Poor old Gordon Brown. I really felt sorry for him yesterday. Really I did. Because I know that I’m prone to saying ridiculous and embarrassing things in public too. It’s very easily done.
Here are five reasons why I will never be Prime Minister:
1. When I was nine years old I played Oliver in the school production. Radio mics were relatively new things in those days, and I was lucky enough to get to wear one. At the end of the scene where Oliver’s fortunes change and he moves to Mr Brownlow’s house, I went back stage and, radio mic still switched on, my disembodied voice announced to the whole church hall ‘I’ve got to put me socks on now’…
2. Somehow when I was a student, I got nominated as president of the university’s Christian Union. All these strait-laced, good Northern Irish boys and girls, with me, a gobby northerner in charge. Every Friday I welcomed around 200 people to our weekly meetings, once suggesting that we all head over to the student union and buy as many drinks as we could because £1 would be donated from every drink we bought to the CU, and another time chatting merrily away about the stash of tampons I kept in my handbag, to general horrified silence with the odd giggle from the back.
3. Single, and a youth worker in Fleetwood, I found myself leading a church service one Sunday morning and opening my mouth to ask if it was anybody’s birthday. Instead I asked ‘Does anyone else have a boyfriend?’ in some kind of Freudian sub-conscious confession.
4. In the same job, same church, different service, I stood up to talk about some of the work I’d been doing with young people about making good sexual choices. Apparently, although I maintain I’ve been repeatedly and gratuitously misquoted, I told everyone I was a virgin looking for a husband.
5. And I’ve been in print stating that I buy my knickers from Primark.
And so on and so forth, with many more unbroadcast, unpublished moments of foot-in-mouth syndrome, that would make me a complete liability with the general public. I’m sure my friends and family could regale you with plenty more…