACMILLAN (PM 1957-63) whose wife (Lady Dorothy Cavendish) I'm informed played a huge part in his political life but only because she was his official chauffeur. Then there was Dennis, husband of our only female PM, MARGARET THATCHER (PM 1974-90) who was often seen and talked about but was never heard to comment himself. And finally (and perhaps here's where it all started) Cherie, wife of our last PM, TONY BLAIR (PM 1997-2007) who occasionally made her views known but never in the same was as these current candidate's wives do.
To me of much more appeal and much more worthy of our respect is Miriam, wife of Lib Dem leader NICK CLEGG (both pictured below) who has thus far maintained a somewhat dignified silence despite I'm sure being every bit as supportive of her husband as Sarah and Samantha are of theirs.What do you think?
UPDATE:- I do believe that I'm going to have to take back the words I've just written about Miriam Clegg. It is only today that I've had the opportunity to read the Sunday newspapers and what is the main picture on the front page of THE OBSERVER? - (You guessed) Nick and Miriam Clegg, during her first campaign appearance on Saturday.


Vivienne said...

I don't care who wins, as long as Brown is out. We didn't vote him in, we voted Tony Blair, I know it is supposed to be the party, but I don't like him as our prime minister.

I think the wives are taking a forefront in the race, due to the public persona of Michelle Obama. She is really becoming an icon and I think that the goverment have realised we need a similar figure.

brizmus said...

I don't really know much about any of this, so I don't really think anything. I can say, though, that i would HATE to be a campaign wife!

Kissed by an Angel said...

You are going to hate me for this - but I don't read newspapers and I don't watch the news!! I find it all so depressing!!! My other pet hate is Gordon Brown!!!

Kelly said...

Hmmm.... I dislike politics and would never want to be married to a politician.

I think perhaps some of the appeal about political spouses is knowing that like it or not, they're going to have a certain amount of influence (or imput, rather) on the PM (or President).

Seems to me First Ladies have been "in the spotlight" quite a bit in the US, beginning with Jackie Kennedy. In recent years they've all taken on a special "mission" which I think is good. For example, Michelle Obama: childhood obesity and Laura Bush: Literacy. Some have seemed to have a little more "pull" with their husbands than others. Nancy Reagan and Roslyn Carter come to mind.

Personally, I think a lot of Michelle Obama's publicity has been due to the infatuation with her by the American media.

Ha! Not to like politics, I've had a lot to say, too!

Pam said...

Since I'm in the US, I don't know much about the British candidates, but I can say we have the oddball parties like the Raving Pyscho Loony party also.

Laura Toepfer said...

Just finished reading a book about (among other things) Harold McMillan according to which Lady Dorothy did more than chauffeur. She was a serious campaigner/political adviser. Also had a 30+ year affair with his fellow MP, Bob Boothby, but that's another story.

Other than those tidbits, I know nothing; only commented because that happened to be on my mind.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Since living in the USA, I've been retrospectively impressed with how focused British elections have been on policy and perceived ability to govern rather than personality (I mean that relatively, of course). Here in the States, policy takes a definite back seat to the endless parades of family and lack of substance.

Looking at the 2010 election in the UK in particular, I see a worrying trend toward personality over substance.

themethatisme said...

Miriam is only doing weekends. she's told him she's far too busy during the week for all that nonsense.

themethatisme said...

Why do people take against Gordon so?

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I think that the wife is very important when it comes to support and that they should do something to HELP PEOPLE. I do not, however, believe that they should be a deciding factor in their husband's political standing.

Martha said...

Ah, politics, it's all about being telegenic, fitting some storyline, and being eye candy and "correct" as the political spouse.