Aside from her husband, I think I might be the only man in the land to
love our former Deputy Prime Minister. Never particularly liked by
the right wing press for her ultra-feminism, I’ve always found her
much less disagreeable. She’s reminiscent of a well-meaning jolly
hockey sticks-y Girl Guides leader, geeing up the troops, and this was
certinly the role she was playing at the Scottish Labour Party
conference this weekend when she attacked Treasury Chief Secretary
Danny Alexander, branding him a ‘‘ginger rodent’’. However, in all the furore surrounding her comments about his hair, nobody seems to have noticed the transformation Hattie has made to her barnet since the election.
Sporting a neat, practical, very New Labour bob throughout her time in
government, she appears to have gone all Greenham Common on us since
May, growing the bob out into a Worzel Gummidge-esque thatched mess.
It’s as if, free from the stress and confines of government and
realizing that Labour is back in opposition, Hattie has got all
nostalgic for the 80s and has embraced her scruffy Old Labour roots.
Perhaps the rest of the Shadow Cabinet could do the same? Ed Miliband
may (just about) walk the lefty walk with his talk of bashing the
bankers and setting up a High Pay Commission but he looks all together
too slick and neat modern for a genuine lefty. Perhaps he could
re-connect with his Yorkshire roots and don a Michael Foot-style
donkey jacket and a Harold Wilson pipe. Or maybe Diane Abbott can
grow her dreads back and dig out the Free Nelson Mandela t-shirt
that’s no doubt been lying in the bottom of her wardrobe since 1990.
If we’re going to be a radical leftist opposition, lets do it proper:
CND badges on the lapels of every scruffy tweed jacket and shadow
Cabinet meetings fuelled by beer and sandwiches and ending every time
with an alcohol-fuelled rendition of the Red Flag.