Tara Hamilton-Miller: Leaders' wives at heart of battle

There is nothing more depressing than watching some pasty-faced union man aggressively shouting.

Tara Hamilton-Miller
Tara Hamilton-Miller

The Prime Minister told the BBC's Women's Hour that the BA strike comes at 'the wrong time'. When is the right time?

The Unite union has given the Conservative Party its first boost in weeks. As always Gordon Brown did not act fast enough and it is ironic that the unions who have supported Brown and tolerated Blair could be Brown's downfall.

The rest of the Cabinet all appear to have muzzled themselves. The election is in weeks and one would think this competition was about two men only.

With more strikes afoot, thank goodness for the heartening news that Samantha Cameron is to have another baby. Senior party officials are thrilled and no wonder - for an MP a pretty wife is helpful; a pretty wife with a bump is even better.

All the publicity surrounding the roles of the party leaders' wives means they will have to play the next six weeks with some subtlety.

There is something a little too professional about Sarah Brown. Before she became Gordon's wife she was an astute PR woman. Do not be fooled by the simpering intros she gave her husband at party conferences. This woman is a polished old hand.

Odd behaviour from Nick Clegg's wife though, the fabulously named Miriam Gonzalez Durantez. If she wants to sanctimoniously announce she is not going to join the election media bandwagon then fine. But why is this done during a gushy interview with ITV?

These vox-pops are like a bizarre edition of celebrity Mr and Mrs. Each political wife reveals a little nugget about their other half. We are living in an age when complete transparency in politics means knowing that 'x' overfills the washing machine. Men, eh!

If you want something more thought-provoking you have to turn to France's first lady, Carla Bruni, who last week looked wistfully into the Sky News camera and mused: 'I guess marriage should be forever but who knows what happens. I wish it was forever ... but we could be dead tomorrow.' There you go. A proper quote.

- Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team.

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