It was always Gordon Brown's problem. It's turned out to be Philip Clarke's as well over at Tesco. And, despite his recent runs for England, it may well be Alastair Cook's too. But why are deputies so often such failures? Why, when they have spent years planning their accession and have been positively groomed to take over, do they invariably make such a hash of the top job?
I've been a hairdresser for over twenty years and in that time, working across the TV and music business as well as magazines with the likes of Lady Gaga and Chris Martin, I have had the pleasure (usually) to run my hands through the hair of quite a few famous faces...or should I say heads!
Today, on Nigerian Children's Day, the girls will still be held in captivity - and their horror continues unabated. We still do not know whether they are being trafficked into slavery or have been abused as has happened to past hostages. And while the Nigerian government has sent more troops to Borno state to back up the 15,000 already on the search, and as satellite and aircraft surveillance has been stepped up, it will take a delicate operation to secure every child's safe homecoming. As we prepare to celebrate Children's Day in Nigeria, America and in many countries around the world, our thoughts are firmly focused on practical measures that can ensure the safe release of the girls and the end of the nightmare for their families.
Multiculturalism is dead in the UK. Or, that seems to be the message delivered by some of the highest figures in British politics...
Increasingly the attention on girls and women at the heart of social and economic development means that how girls are educated and what skills women bring to the workplace come to the fore. I have just returned from a remote and rural part of northern Ghana where I travelled with Sport Relief to see how the education projects they support - Voluntary Service Overseas and Afrikids, are making a difference for marginalised and vulnerable children.
Who we choose to rule over us, and why, is a perennial and essential question for all of us. And so is the canvas of power for drama in a real life world where men and women strive to rise, rule and control the destiny of a nation. And then fall like Lucifer.
Those who want to paint Malala as an easily influenced "tool" and not as a strong young woman driving an inspirational campaign have failed to really listen to her message.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I've always had a theoretical problem with forward guidance. Telling people that rates are going to stay l...
It is bandied about by the press that the 2015 general election will be competitive. Naturally, sustaining such a narrative sells papers. However, when observing the statistics with an impassive and unpartisan mindset, one realises that not only is the general election Labour's to lose; it is almost inconceivable that the party could lose it.
First up, a declaration - I hate the Coalition. I hold George Osborne personally responsible for plunging the country into a worse crisis than necess...
Archbishop Welby, the chap that, in his work costume, looks like a luminous yellow chess piece from space, has said that the church should apologise to gay people because of the way it has treated them. I expect he won't have to speak very loudly, or go very far to do so.
There are 20 weeks to go until the electorate go to the polls and decide who they want to form the next government. Will it be a Conservative or Labour majority government with either Ed Miliband or David Cameron as prime minister or will it once again be a coalition with Lib Dems as the king makers?
In the olden days before catch up TV the annual Labour and Tory party conferences were guaranteed political barn fests. Revolts amongst the delegates, errant trade union bosses, and pro-hanging would-be Tory MPs were as commonplace as bare breasted women in HBO's Games of Thrones. Passion and politics mattered.
Only last year the coalition government refused to pardon the 49,000 men all convicted under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, the act which recriminalized homosexuality. Alan Turing's conviction came from this Act but he was not the only famous person to suffer this. Oscar Wilde was also famously convicted under this act.
It has become an indelible etching on the national psyche; cannabis and psychosis dovetail like fish and chips. The impact of cannabis on the mind has been well documented in the British press, but it remains an unfortunate muddle as the link is as far from clear as one is led to believe.
There is no justifying the brutal actions of the Taliban or the denial of the universal right to education, however there is a deeper more historic narrative that is taking place here. This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man.