Heard Ed Balls on the 9 am radio show this morning. I've always liked him and like him more and more. Like most politicians he's a human being, it really is a dreadful life being in politics, even at my local level poeple treat you as a pre-formed monster, they mistrust you and they delight in putting you down. Nearly all of the mps, meps, I have met have impressed me with their integrity, ability, and willingness to serve--serve not being a cliched politics word for ruling over you but really meaning trying to do better for us all through the machinery of democracy. I've met and worked with Graham Watson, for example, over the years. He's measured, sensible, amazingly hard working, just a solid good, intelligent bloke who puts up with shit and still tries to find ways to make things better. He was leader of the European Liberals so was well respected in Europe as an MEP. No doubt if he had chosen to work for Wessex Water (which I knew of course) he would be a top earner getting twice as much as he got as an MEP. But the good people of the SW, using proportional representation chose 2 UKs MEPs who are wholly useless over him and therefore lost what useful influence they had in Brussels. But how do you explain to people who haven't actually met or know them, that whatever the Daily Mail says they are kind honest people not monsters (Though of course all the UKippers are monsters).