Once again, life winds me. This time, it was with the news of the air crash in Poland (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8612825.stm) in which its President Lech Kaczynski was killed together with members of his cabinet, senior financiers and the supporting entourage. They were on their way to commemorate Polish victims at the hands of Russian forces during the Second World War.
This reminded me of something that is so easily eclipsed in modern super-information society. We are obsessed with people in the public eye, and as I have said on other occasions, we raise them high and watch them tumble! With a General Election now firmly in the diary, we will hear many people offer platitudes about, let's face it, how terrible the 'other crew' are, and we will endure this anti-campaigning for weeks. In the end, we will have a Cabinet and Prime Minister, and we will be glad that all the smearing, insults and derision is at an end. Then we forget something very important ...
The people who take power take on the invisible considerable risk. President Kaczynski was not off fishing, was not off fiddling expenses, was not off to meet Katie Price to ask how Alex is - no, he was off to heal a wound, remember the sacrifice of others. Yet, in so doing, died in a freak accident. Those whom take a public role, more especially those who take high public office, assume a price that they hope that they never have to pay: that their work puts them at greater risk, particular danger, the possbility of death.
My prayers go out to the family of President Lech Kaczynski, and to all who take office and do a job that rarely brings glory any more. Who would want to be a powerful politician these days? It seems that a strong masochistic streak is needed.
So, as we revel in the sleaze-mongering that the Country will see in the week to come, let us not forget what these people are agreeing to take on - for us.
To the passengers on that plane - may they rest in peace.