The 'global race'. It's a term close followers of British politics are likely to have become familiar with. The Conservative top-table have loyally referred to it in columns and interviews for almost a year... But at this year's Tory conference in Manchester it seemed to have been relegated down a division.
Reducing the voting age to 16 may have seemed like one of the more throw-away policies in Ed Miliband's 'We're better than this' conference speech. But it encapsulated the simplistic appeal to base prejudices that characterised his sermon. And being 'better' was perhaps a mantra he should have first recited to himself.
The Government seems to have a blind spot for the potential of the North East. This has come at the whole country's expense; the Tories, with their eye on the 2015 general election, appear to be prioritising spending in regions with large numbers of marginal seats, whilst slashing budgets in the North East and elsewhere.