In the hall at Aberglasney — a fine, classical country house, built in 1720, 20 miles north-west of Swansea — high up by the cornice, an elaborate chunk of plasterwork is missing. To give the full catalogue entry, it is a rococo console, carved with twirling honeysuckles, a motif dear to the ancient Greeks. I know, to my deep and lasting shame, where to find it. In fact I can see it now, on a mahogany stand next to my desk.
Next month’s European elections are unlikely to be decided on European issues. But as Europe is the one foreign policy area where William Hague has said he has major differences with the government it is important to clarify what is at stake. As Conservatives commemorate the 30th anniversary of Mrs Thatcher’s election in 1979, they would do well to remember one reason it all ended in tears was Europe.
Rod Liddle says that the insane therapeutic methods used by Haringey Social Services typify the ideological determination of these ‘experts’ to accentuate the ‘positive’ and ignore social realityThe Baby P case is still howling around us all, another gale of reproof hammering at the shutters of our liberal indulgence and at our fathomless respect for experts and institutions. We might all have harboured the suspicion that social workers were, in the main, absolutely useless, driven by an outdated and discredited discipline and ideology (that’s sociology and multiculturalism), and not especially bright.
In a disastrous week for the PM, Matthew d’Ancona reveals the plot to mount a leadership challenge after the June elections. But Brown is absolutely determined to cling to power; and Labour has shabby psychological reasons for keeping him where he isHere is the plan: if the local and European elections on 4 June are terrible for Labour, a former Cabinet minister — probably Charles Clarke — will put himself forward as a candidate for the party leadership.