Thursday, April 07, 2005

Sleepwalking to Victory

Health's an issue in any election campaign, but not usually a party leader's (unless we're talking about Charles Kennedy, of course). So why has the question of 'Howard's cough' seen the polarisation of the fourth estate into their respective camps so early on in the campaign? The Telegraph's attempt to portray their man as a human dynamo having an off day was faintly amusing but the best aspect of the Mirror's story has to be this:

"Aides are worried he could become irritable and start snapping at the public if he is tired or ill."

Aside from the sheer entertainment and political value of such a scenario, even the Telegraph had to muse on the fact that things aren't what they used to be:

"Michael Howard has insisted he is up to the election campaign after it was reported that he can become irritable without a long sleep.

"I'm fine on six hours a night," Mr Howard told GMTV.

Six hours may be less than the eight required for an average person but it compares poorly with the four hours Margaret Thatcher famously needed when she led the party."

If things get really bad, they can always call on Sandra Howard to come out with something in rebuttal.

'HE'S BLOWN IT' - Mirror
'Howard has the stamina' - Telegraph

Tickly cough, eh? Oooh, Terrible. Blair had a bloody heart attack!


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