Something nasty . . .

For a politician – of any age and any party – there is a narrow line to tread between national treasure and embarrassing elderly relative.

Think Ed Balls.

It may be a little premature to call him a NT but he is staking his claim. First “Ed Balls Day” on twitter, then Gangnam style on Strictly and now his recent Dream Dinner Party on Radio 4 and underpinning all this froth, listen to him talking about his stammer.

But the last few days have also seen a couple of the elderly relatives escape their minders.

First up the moist eyed wet lipped Michael Howard, attempting to conjure the shade of the Blessed Margaret with an ill-concealed warning to Spain (or as he probably sees them, Johnny Dago). Or perhaps he had just misread the Lynton Crosby playbook on dead cats.

And not to be outdone, we now have Labour’s own elderly uncle, Ken Livingstone, bleating that he was “just stating the truth” – something to which I fear he may be a stranger.

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