Bloody civil war lies in store for the Labour party if it loses the election, says James Forsyth. Brown’s henchmen are hoping to keep power, with Ed Balls as the next leader. The Blairite resolve to play nice will be testedThe public gallery of the House of Commons was unusually full on Monday afternoon. For the visitors kept behind the glass wall, the proceedings will have been particularly perplexing.
American healthcare makes our system look good, writes Ross Clark. But however revolutionary Barack Obama’s health reforms are, Americans will still pay through the noseHad I a more devotional attachment to free-market economics I suppose I would be joining all those Republicans condemning Barack Obama’s health reforms. I have written enough about the failings of the NHS over the years to fill an entire symposium at a Washington think-tank.
At first he was coy. ‘Yes my brother,’ Salim the dealer smirked. ‘How many kilos you want?’ It had taken us only a day to find a man in Tanzania who would sell us ivory tusks from poached elephants. We met Salim in a Dar es Salaam hamburger joint and the whole exchange was ridiculously easy. I asked him: ‘How many kilos have you got?’‘I have 50, 100, 200 kilo. How much you want?’‘How about 200 kilos?’ I challenged.
If the Conservative party were your refrigerator, all your food would go bad. If it were your car or bicycle, you would be stranded by the side of the road. If it were your accountant, you would be bankrupt. If it were your lawyer, you would be in prison. No commercial organisation or product so completely fails to fulfil the claims made on its packaging.The Conservative party claims to stand for national independence, tradition, law and order, rigorous education, low taxation and light regulation, strong armed forces, the family and marriage.
It is almost impossible to compare a mere Leader of the Opposition to our greatest peacetime Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. But three points should be borne in mind. The first is that back in 1979, no one was predicting that Mrs Thatcher would become a world-famous figure. She was governing a troubled nation with a divided Cabinet. Although she heaped scorn on the defeatist sophisticates who thought that the best any government could achieve was the orderly management of decline, would scorn be enough? The idea that this woman would help to win the Cold War while bringing the unions within the rule of law and the nationalised industries within the laws of economics, as well as cutting income tax to 1930s levels; in 1979, that would not have sounded like prophecy.
Stephen Byers either pimped himself out to big business and betrayed the electorate, or he didn’t, in which case he made fraudulent claims, says Rod Liddle. Either way, the public won’t tolerate this level of corruptionI once fell into conversation with a whore, up on Streatham Hill in south London. A long time ago now; back then, in the early 1980s, it was a renowned red-light district. You’d look out of your window at night and see a street full of parked cars bouncing up and down, as if they were in a weird theme park.
James Wong may not yet be a household name but he does have trouble getting through the checkout line at Sainsbury’s. As the presenter of BBC2’s Grow Your Own Drugs, the 28-year-old’s fame is fast on the rise. In a nutshell, he is the Jamie Oliver of plant-based medicine: affable, competent, with a cheeky glint in his eye. While Oliver can inspire even the laziest housewife to whip up a simple Italian supper, so too Wong possesses the telegenic power to make a sceptical, black-thumbed gal want to heal herself naturally.