Robert Peston’s definitive biography of the Chancellor rocked the government. Here he sets out Brown’s plans, his promise of a ‘new individualism’ — and the nightmare he faces positioning himself in relation to BlairAt last comes the final settling of accounts between the bosses of The Two Families, Don Antonio and Don Gordono. Don Antonio, the capo di tutti capi, still sits at the head of the table.
Little Rock, ArkansasWhat can be done to bring order to a fractious Labour party? Inside Little Rock’s Alltel Arena, home of the Arkansas Twisters football team and filled with local Democrats greedily consuming mounds of deep-fried frogs’ legs washed down with vats of iced tea, the question was hardly a burning one.It was a balmy evening and no one seemed much exercised by the travails of Tony Blair or the overweening ambition of Gordon Brown.
It is no mystery why British Eurosceptics love Iceland. A bracing visit to Reykjavik is all it takes to see what the European Union could have been, if Brussels had stuck to the path of free trade and shunned ever closer union. Like pilgrims to a shrine, British Tories come to observe how Iceland enjoys the best of all worlds, thanks to its membership of the European Free Trade Association and — equally vitally — its stubborn non-membership of the EU.
Rod Liddle finds Stephen Green’s position on homosexuality laughably offensive — but is much more outraged that police officers from a ‘Minority Support Unit’ should arrest him‘If a man has sexual relations with a man, as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.’Leviticus xx 13Britain’s most energetic and entertaining bigot, Stephen Green of Christian Voice, has at last managed to get himself arrested.
Michael Foot and I are sitting in the kitchen of his house in Hampstead, north London. Outside in the garden a red ‘Labour’ rose blooms in the afternoon sun; inside, the house is crammed with books: they’re in piles on the kitchen table, on shelves on every wall: William Hazlitt, William Blake, John Keats, Benjamin Disraeli, Thomas Paine. Upstairs there’s a whole roomful of books on women’s suffrage that belonged to his late wife, Jill Craigie, then another room where an entire corner is devoted to Irish writers: George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift.