Sinclair McKay says the Tory leader could do worse than emulate his fellow Old Etonian — the elegant, ruthless, cucumber-cool TV hero John SteedWho is David Cameron’s role model? No one quite knows. Of course Dave would like to be a British Obama, but that’s a little far-fetched (for obvious reasons), so here’s another candidate, just as cool as the President but more up Cameron’s street.
Probably not, says Martin Vander Weyer, but the banks do need reining in. We’ll all be better off when the Tories dismantle Brown’s disastrous ‘tripartite’ regulatory systemThe last time I argued politics with Lord Turner of Ecchinswell, he was firmly on the centre right and I was a rather confused proto-Will-Hutton of the left. But that was a lifetime ago, when we were fifth-formers on the eve of Ted Heath’s 1970 election victory.
The famous ‘surge’ has proved a complete failure, says John C. Hulsman. Whatever Obama may say, nation-building is a luxury America can no longer affordWith Britain now withdrawn from Basra and American troops gone from the streets of Baghdad, Iraq is no longer front-page news. While there are still intermittent reports of carnage, and obscure stories written about political rumblings there, the problem seems manageable, far away, forgotten.
Barack Obama’s moving eulogy for Ted Kennedy has invited comparisons between the two men. In the wave of Kennedy nostalgia that is sweeping the US, it is tempting to dub Obama the Kennedy of his generation. The two certainly share glamour, charisma and the devotion of their party. Arguably, it was Ted who put Obama in the White House by endorsing him in the 2008 Democratic primaries. Obama has returned the favour by adopting his legislative agenda and is now trying to force through Congress Ted’s vision for a national health insurance programme.
Rod Liddle reflects on a recent poll which says that Russians are the world’s worst holidaymakers. Brits are just as bad, he says, leaving a trail of blood and vomit from Biarritz to DolmanWho are the worst people in the world, do you suppose, based upon your first-person contact with them? I always assumed it would be nigh on impossible to get any worse than a Somali — until, that is, I met a Saudi: woah, as they say.
The closer David Cameron gets to the election, the more he may come to realise how short-lived the elation following his victory may be. Defeating an exhausted Labour party will be the easy part. Winning real power will be a separate, longer battle — and one that requires him to outwit an enemy far more cunning and resilient than Gordon Brown. To transform Britain means seeing off the cronies, placemen and political stooges with whom the government has packed the boards of Britain’s quangos.