Charles Moore Charles Moore

The Spectator’s Notes | 12 November 2011

As the eurozone totters, David Cameron risks imitating those western politicians in the late Eighties so worried about instability that they wanted to prop up the Soviet Union. He ought to recognise that Europe’s difficulty is Britain’s opportunity. He should not be investing money or political capital in the survival of the eurozone. Since everything is changing so fast, he should say so. As with his powerful Munich speech about refusing to engage with Islamist extremists, he should choose a platform on the Continent. There he should set out the future of a Europe which learns from its currently compounding mistakes and charts a different course. At present, Mr Cameron seems too anxious about the adverse reaction of Liberal Democrats at a time when even Nick Clegg is privately exasperated with the way the EU is going. He has within his own party — indeed among his own ministers, such as Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove, Owen Paterson, Nick Herbert — a fund of ideas. If he doesn’t tap it, he will create an irreconcilable enemy within, and go the way of John Major.

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Hounds usually have traditional names like Ruthless or Ranter, but one in our hunt is called Sarkozy. He is a black-and-tan hound with a bit of blue mottle, small and sharp. He is a young hound, entered last year. When he was named, the French President was a fixture on the international scene, but after the current crisis I suspect that the dog will have a longer career than the man.

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Reviewers of P.G. Wodehouse, A Life in Letters, edited by Sophie Ratcliffe (Hutchinson) seem perplexed that a man of such talent lived so quietly and was naive about politics. What they tend to miss is that Wodehouse was a true artist, and therefore had no desire to lead an exciting life.

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