I see from my morning paper (the right-wing Conservative journal, the Daily Telegraph, which I take only for its news coverage, its excellent business supplement and its daily crossword — and certainly not for its invariable . . . photos of royalty on its front page, its dreadful editorials and most of the tedious establishmentarian opinion writers of its centre pages) that it, too, has been overtaken by the Steve Hilton phenomenon — the brainy chap I wrote about yesterday (the penulitmate post), whose book, More Human (out tomorrow), I tentatively recommended (not having read it myself yet).
Today, he occuplies the important Comments & Features page. There is a photo of his visage between two long columns of his ideas and, from top of his head, five large thought-bubbles of desirable reforms emerge. They are”TRULY LOCAL POWER” , “THOUSANDS OF ELECTED MAYORS”, “GOVERNMENT ON A HUMAN SCALE”, “REFORM BIG BUREAUCRATIC SYSTEMS” and “FREE SCHOOLS FOR ALL”.
I mentioned in my post two days ago that he’s saying all the right things. But the problem is that he’ll be getting wide political acclaim as he is already — from the generally left-wing BBC Newsnight and today from the right-wing Daily Telegraph — but that’s as far it will go. To use Hilton’s language: “The rot has already set in”.
To use my sort of language — rather more historical, rather more biological and, I prefer to think, just a gteeny-weeny bit deeper than Hilton’s — and to understand why it might be too late for reform, please see my next post, which was in the writing a few minutes ago but interrupted when I glanced through today’s DT (paper’s always nice to read from despite the internet) with my morning rice crispies and cup of tea.