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Wednesday, February 25, 2009 


The incredibly sad death of Ivan Cameron has been one of those rare moments when everyday life rightly transcends bitter political divides and shows that whatever our differences, our common humanity, when it comes down to it, always shines through. It was more than appropriate that it was Gordon Brown who contributed what I'm sure will become the lasting tribute - the man who himself lost a daughter just 10 days after she was born delivering a truly heartfelt and moving message of compassion and empathy to a person whom it has long been clear he has little to no time for. To those who have in the past said that Brown can't do emotion, or that he even lacks the ability to recognise it or when it should be used, even if for political motives, it could not have been a better example of how, when it really matters, that he is more than capable of doing so.

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Sincere condolences to the bereaved are the only appropriate response to such a loss and Brown's words were indeed impressive.

But watching him in the Commons yesterday I could not help but note that, in the strange, cocooned, self-righteous and self-absorbed moral universe we inhabit in this country, some children are more precious and some parents' 'unbearable sorrow' more worthy of empathy than others.

He said: "Every child is precious and irreplaceable and the death of a child is an unbearable sorrow that no parent should ever have to endure." Quite so; but where were his words of condolence about the preciousness of the 450 children so recently killed by the Israeli military in Gaza? Or the unbearable suffering of their parents? - and all in the worthy cause of self-defence we are told - so that's alright then.

Frankly, the grossness of the double standards make me sick.

Of course sincere condolences. One can only inagine what it must feel like.

But, Obsolete, I'm sorry to say I wasn't expecting a post like this one. What's all this measuring and comparing and assessing grief?

Let's leave all that to the Daily Mail and the Grief Fest experts (which abound in Britain).
A politician isn't any better or any worse if they manage to utter soppier or less soppy wordsof condolences.


i share sympathies for the camerons but question why the news channels were wallowing in it yesterday.

extensive coverage at the top of the news and newsnight too. sycophantic burbling.

Claude: You have a good point, and I would normally completely agree with you. In this instance though I thought it was worthy of comparison purely because of how it disproved sniping from the likes of the Mail and from other blogs that Brown can't do "empathy" or doesn't have same "emotional intelligence" as Cameron. I'm no fan of the man or of Labour, but this deserved highlighting as a riposte to them. I do however completely agree over the phony grief fest involved Ms Goody, which is why I've tried to ignore it as best I can.

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