Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Laura Perrins: Too cool for school Chuka is also too old to have a girlfriend


Chuka Umunna has thrown his stylish cap into the ring for the Labour Leadership. I will probably not follow this bloodbath too closely but one thing did catch my eye, namely Mr Umunna’s girlfriend, Alice Sullivan.

It is not so much Ms Sullivan who caught my eye. I am sure she is a perfectly nice woman and, as is now mandatory in Labour circles for wives or girlfriends, she is a lawyer. It is more the fact that Umunna has a girlfriend – and not a wife. How odd.

Where I come from 36-year-old men do not have girlfriends, they have wives. In my (socially conservative mind) sixteen-year-olds have girlfriends, twenty-six-year olds have girlfriends, heck even a thirty-year-old man might have girlfriend,  although really at that stage it should be a fiancé. But a thirty-six-year old man having a girlfriend? That sets off alarm bells.

We should just judge him on his policies, I hear you say. Fine if that is what you want to do – knock your socks off. I will be judging him on the fact that he introduces the electorate to his girlfriend and not wife, thanks all the same. I have form for this, you should know.

I know what is going through your mind, namely do I have some arbitrary cut off point for the girlfriend-wife thing? Yes, I do and the absolute deadline is 35 unless they have only been together for 6 months. Then they get a year. After that it is decision time.

This issue is relevant to me because it indicates what type of character Mr Umunna is and indeed has been.

If Mr Umunna has been dragging his heels over his decision to get hitched it means one of three things. It could mean he is lazy and is not bothered with getting married; it could mean he is unromantic and ‘does not see the point of getting married’ (as is the way in the hip liberal North London set); or, he is a narcissist and he thinks no woman is really good enough for him. None of these traits is attractive.

So that is my thumbs down for Chuka I am afraid, unless he can persuade me otherwise. And I doubt he can.

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