James Forsyth

You’re only as old as the ideas you think

You're only as old as the ideas you think
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John Mortimer had a piece in The Observer this weekend bemoaning ageism in our politics and contrasting the treatment of the 66 year old Ming Campbell with that of the 71 year old John McCain. But the issue is not one of age but attitude. In outlook, McCain is anything but old—indeed, he is actually the most modern candidate in the race on either side. No other candidate in this campaign cycle has thought more creatively or more deeply about the two great new political challenges of the 21st century: how to combat Islamic extremism and the need to find growth-promoting, technological solutions to our environmental challenges.

By contrast, Ming Campbell didn’t seem to have had a new thought in years. His domestic policy prescriptions were still those of the radical ramblers. While this supposed foreign policy sage was still stuck in a 1990s mindset. In short, Campbell really was from another age.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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