The Spectator

Smith passes her first test

Smith passes her first test
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It’s often forgotten that a terrorist attack – successful or thwarted - is simply a mammoth political opportunity. Good performances can last for years. Rudi Giuliani is running for president based on his post-9/11 acts. John Reid was smart enough to milk the Heathrow terrorist drama last summer for all it was worth. Today Gordon Brown was okay, but used strange language (“this recalls the need to be vigilant”– as they don’t say at the Dog & Duck) and Cameron (“we should thank the public” – aw shucks!) wasn’t much better.  How Blair would have dazzled! Anyway, I found the new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith quite plausible in her role. She had been obviously instructed to refer to “the Prime Minister” as often as she could. But her first day has brought her first test, and I’d say she’s passed. Well, so far at least.