Miriam Gross

Diary – 14 November 2009

Miriam Gross opens her diary

Not long ago, I astounded the men sitting next to me at a dinner party (yes, dinner parties still take place here and there) by saying that I thought Gordon Brown was handsome, and indeed had sex appeal. The men exclaimed that I had gone off my rocker. But the women within earshot immediately chipped in to support me. They agreed that the Prime Minister was an attractive man: he exuded an aura of manliness, of reticence, of depth of feeling, all qualities which are very attractive to women. There then followed one of those enjoyable conversations about who among our leading politicians did, and who did not, have sex appeal. As it turned out, no one round the table could think of a single man on the front benches who had ‘it’ — not David Cameron, not George Osborne, neither David Miliband nor Ed, not of course Ed Balls, not Alistair Darling, no, not Alan Johnson, not Nick Clegg or even Vince Cable. Not Tony Blair. There was only Gordon Brown. However, in the last few days, whenever I’ve seen the Prime Minister on television, he’s looked increasingly puffy and pasty. This is hardly surprising given the painful publicity he’s received over his letter of condolence, but it occurred to me that he’d better call an election soon before he loses his last remaining asset and with it, perhaps, a large number of women voters.

As we all know, health and safety officials endlessly meddle in our lives — sports days are cancelled because of wet grass, music teachers are obliged to wear earmuffs, and so on — but there is one area in which the bureaucrats have not interfered nearly enough: improving the lights on bicycles. It’s a near miracle if, while driving a car in heavy traffic during the hours of darkness, one doesn’t knock a cyclist off his bike.

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