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.

Friday 21 January 2011

A ray of hope on a bad day for politics

One problem with writing leaders is that there are some day on which nothing has happened so there is nothing to write about. Other days there is an abundance of riches. This is one of them.
What should I write on? Coulson? Johnson? Balls? Blair? All worthy subjects crying out for comment. So let's do them all - one par on each.
Andy Coulson: A decent man who ultimately had to go. As I have said before - and as David Cameron virtually said on the Today programme - this is not a press secretary who would do what Alastair Campbell did. Whatever involvement he had in phone tapping at the News of the World, he would have been a responsible and honourable public servant. Unlike Campbell, McBride, Whelan and a few others I could mention. Sad for him that he has gone, very bad news for Cameron and bad, too, for good government.
Alan Johnson: Another decent man who will be a real loss to public life and to Labour. He was a different kind of minister to the intense young things we have become used to. He always gave the impression of looking rather askance at whatever new job he was given, then buckling down and getting on with it rather well. I am sure he would have done the same as Shadow Chancellor. We will never know.
Tony Blair: Each fresh performance becomes even more despicable than the last one. He is so deeply mired in lies, misinformation, distortion and self-justification that blood-pressure-lowering pills should be given out for all who listen to him squirming in front of the Calcutt inquiry. What makes it even more galling is that he is allowed to get away with what he says about weapons of mass destruction, his relationship with Bush and the UN resolution. This is not a decent or honourable man.
Ed Balls: I have not been a fan of his. He was, in some ways, worse than Gordon Brown and his role in keeping Britain out of the euro was shameful, though he boasts of it. Yet now it may be a case of "Cometh the hour, cometh the man." He could be exactly what Labour and the country need in these desperate times.
Ed Miliband and the rest of them have been bullied by the Tories into accepting deep cuts, thus leaving themselves open to the sneering accusation that they don't know what cuts they would make. Balls should stick to his guns (which he does anyway) and insist that the majority of the cuts being made aren't necessary at any time and few of them should be done now.
It has been a dark 24 hours for politics but maybe, just maybe, Ed Balls might be the one ray of hope.

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