There he was on the screen, grimacing away in front of a field of waving corn (prosperity? a subliminal fertility symbol?) while the adoring multitudes howled with delight at every opportunity.
He was pronouncing what you might call New Labour's Beatitudes, listing the achievements of the past thirteen years, claiming credit for anything that could possibly be construed as positive - Olympics, black women peers, the number of teachers... the list went on and on, while the crowd prostrated themselves to touch the hem of his garment.
I see from the news that I must have been watching Brown addressing 'a morale-boosting rally of 300 activists in Manchester' - which raises the question of exactly whose morale was being boosted. By the time I switched on, Brown was grinning manically, which is not a sight you want to be greeted with after a hard day at work.
The reason for this particular self-satisfied smile? 'Under Labour, there are more students at university than ever before and I'm happy to say the majority of them are women'. Cue: whoops and squeals of delight at a level suggesting the entire audience had just won the lottery.
Exactly why is this a cause for rejoicing? I'm all for equality in educational opportunity, but why is this inequality a source of jubilation? the only reason I can think of is a sort of double negative; women lacking education is BAD, so more women than men in university must be GOOD.
So where does this leave my son? Finding a university place is hard enough already: he'll be set impossible targets because his school is above average for GCSE's - and it's not comprehensive and we don't live in a deprived area, so there are quotas operating against him as well. With application forms now asking about parents' qualifications, he'd be better off being adopted by wolves - or possibly urban foxes.
The slogan 'A Future Fair for All' has a distinctly hollow ring to it, in this household at least.
Knowing When to Let Go
5 hours ago