A Pall Mall club: the members’ table at lunchtime: unease and discontent. Everyone wants rid of Gordon Brown. No one is sure about David Cameron. I am asked the questions that I have been asked a hundred times before. What does he believe in? Will he be up to it?The questioners think that their doubts arise from a shortage of policies. They are wrong. The problem is caused by an absence of conviction.
Obama’s man in London needs to stop bashing Bush, immerse himself in domestic political discourse, and get out and meet some true Brits, says Irwin Stelzer‘He is not even a diplomat,’ sniffed BBC News when Louis Susman took up his post as America’s ambassador to the Court of St James. An Obama Chicago crony, the Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill rushed to point out from his perch in Washington — ‘a little bit of Chicago’s ruthless and combative political machine is soon to descend on the decorous calm of the Court of St James’.
Very few outsiders ever venture into the Liguasan marshes, the remote inland sea which stretches across hundreds of square miles of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. These marshes, for the most part approachable only by jungle tracks and navigable by shallow-bottomed boats, form the perfect hiding place for criminal gangs which make a good living by kidnapping businessmen from nearby towns and cities.
Rod Liddle says the furore surrounding Andrew Marr’s questions to Gordon Brown is academic. These rumours are rife in the blogosphereIs our Prime Minister perpetually out of his brainbox on powerful psychotropic substances, as everybody now seems to believe? Dilaudid, crystal meth, that sort of thing? Does he stagger out of bed and say: ‘Aw, Sarah, I’ve got a meeting with Harman in half an hour.
Lord Mandelson is outside David Cameron’s office when I go in for my interview. Not in person, alas, but boxed in a small television set giving his speech to the Labour party conference, to heckling from those gathered around it. A few days ago, the noble lord had suggested he would serve in a Tory government, and Mr Cameron has already thought of a role. ‘He can chair a truth and reconciliation commission on New Labour,’ he says, laughing.
Anders Hultin, an architect of the Swedish government’s voucher system, says the Tories’ plan to emulate it will fail unless they encourage a new breed of education entrepreneursFor us Swedes, it is gratifying to see David Cameron put our free schools model at the heart of his reform agenda. He has chosen well. In a few short years, the voucher system has transformed education in Sweden and led to the creation of almost a thousand new schools.