"POLL FEVER!" the media announced over the weekend. I think I've caught a touch of it myself. Symptoms include apathy, nausea and fatigue. Alastair Campbell warned to wrap up against these symptoms, but I think I caught it off the television.
As the pathology develops, weariness becomes overwhelming, feelings of powerlessness strike in the small hours along with flashes of paranoia, irritability and Tripartite Tourette's (obscenity, scatology, blasphemy).
The only recognised cure is to turn off all electronic media, cancel the papers, and stretch out in the unseasonable sunshine with a vase of Chardonnay.
Failing that, the only refuge is the House of Commons. Luckily I've been taught to be a floor-of-the-house man. That's where democracy happens.
While the Prime Minister was out there in voterland getting schoolchildren in armlocks, we dumb loyalists sat in an almost- empty gallery looking down into the sparse house, dozing slightly, lulled by the drowsy hum of television helicopters hovering over the Prime Minister.
The Sketch awoke to the sound of a minister informing Parliament that "children are the future".
You just can't believe anything politicians say any more, can you?
That remark made me worry about the effect political discourse has on children. The example set by politicians is a scandal. Children imitate things they see on television. That may have been why pupils at the school where the Prime Minister was launching his re-election campaign were singing: "We are the children of the future!"
That was true in the political sense of not being true at all.
No, they are the voters of the future. They are the children of the present. As we fat, 50-year-olds are the children of the past. The children of the future are the …