The Nick Clegg bubble has been caused by the mistaken view that he is not a machine politician, says James Forsyth. But if this bubble doesn’t burst before polling day, then it could be the end of the Tory party as we know itBoth Andy Coulson and the gaggle of journalists surrounding him agreed that there had been ‘no game-changer’ in the first leaders’ debate. As the Tory communications chief, it’s his job to be optimistic — but this was not spin.
Chief among Nick Clegg’s grand claims during this election is that he is Britain’s ‘most honest’ political leader.Chief among Nick Clegg’s grand claims during this election is that he is Britain’s ‘most honest’ political leader. The Lib Dems, he promises, will clean up our politics. And when it comes to politicians using expenses to game the property market or to dodge capital gains tax, he’s delighted to declare his party squeaky clean.
It doesn’t matter what the Lib Dem leader stands for, says Rod Liddle. In the era of X Factor politics, people can decide, on a whim, that he should be Prime MinisterIs Nick Clegg better than Winston Churchill, as a recent opinion poll seemed to suggest? The obvious answer is yes, of course — because Nick is still alive. Winston Churchill died in 1965 and I have the silver commemorative crown coin to prove it, and a very vague memory of standing somewhere crowded in central London with my mum and dad, watching his large coffin being loaded onto some riverboat.
Americans are panicking again about immigration and the size of their population. But they shouldn’t, says Patrick Allitt. The US remains the greatest assimilator of new peoplesThe American census takes place every ten years, in the zero year of each decade. I filled out my form last week and anticipate being part of a final tally that will come in at around 310 million. Pundits react to this decennial ritual with a flurry of stories.
When Anatoly Dobrynin died earlier this month, aged 90, the British press paid little notice. Yet it is increasingly clear that he was one of the most remarkable players in the Cold War — someone who did much to stop the conflict turning hot. Over 24 years he served as Soviet ambassador to six US Presidents — Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. Perhaps his most telling contribution was his role in the period of détente during the stewardship of Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s all-powerful national security adviser, and later secretary of state.
With its obsessive law-making, this government has sought to micro-manage our lives, says Brendan O’Neill. Let’s hope the next administration leaves us aloneThe Ten Commandments, which stood Judeo-Christian societies in fairly good stead for centuries, only forbade eight things: murder, adultery, theft, bearing false witness, coveting your neighbour’s missus and things, taking the Lord’s name in vain, worshipping false gods and making idols.
The class system, with its fixed mealtimes, stopped us all from getting fat, says Andrew M. Brown. Today we are a nation of all-day munchers — and it showsImagine if, at breakfast, a mother were to offer her family, instead of cornflakes or boiled eggs, slices from a gigantic cake smothered in icing. Would that seem odd? Well, yes, it would: but that’s exactly what a lot of us do — eat cake for breakfast.
The official investigation into the firm’s activities is pointless, says Philip Delves Broughton. Governments are too weak to punish the financial giantI loathe Goldman Sachs as much as the next man. It’s part jealousy at the firm’s grip on the world’s treasure. Part horror at the parade of bumptious baldies who run the firm and snigger, as the CEO Lloyd Blankfein did to the Sunday Times, that they are doing ‘God’s work’.