23. April 2015

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I’m a fan of Milifandom

At last, in the dustbowl of dry dullness which has been election coverage so far, a glimmer of life, positivity and fun – Milifandom. This wonderful phenomenon has been sparked by the yearnings of teenage girls who have taken poor, belittled Ed Miliband to their collective bosoms, to love and to cherish, loudly, on the internet.

It reminds me of the time at school when someone ran away with the only male teacher we had. He was the physics teacher and, as if this wasn’t off-putting enough, he was also unattractive and ancient (probably at least 25). I decided that the school governors didn’t trust us enough to allow any male teachers on the premises who were young or good looking, and I also was pretty sure that this wouldn’t make the physics teacher safe against the oceans of oestrogen present in any girls’ school. Sure enough, eventually a sixth former carried him off. The same thing happened at university, where one of our professors scuttled away with a final year student. In both cases, thank goodness, the girls involved (though in my eyes deluded) were over the ages of consent, even if there was a breach of all kinds of professional standards involved.

The trouble is that girls, being lovely, feel a great onrush of pity and love towards creatures being ill-used and mistreated. If an ugly science teacher will do it, then how much more alluring is a bullied politician? Best of all, with the politician, there is no danger of the crush becoming real. Miliband, though he seems as fragile as Bambi after the hunter’s shot does away with his mummy, is actually married, has children and is a smart chap. He is not a sad loner who is being attacked – or if he is, that’s not the whole story.

Milifandom is a genuine, and lovely, outpouring of warmth – a total contrast to everything we have seen so far in the election. These girls can’t even vote yet, but already they may have the power to turn the election around. How wonderful and how amazing. The sudden eruption of the Cameronettes, by contrast, is quite obviously a put-up job crafted in a back room at Tory HQ by a disgruntled 40-something man – quite revolting.

Miliband, for years the unfair butt of media scorn, is having his very own Cinderella moment. You can’t help but love that, and smile, too, at the army of Princess Charmings who may well make his dreams come true.

Ed Miliband: sex god?

Ed Miliband: sex god?

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21. April 2015

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Whispers

I saw a friend today for the first time in a few months, and she was very apologetic about not ringing. ‘I knew you were having Troubles, and I didn’t like to intrude,’ she whispered, even though there were only the two of us there. Cancer is still a hushed-voice kind of illness, and rightly […]

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12. April 2015

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Last rites

I was at a memorial service last week in a seaside town. At the gathering afterwards (what is one supposed to call it? It’s not a wake, and just a lunch or tea sounds disrespectful and wrong) someone pointed out a couple our sort of age. ‘Their son is the internet sensation X,’ they whispered. […]

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11. April 2015

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A View from the Gala

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Gala performance of A View from the Bridge the other night. It’s a play by Arthur Miller which, in the wrong hands, could now be as dated as a 1950s Coca-Cola poster. With Dutch director Ivo Van Hove in charge, it is electrifying and quite […]

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23. March 2015

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Laugh a minute

There was an odd moment the other night. We were at Up the Creek, the comedy venue in Greenwich, and it had already been a curious evening. There was a restless air of violence, as though the whole crowd was saying, ‘you looking’ at me?’ in that moody, twitchy, dying-for-a-fight kind of way. Someone had […]

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17. March 2015

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Testing times

I’m not at all surprised at today’s newspaper reports that children from poorer backgrounds (are we even still allowed to say that?) are much less likely to go to the ‘better’ universities.  It seems that without all the relentless parental hovering over their reading as tots, without the improving visits to museums and galleries, without […]

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5. March 2015

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So this is what it takes ….

A friend of mine has been playing hostess to a young relative for several months. He tipped up from his home in foreign parts with vague thoughts of maybe working, maybe not, and has been pootling happily around London ever since, lucky thing, his options open, his horizons wonderfully wide and a comfortable home with […]

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5. March 2015

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Sponsored video: Milking it

Sponsored video: Milking it

Child Two has always had a problem with milk. As soon as she started on formula at a year old, she began to develop mysteriously persistent coughs and colds, which for a long while I put down to Belgium’s climate (even damper than the UK). It got so bad that I had to take her […]

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27. February 2015

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Down with it

Down with it

OK, I admit it, I did look at the clip of Madonna falling on her backside at the Brit Awards. But I (sort of) had no choice, as the TV was blaring on in a waiting room …. and I was curious. I already knew about her tumble, because all the freebie commuter papers yesterday […]

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24. February 2015

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And the winners are ….

And the winners are ….

Wow and well done to Patricia Arquette. Admittedly, fantastically beautiful Oscar winners don’t really come across as the most oppressed group on the planet, so I doubt she’ll be the one who finally forces the patriarchy to stump up equal pay. But on the other hand, when does a woman ever otherwise get such a […]

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