Now resigned from Pa Broon’s cabinet, Hazel Blears has admitted to being a “Marmite politician”: folks either love or hate her. Quite a few in and around the Westminster village, across the political spectrum, quite like her, and have therefore been relatively kind about her this week. Things are a little different Oop North.
Ms Blears (aka The Chipmunk) likes to trowel on her humble roots: she passed the exam and climbed the greasy pole, but her brother did not, so he went to drive a bus. She’s supposed, though, to still have the common touch, and to be a good issues and grass roots campaigner, so yesterday afternoon the folks from BBC North West Tonight went out and about in Hazel’s back yard, the city of Salford, to see how Joe and Joanne Public felt about their MP.
And Mr and Ms Public were seen to be at odds with the Westminster village. Many were quizzed on camera, and almost all were hostile. Eventually one woman was found who was prepared to speak up for the Chipmunk.
The survey was, of course, done at random, and things might be different come a future General Election. But from the comments of folks in Salford, where they tend to tell you what they’re thinking very directly, it will be uphill all the way for the diminutive former minister.