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THE IRON AND RUBBER CHANCELLOR DOUBLE ACT MARY RIDDELL ON LEVESON The Iron and the Rubber Chancellors, Gordon Brown and George Osborne, have little in common, says Mary Riddell in The Daily Telegraph. The former is obdurate to a fault, the latter is a malleable U-turner. Yesterday's Leveson Inquiry was the George and Gordon show. Osborne did his best to portray himself as a peripheral figure to the scandal lapping at Cameron's door. "The danger is that, on economic judgment and in Europe, the Chancellor is also viewed as a bit-part player." Meanwhile, Gordon Brown's brief resurrection reminded us of his flaws – but also his strengths. Even Brown's many enemies cannot deny his influence on the world leaders who heard him with respect. In an era requiring leaders of courage and stature, the future is in the hands of a government of diminished standing and sparse ambition. "Far from airbrushing Mr Brown from memory, Labour should deplore his faults but revere his mastery of crisis."
PEOPLE HAVEN'T TURNED RIGHT. THEY JUST DON'T VOTE GEORGE MONDBIOT ON POLITICAL APATHY A new political theory is getting attention on both sides of the Atlantic, but it isn't useful to politicians, says George Monbiot in The Guardian. Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind argues that working class voters in America are increasingly voting for the right, because they are more drawn to the conservatives' moral values of loyalty over betrayal, authority over subversion and sanctity over degradation, than the progressive values of care, liberty and fairness. If Haidt were right, Labour and the Democrats should swing even further to the right "to satisfy an apparent appetite for loyalty, authority and sanctity". But the real problem is "not that working-class voters have switched their voting preferences but that they are not voting at all", because the major parties offer them so little. The left's strategy should be to swing further to the left and to emphasise not "order and national greatness" but care and economic justice.
STOP THIS FUTILE HULLABALOO OVER MIGRANTS SAM LEITH ON IMMIGRATION I wish I could get my head around this whole illegal immigrants thing, says Sam Leith in The Evening Standard. One moment the Government is "hullooing its frustration at not being allowed summarily to deport foreign-born criminals". The next, "we're proposing to spend millions importing one, in the form of Liberian ne'er-do-well Charles Taylor, destined to live out his days in a British jail". Now Theresa May is dancing "the traditional Home Secretary waggle dance" with the announcement that she wants judges to be "tough on migrants". On her hit-list is Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, granting the right to a family life for foreigners convicted of a crime. But "this is pure politics". The ECHR states that Article 8 is a "qualified right, not an absolute right", to be carefully decided by judges on a case by case basis. A blanket ministerial diktat overturning this is something Mrs May is "happily" powerless to issue. ·