Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Monday 22 November 2010

In praise of Ken and coalition politics

Thank God for Ken Clarke. I was ready to shoot myself - or at least throw the radio out of the window - if I heard one more pundit or politician blame the euro for Ireland's woes.
Then on to the John Pienaar programme on Five Live came Ken. How I love him. He is authoritative, sensible and deals with stupid questions with an attitude just the right side of patronising.
Having had to put up with wall-to-wall Douglas Carswell, whose grip on reality (at least when it comes to Europe) is a shilling short of a Billcash, it was fantastic to hear Ken brush off the nonsense.
HIs argument is this. If the euro is to blame for the Irish economic problems, why wasn't sterling to blame for ours, the dollar for America's and the krona for Iceland's implosion?
The crisis everywhere was caused by greedy banks and criminally reckless lending. End of story. But not end of euro.
Once I had finished cheering Ken, it struck me how great it was that a Cabinet minister could come on the radio and say something which was so controversial within his party and not completely at one with his government's views.
This is a wonderful side effect of coalition politics. It has given ministers a bit of freedom to say what they believe, which is so refreshing after the straitjacket of the New Labour years, when a word out of place would get an MP, let alone a minister, taken into a back alley by the Mandelson/Campbell boot boys.
So three cheers for Ken Clarke and two and a half for the freedom that comes with coalition government.

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