Why didn't the Tories invite Pete Waterman to speak at their conference? The guru behind Kylie Minogue who has become a familiar television face as a judge on ITV's Pop Idol certainly wouldn't have felt out of place. He's used to helping nervous unknowns who want to make it big. And his experience sitting beside the bracingly honest Simon Cowell on the Pop Idol judging panel would have meant that he would instantly have seen the wisdom in Theresa May's uncompromising insistence that the Tories get their act together.
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Murals are unfashionable, and peace murals commissioned by loony-left councillors at the height of their self-indulgent assault on the Thatcher government are perhaps most unfashionable of all. Yet the Hackney Peace Carnival Mural in London, created between 1983 and 1985 and now threatened with demolition, really ought to be saved. It is a fascinating work, a grand exercise in figurative painting which lifts your heart, or at least provokes your curiosity, as you see it adorning the entire side of a house in Dalston Lane, a few yards east of Balls Pond Road.
THE Tories need not despair. Their problems, though grave, are less serious than a superficial reading of the opinion polls would suggest. Anyone trying to make sense of current British politics ought to seek guidance from two unorthodox sources, F.H. Bradley and Greg Dyke. Bradley wrote a book called Appearance and Reality; in politics, the gap has never been greater, one reason why Mr Dyke wishes to debase the BBC's political coverage.