Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Binge Thinking

Good, the British newspapers seem to be waking from their Christmas slumbers. In the Times Clive Coleman gently mocks the doomsayers who told us that the new licensing laws would bring civilisation to an end but sensibly warns of the dangers of excessive drinking. (Gloucestershire’s Chief Constable seemed disappointed when speaking about the lack of mayhem since the new laws came into operation (on my birthday) – perhaps he really is trying to get onto David Cameron’s A list of potential Tory candidates. He’ll need to find something to do when his force is merged.) The Times leader about high numbers of EU students coming to British Universities concludes that this is a Good Thing which demonstrates the quality of our higher education – another blow for the doom merchants. Bruce Anderson is urging David Cameron to repudiate Thatcherism – I wonder if he’ll be any more successful than his predecessors at beating off the hard core nasty Tories after his honeymoon period is over.

We could find the leaders of the two main parties firmly in the centre ground and both battling to control backbenchers anxious to return to their traditional obsessions. The Liberal Democrats might be expected to benefit but this seems unlikely given that they’re so poorly led and preoccupied with internal feuding. The marriage between the SDP and the old Liberals is falling apart. The lack of any coherent political philosophy (other than to oppose the two main parties) is becoming obvious.

Meanwhile in the Guardian Jonathan Freedland looks forward to more excitement in politics now that Mr Cameron is in place. It has been a lean few years for political commentators (and there are now so many of them) as Labour has quietly gone about its business of reform. Perhaps we’ll get some relief from the endless speculation about what Mr Blair and Mr Brown think of each other – I do hope so.

And still the London based media fret about snow in the South East of England. I felt a little sorry for the reporter from News 24 standing by the M20 yesterday whilst the traffic hurtled passed as he tried to explain why atrocious driving conditions had failed to produce the traffic chaos that his editors craved.

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