Liam Fox could have been designed by a committee of Tory modernisers. He was brought up in a council house, educated at a comprehensive and worked as a hospital doctor in the deprived east end of Glasgow. He has met Mother Teresa, still buys pop music and has long campaigned for the unfashionable cause of mental health provision. His wife is a lung-cancer specialist and charity worker. But he fails the soft-focus New Tory test on one crucial point: his politics are unashamedly, defiantly Thatcherite.
Character, not ideology, is the key to understanding this remarkable politician, says Anne Applebaum, who has seen the US Secretary of State’s cool charm up closeA long time ago, before George W. Bush was elected, and before ‘Condi’ was an internationally recognised nickname, someone who knew Condoleezza Rice in one of her previous incarnations told me that the thing to remember about her is that she is definitely not a token, but that because people assume she is a token, they always underestimate her.
Irwin Stelzer says that Condoleezza Rice’s trip to Britain reflects Tony Blair’s high standing in America and Bush’s need to keep him on sidePotholes. America’s ambassador to Britain, Robert Tuttle, was sure that one of the shocks for his boss, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during her visit to Blackburn, would be potholes. Or the talk of potholes. Which will be one of the many differences between America and Britain that her keen eyes and ears will have picked up when this trip is over.