Stephen Pollard, who as David Blunkett’s biographer longed to see Alastair Campbell’s journal, says it tells us as much about the nation as it does about New LabourAlastair Campbell may be no Chips Channon or Alan Clark, but his diaries are at least readable. Very readable. And that is not something one can take for granted with New Labour diarists. The last set, from David Blunkett, managed to turn one of the most melodramatic political stories of all time into a turgid cure for insomnia.
Drew Westen’s book on the political brain is the talk of Washington. Here, he explains why the path to electoral victory is not governed by reasonIn the last 40 years, only one Democrat has been elected and re-elected to the American presidency: Bill Clinton. And during the same period, only one Republican has failed to win re-election: George H.W. Bush. These are astounding facts, given that during those same years, whenever registered Democrats and Republicans were not in roughly equal numbers in the United States, Democrats were in the majority, as they are today.
Ross Clark says that our capital has the geographical, economic and social conditions that made the Venetian city-state of the 14th century — but all this is vulnerableWhen Tony Blair secured the agreement of the Scots and — only just — the Welsh for devolution in the referendums of 1998, it was supposed to herald a great revival of the regions. Britain was to be reborn as a kind of West Germany, whose constitution included a reference to ironing out the economic disparities between Hamburg and Munich, Frankfurt and Hanover.
Rod Liddle urges his friend to stand for Mayor of London and demonstrate what modern Conservatism can do — if you let itI’ve voted Conservative only once in my life — during elections to the London School of Economics students’ union 23 years ago, when the Tory manifesto pledged to spend all of the union money on buying a racehorse, rather than giving it to the bloody miners, or Robert Mugabe, or Pol Pot, as Labour wished to do.
Rupert Everett tells Tim Walker that there is nothing wrong with being a bimbo, that political correctness has been ‘a disaster for everyone’ and that gay adoption is wrongRupert Everett has just done Richard & Judy, or maybe, he concedes, Richard and Judy have just done him. ‘It is hard to work out who is using who on these occasions,’ he says. ‘I suppose ultimately we are all just hustlers.’ The actor is proud of his autobiography Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins and, now that it has come out in paperback, he is throwing himself at the promotional tour with professional gusto.