I'll miss our last political character
PUBLISHED: 13:31 09 February 2007 | UPDATED: 22:33 28 May 2010
When Tony Blair finally quits as Prime Minister it will leave a big hole in my life. Not that I will miss our Prime Minister one bit; but the demise of his deputy, John Prescott, will be a great loss to the many who enjoy the hilarious quasi-political sid
When Tony Blair finally quits as Prime Minister it will leave a big hole in my life.
Not that I will miss our Prime Minister one bit; but the demise of his deputy, John Prescott, will be a great loss to the many who enjoy the hilarious quasi-political sideshow he has provided over the years.
Mr Prescott, who will resign as deputy PM when Mr Blair rides off into the sunset sometime later this year, has admitted he is "demob happy" so there is little chance he will now achieve anything of note.
He will be remembered, not for his contribution to politics or the improvement of our country, but for the hilarity he has generated, mostly unintentionally.
It is, perhaps, a trifle sad that he will quit to the sound of sniggering over his two-year affair with his diary secretary Tracey Temple, as this unlikely dalliance is to be shown, in all its graphic detail, as a satirical drama on ITV at the end of the month.
'Confessions of a Diary Secretary' is, by all accounts, a humiliating but accurate lampoon of our deputy PM and there will be those who say it is wrong for such a long-standing politician, who rose to such great heights, to have cheap laughs and a vivid documentary about his illicit love life as a memorial to his years of public service.
But the real heights he achieved were headed by the way he mangled the English language. My favourite is his remark when, returning from a trip, he stepped on to the ground and said how happy he was to be back on terra cotta.
Who can forget the 2001 general election campaign when he punched a protester (and got away with it)?
He will be forever known as Two-Jags because of his self-pampering with official limousines. And we must not forget his wife, who took an official limmo ride of a few yards so that her hairdo stayed in place. There are countless other incidents and discretions, too numerous to list here.
Mr Prescott is unique and when he's gone politics won't be quite the same.
I look round and see no characters in the wings waiting to take on the Prescott court jester role. The Lib Dems may have a contender with Limbit Opik and the Tories might find us another Jeffrey Archer. But somehow I doubt it.