As I listened to David Miliband dissect his brother's failures on the news in a eulogy written to offend the faithful, I found myself squawking, 'he's not dead David, he's only in Ibiza!' But politically dead Ed is; the headstone he commissioned foretold it. Every time I see that headstone I picture David slipping the chisel back into his Bible at the page marked Cain and less-Abel. How a party accused of mismanaging money thought such a terrible waste of it was a selling point is remarkable. But more bizarre is what it had to say. What does "An NHS with time to care" mean? And what was it supposed to mean to an electorate who hopes for an NHS with more cash to spend and ideally less time to queue. This monument to platitudes will be studied alongside Liam Byrne's suicide note, 'I'm afraid there is no money - and good luck' by PR types and politicos until the next round of gaffes. (And no, it doesn't matter that Maudling apparently left a similar note for his successor Callaghan in 1964. No one remembers him. That's the nature of politics.) Meanwhile the arts world is seething. Everywhere I look people I respect are damning (other) voters as ignorant, racist degenerates - and that's just the English ones. Sure there are problems with the electoral system like the relative underrepresentation of UKIP that we're happily ignoring. But the hyperbole is making me anxious. If people who profess to care about our public services can't explain the need to protect them in a coherent manner, why should anyone listen? And how long will it be before dismay at the loss of a hospital ward is secondary to the thrill of distressing a luvvie? I was thinking about this last week when I had my foot cleaned and re-bandaged after recent surgery.
The nurse was delighted, 'doesn't that look great?' she exclaimed as she wiped the crust off the stitches, 'what a fantastic job. See how that plaster is keeping the nail in place?' It looked pretty grim to me but I tried not to whine and thought about the positives. An obvious one being the incredible treatment I have been so grateful to receive. I can see a few positives about this election too - including the huge turnout and the fact that two major political figures took responsibility for their losses and resigned. Even Farage kind of tried to. This was a free and fair election and there'll be another one before we know it. In the meantime £8bn of additional funds per year has been pledged to the NHS by 2020. Let's make sure it gets there. Because as these springtime pigeons remind us: life goes on.