War has a fatal attraction for men, says James Delingpole. Those who fall in combat are indeed the best and the bravest — and we shall certainly need their like againEvery man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, and I’m sorry to repeat such a hoary cliché, but the reason it’s so hoary is it’s true. There’s barely a chap I know who doesn’t wonder how he’d fare if forced to undergo the ultimate male test — combat.
Brendan O’Neill says that New Labour is deploying Maoist tactics to use children’s ‘pester power’ to crack down on the ‘eco-crimes’ and alleged anti-social behaviour of their parentsWhen I was a child, ‘pester power’ meant stamping one’s feet in a shop. It involved little more than begging one’s mum in an irritating voice for the latest He-Man action figure or for one of those unusually thick pink milkshakes from a place called ‘McDonald’s’.
Brown’s golden rules have been exposed as a sham, says Irwin Stelzer, but the Tory response has been feeble. Their target should be the PM’s feathering of Old Labour nestsThe good news is that Gordon Brown’s golden rules are no more. These rules did not stop the then chancellor from launching a spending binge. They did not stop him from spilling red ink all over the nation’s books at a time when the flow of cash into the Treasury was at record levels.
Mention to most people that you have recently quit Italy for London and you become an instant object of sympathy. ‘Oh, poor you,’ they coo, ‘don’t you mind?’ Cue effusions about that darling trattoria in Lucca, those hidden della Francescas in Arezzo and enthusiastic reiterations of the word ‘bella’ as last seen in Gregory’s Girl. Anyone I speak to is anxious to impress with the authenticity of their Italy, their cognoscento’s rejection of Chiantishire for that enchanting, mythical country where the logge are eternally dappled in sunshine and dusky peasant girls roll out exquisite ravioli on mediaeval doorsteps.
We media monkeys will look very silly indeed if President Obama behaves in the manner predicted of him by one lady voter I saw interviewed on TV. She said that as soon as he got in the White House he would ‘put on a turban and start shooting the white folks’. She was a McCain supporter, I believe, from somewhere like Toilet Duck, Arkansas. You have to hope that she’s wrong. The TV news programmes came up with a dingbat like her pretty much every evening, a little spurt of racism from Hicksville which will have had the effect of flinging a few more white votes the way of Obama as people recoil instinctively from bigotry and crass stupidity.
The scrutiny of Sarah Palin diverted attention from Obama’s running mate, says Freddy Gray. Biden is not that popular, a ‘gaffe machine’, and he eats Snickers bars in one mouthfulIt has become fashionable to blame Sarah Palin for John McCain’s election defeat. Sure, say Washington insiders, Palin invigorated the conservative base — add contemptuous sneer — but she alienated the independents and undecideds.
In 1968, as Washington burned in the riots that followed Martin Luther King’s assassination, few would have predicted that in 40 years’ time America would elect a black president. But on Tuesday night, a diverse crowd gathered on the same street where the rioting had reached its height in 1968 to celebrate Obama’s election. Earlier in the day, in a heavily African-American neighbourhood in DC, I watched people who had been brought up under segregation cast their ballots for Barack Obama, and I thought back to a voter I met in South Carolina on the eve of the primary there.
Reihan Salam says that the President-elect is no socialist and it was desperate of McCain to claim as much. Obama’s policies more closely resemble European social democracy — with the attendant risk of economic sclerosis in the face of Asian competitionWhile walking to work on the morning of Election Day, I was struck by the number of times I encountered Barack Obama’s beaming countenance on posters and bumper stickers.