So, here we are… Summer has officially ended, the first X-Factor live show is just over a week away, and Christmas merchandise is quickly taking over the local garden centres. There are two other important things I noted this morning, both on GMTV.

Firstly, the weather forecast from Kirsty McCabe. Earlier this week she speculated that we would have a mild Winter with no chance of a white Christmas – a pretty safe bet, given the last one was thirty-nine years ago. This morning she said that October and November would be mild with temperatures slightly above average (I suppose that’s what mild means). Given that the forecast for today now differs from what she said it would be on Monday, how much faith do we have in her ability (or that of any weather forecaster) to tell us what the weather will be like in eight weeks time? As Paul Daniels used to say, ‘not a lot’.

And then we have the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. You have to applaud Gordon Brown and his gang for not treating it like an early wake, and for keeping up the pretence that they’ll still be in power this time next year. Mrs Brown, there’s no point in looking at the interior of 10 Downing Street and thinking “we could do with new curtains”. Mrs Cameron will take care of that next year. So I was amused by the comments of the sprightly little political bunny David Miliband who this morning said something to the effect of…

Britain loves an underdog, and sometimes Britain wants the underdog to win.

Let’s put this into context Mr Miliband… Britain loves an underdog when Luxembourg are playing Germany in a World Cup qualifier. We love the underdog when a British player other than Andy Murray reaches the third day of Wimbledon. We’ll cheer for the British guy who turns up for a skiing competition and stands alongside Swiss and Austrian competitors. Labour’s position is rather different – the reason that they’re the underdogs in the polls is that hardly anyone thinks they’re doing a good job or intends to vote for them. So come the general election next year, we’re hardly likely to cheer them past the finishing post like some marathon runner dressed as a smurf who’s taken seven hours but has raised £2 million for a cancer charity. Being an underdog, trying your best and valiantly failing with respect and dignity in a sport is one thing… making a hash of running a country is another.