When politicians start to appear in the public discourse routinely with the prefix “poor” in front of their names, it is generally a sign that it’s time to call in the undertakers. Ask poor Mr Major who started to appear this way from about, as I recall, 1995. It was a long, slow, decay in this case and we can only wonder if Ed Miliband is destined to last as long now that he is Poor Mr Miliband after his spooky “these strikes are wrong” interview that everyone is looking at today.

According to this account of said interview, written by the reporter who conducted it, Mr Miliband had three aides on hand to help him through it. And not one of them able to find the off-switch.  The interview is simultaneously hilarious and gruesome that it doesn’t really require commentary, though picture, if you, will, the scene as PMM arrives home from work that evening:

Mrs M:  Ed darling, if you could just switch off the Nintendo for a moment. What do you say that we order in a takeaway and then make it an early night?

PMM:    I say that these strikes are wrong and that the Government has acted in a reckless and provocative manner.

Poor Mrs M too.

Incidentally, I treasure the line in Damon Green’s account that the prime minister’s aides won’t allow him to be photographed in front of “anything Etonian”. That must make shots with the full Cabinet tricky for a start.

This leads on to a thought I had the other day that 2015 – the scheduled date for the next election –  is two hundred years on from the Battle of Waterloo.  Moreover, the precise anniversary – Waterloo Day – is 18th June and a Thursday that year. What better platform could there be for the Conservatives to enjoy an ever-popular patriotic, squash the frogs theme for their rallying cry?

Except that, alas, the last legal date for the election is 11th June, the week before. So near, yet so far. Now it turns out that the point is academic in any case.  There must be some reporters out there who will recall that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. So Cameron cannot be associated with it even if he wanted to.