Politics is about choices. It is not about wishes, for wishing won’t make it so. The Blairites might wish that a formidable challenger to Gordon Brown would emerge in the next year, but none will. The Brownites might wish that they could pass their man off as the very model of a modern Englishman, his income redistribution programme complete, but they can’t. The Tories might wish their man harboured purely Thatcherite instincts, but he doesn’t.
Ronald Harwood, the Oscar-winning writer of The Pianist and The Dresser, tells Tim Walker that he is delighted to be in demand — but never wants to be ‘fashionable’I first came face to face with Ronald Harwood three years ago as we were waiting for our coats after the party to mark the opening of the Saatchi Gallery in the old County Hall building in London. Two disgruntled lines of people had converged and he thought I was queue-barging and I thought he was.
Harriet Harman’s campaign against ‘lawyer-speak’Harriet Harman has got herself back in the news by doing something rather good. She is the minister for constitutional affairs and last week introduced legislation which is more notable for the way in which it is drafted than for the change to the law it effects.The Bill in question is quite remarkable, for it is written in something called ‘plain English’, which is what we all used to speak before the lawyers somehow attained their total cultural, political and linguistic hegemony over the rest of us at some point towards the end of the last century.