A couple of recent blogs from Michael Crick show him up to his old tricks.
In 'Personally, I blame the kids' he seems to me to be trying to solicit our sympathy for a particular social group - Labour ministers:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/michaelcrick/2009/10/personally_i_blame_the_kids.html * *
Why do many leading Labour figures seem to be "exhausted full stop"?
"Personally I blame the kids. No seriously. An interesting feature of the Blair and Brown governments is just how many leading ministers have young children (by which I mean children under 10).
"Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have been in this category, of course, and among Mr Brown's senior colleagues, both of the Milibands, Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper and Douglas Alexander all have young children, and those are just the ministers I can think of off the top of my head."
"In the past the children of leading politicians tended to be either teenagers or grown up. And there is another obvious factor, too. These days fathers are expected to play a much bigger role in childcare. Children cannot just be left with the wife or nanny all day, and every day.
"I know, as the father of a three-year old, just how difficult it is to get any time to do serious reading at home, let alone have a quiet think and plan ahead. Weekends are fully occupied, and the only spare time is the late evenings when one is already pretty tired. It must be a lot worse for busy ministers with full diaries, constant public pressure, media attention and constituency duties.
"Young children are no great respecters of parental sleep. You have to wake up when they wake up. Worse still are those occasions in the middle of the night when they insist on clambering into bed with you, as happens, I'm told, with one senior minister."
Three days later he follows up the theme of this tender-hearted post with a piece entitled 'Sympathy for the modern political parent':
This is a typical Crick anecdote:
"I bumped into one of John Major's old Cabinet colleagues this afternoon and ran past him my theory that this government may partly be exhausted because so many of them have young children.
"Oh yes," he said. "In my day you could simply farm all that out to your wife."'
Not a particularly funny story it has to be said, but at least it casts the Conservative Party in a bad, 'unreconstructed' light - so job done.
For all I've written about Michael Crick, it never dawned on me to look him up on Wikipedia. Having now remedied that omission, I read the following:
"Crick, a known Labour supporter, is known for his investigations of Conservative politicians and followed then Tory leader, Michael Howard around during the 2005 election campaign as part of his research for his biography of Howard, published the same year. Since then, Crick has investigated Conservative Party Chairman, Caroline Spelman for abuse of expenses."
They know him so well!!!!
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