"After one visit to Karabakh at the height of the war (between Armenia and Azerbaijan 2011), I brought back photographs of children shredded by cluster bombs. I asked the then Minister at the Foreign Office if the British Government would make representations to Azerbaijan, concerning the use of cluster bombs on civilians – a violation of international conventions. The Minster’s reply was brief and brusque:
I shared Caroline Cox's sense of shame at being British and disappointment in our political class. This augmented later by both our Deputy Prime Minister and our Prime Minister.
It was started by David Blunkett, Sheffield MP and former Home Secretary, speaking about the newly settled Slovakian Romas in his home city. He said: "We have to change the behaviour and the culture of the incoming Roma community because there's going to be an explosion otherwise. We all know that."
So to redress the balance let me have a go at Cherie Blair, not exactly a politician but certainly a political figure. She was recently interviewed in The Independent. The headline was "Being a mother isn't a job. It's a relationship" It sounds exactly like a politician's sound bite. So I looked at the article and came across what she said about being a mother. In a way it sounds unexceptionable. “Don’t say being a mother is the most important job to do because being a mother isn’t a job. It’s a relationship. The quality of the relationship is what matters . The most important thing is the relationship we have with our children.” And yet it does sound like the words of someone who can afford a nanny, someone like a... millionaire barrister, or someone... married to a prime minister, or even... better, both. You might not like to describe motherhood as a job, but whatever you call it, there's nothing more important to do well than bringing up children. And whatever else it isn't, it certainly is hard work. I would reply, "Don't say being a mother is just a relationship. It's much more than that."
I know politics is what politicians do. But it doesn't seem to me that ours are doing it very well.
Now for the season of goodwill!
PS Here's hoping George Osborne doesn't come up with some madness tomorrow.