Jayne Dawson: When I say grannies rock, I’m not talking about chairs

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I cannot tell you how thrilled I am. My very bone marrow is zinging with pride because it is really true - grannies are having a moment.

I mean, grans have always been important - but very much portrayed in a nonsensical, old-Hollywood sort of a way.

You know - that old lady in the rocking chair wearing a shawl and a pair of specs, nodding her silver hair in time to the rhythm of her knitting needles.

If decades of cinema are to be believed, that woman lost the use of her legs and faculties at the age of 50. After that, she was only good for light, craft-based activities.

But not now. Now granny has broken free of the rocking chair.

Grans are so very much at the forefront that younger women are copying them, dyeing their locks silver in tribute, and wearing big pants. Granny does still rock - but in a very different way

That’s just fashion though, real grannies are not bothering with that. They have thrown off their pinnies, whipped out their curlers, laughed in the face of the cauliflower perm and are up and away, gambolling free.

Not all of them, and not all the time - because quite a few are involved in important childcare work, looking after their grandchildren so the parents can scrape together a deposit for a decent house, and that kind of thing.

But still, acknowledging all of that, times for grans are a changing.

Let me just sling some names your way: Hillary Clinton; Angela Merkel; Christine Lagarde. I KNOW! They are all hugely important women, with massive drive and ambition. They are smart as whips, operating on the world stage and for all I know, they are hell to live with.

But that’s not the point. The point is they all have grandchildren - some are step-grandchildren but, hey, they all count.

Hilary Clinton at 67 is a newish gran to Charlotte, courtesy of her own daughter Chelsea. She is also gearing up to become leader of the free world. I find this so inspiring as to be practically mind-blowing.

Angela Merkel, 60, is the most important woman in Europe, the one that our own David Cameron is currently trying to schmooze with his ideas for European reform.

Angela holds all the aces and she knows it , and it seems to me she treats David a lot like one of her little grandchildren. She doesn’t actually pat him on the head, but you get the feeling that only her cast iron good manners are stopping her.

And Christine Lagarde, 60, is in the club too. She is the elegant French woman with the achingly chic hair, all sharp and silver. She also happens to head up the International Monetary Fund and thus has her foot on the neck of many in Europe, and beyond.

Yet when asked what she will do when it is all over, she airily replies that she will spend more time with her grandchildren - a statement so wonderfully nonchalant, so superbly stylish as to make other grandmothers swoon with awe.

We don’t have to stop the list there. There are others - let’s not forget the Queen. She is 89, she still gamely sits on thrones, gamely walks around with crowns weighing about half a ton on her head, gamely reads out other people’s plans for the country - all of that. And she has so many grandchildren and great grandchildren I can’t be bothered to count them, and probably neither can she.

And next year, when Boris Johnson steps down as Mayor of London and, who knows, pops up as prime minister, a grandmother will try to take his place in the London hot seat, in the form of 67-year old Tessa Jowell.

So grans are definitely having a moment - but here’s what I think. It’s more than a moment. I think we are seeing the future, and the future is all about older women. I can’t wait. Anybody want a rocking chair – I don’t know a single gran who needs it?

Sarah Champion MP

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