Politics.co.uk Blog

Saturday, 10 April 2010

From Pole to poll

The death of Polish president Lech Kaczynski is a real tragedy.

Gordon Brown and David Cameron expressed near-identical sentiments on the issue this morning, sending their sympathies to the families of all the 87 victims who have died near Smolensk.

There is nothing especially unusual about this. Either man could be prime minister a month's time, so it makes perfect diplomatic sense for the two political leaders to express their sympathies - on behalf of the British people as well as themselves.

But I can't help feeling a slight sense of unease at the timing of their announcements. It wasn't David Cameron's fault that he put out a statement before Downing Street (who, in purdah, are probably only half-awake anyway). For a few brief moments, though, it felt as if there was the slightest, subtlest sense of oneupmanship going on.

This is probably getting a bit carried away, of course. We're only one week into the general election campaign and I can't afford to lose my head just yet. For a bit of self-refreshing perspective, international news offers us another thought-provoking object lesson in seriousness.

The general election is a big deal and we're in exciting times, but the ongoing political crisis in Thailand - which has now seen the government resort to rubber bullets and water cannons - is in another league altogether.

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