Britain's Most Political Baby

The by-election campaign in our area is now at full-tilt, with polling day now less than a week away. Over the last few days it seems like I've been constantly out and about following one politician or another to interview them for Saddleworth News. Since Mrs J went back to work on Tuesday, G has had to come everywhere with me too.

The picture above shows us in the snow in Oldham today, with the Labour candidate Debbie Abrahams and the Shadow Home Secretary, Ed Balls. Before I could ask him any questions, he asked me what it was like being the only dad at parent-and-baby groups. After that discussion, it seemed a bit bizarre to switch to doing an interview about policing and counter-terrorism, but I suppose that's to be expected when you mix babies and politicians.

Mr Balls wasn't actually the most famous politician me and G interviewed this week. Yesterday, we got a quick chat with none other than the Prime Minister himself.

We'd been told he only had a small amount of time for the media, but that didn't stop a horde of journalists and camera crews turning up outside the garage in Oldham that he was visiting. Only some reporters were going to be allowed in, but as the local media outlet doing by far the most in-depth coverage of the campaign, I was on the list. As my name was called I pushed G inside along with several very well-known journalists, who produced a variety of expressions ranging from confusion to amusement.

We had to wait a while for the PM, but even though G was well overdue her afternoon nap, she was beautifully behaved. She even remained in a good mood when ITN's political correspondent mistakenly took her for a boy. Further evidence perhaps that News at Ten's reputation for accuracy isn't what it was.

A few of us local journalists eventually squeezed into a room and waited for Mr Cameron to come in and give us a few minutes of his time. I was in the seat next to the PM with G on my knee, although throughout she seemed more interested in opening and closing a desk drawer which was right in front of her.

At one point, one of the other reporters asked whether the by-election was a referendum on the coalition, at which moment G started giggling at something. The PM said: "You've had your answer here. How old is she? 15 months and already laughing at that idea!" G certainly likes to make everyone know she's there, no matter how important they are.

Sadly only one photographer was allowed on the PM's visit so there aren't any pictures of us meeting him. However, here's one of us in the pub on Tuesday with UKIP's Nigel Farage. A slightly less significant political figure, but a party leader nonetheless.

A very pleasant chap, he advised me that he always took galoshes with him when campaigning to avoid ruining his shoes. I trust he buys British-made ones.

All of this has led to quite a few people suggesting to me that G must now be by far the most political baby in Britain. Not sure if she knows who to support yet though. I have a feeling that whichever party gives her the most brightly-coloured balloons might just sway her.

(pictures: Stuart Coleman Photography)