The importance of anger in politics
20 Jan 2004
There were two moments when the 2001 General Election campaign sprang to life. One was when John Prescott punched a man who had thrown an egg at him; the other was when a woman whose partner's operation had been delayed berated the Prime Minister outside a hospital in Birmingham. The common theme was anger; but it is the anger of a woman scorned that should again concern the Prime Minister.
Who has caused Geoff Hoon the most difficulty in recent days? Samantha Roberts, whose husband was tragically killed in Iraq, days after he had to give his body armour to another soldier. Her words on television yesterday made more impact than any number of leaders in the Broadsheets, critical reports from Select Committees, or brickbats from his political opponents. That is the political currency that most people can understand and relate to - the anger of a woman who believes the system has failed her.
And so, as we move towards publication of the Hutton report, who has the capacity to wound the Prime Minister? Of course, Lord Hutton himself, the media and the Opposition.
But the person with the capacity to cause him serious difficulty is none of these; it is Dr Kelly's widow.
 
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Copyright Sir George Young Bt. 2015