When a leader proves convincing - as in the case of Cameron's modernisation agenda - it becomes possible to change the image and electoral success of their party. When a leader proves less convincing, then such modernisation agendas become harder to sell to the electorate. Whether this will be an electoral problem for Miliband awaits to be seen.
As the saying goes "presidential candidates campaign in poetry and if they are lucky enough to win, they govern in prose". Presidential Candidate Barack Obama was especially good at campaigning in poetry. Perhaps that is why, even though he has won re-election for a second term, he is unwilling to dismantle his campaign appartus and get into the down and dirty, nitty-gritty work of governing in hard edged well disciplined prose.
The witch-hunt against people who dare to disagree with gay marriage is well underway, even though the legislation has yet to clear parliament. Put aside for a moment whether you agree or disagree with gay marriage, surely no sensible person wants this sort of 'marriage McCarthyism' in an open democratic society.
I was shocked to see the pictures of Nigella Lawson being throttled ('playfully' or not) by her husband Charles Saatchi. To see someone who has delighted us for years with her rejection of the model of the 'perfect woman' - daring to be voluptuous not skinny and powerful, yet a lover of cooking and entertaining, has been an inspiration to many.
With the closure of the Ministry of Defence desk specifically dealing with claimed alien encounters in the UK, we now have no formal department to analyse - or respond to - any potentially legitimate claim. In other words, if E.T. phones home, all he'll get is 'number unobtainable.' But how likely is a call from E.T. in the first place? Well, let me put it this way: I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I do believe in aliens. I also believe in interstellar spaceships and life on other planets. Is this rational? Far from being outlandish, this is the only logical conclusion to draw about the universe and our place in it.
G.K. Chesterton said that "when people stop believing in orthodox religion, rather than believe in nothing, they will believe in anything". One of the ersatz religions which fills the void in recent years is belief in catastrophic man-made global warming. It claims to be based on science. But it has all the characteristics of an eschatological cult.
The English Defence League are wolves in wolves' clothing. Let us not put them in sheep's clothing. The EDL should be treated as a threat to social cohesion, particularly by the mainstream media. Instead of attacking those trying to help journalists, like Charles Moore, ought to think about how to be part of the solution.
It didn't used to be like this. 50 years ago, in most parts of the country, you not only knew your neighbours but there was a reasonable chance that they were pretty much like you. You were involved in common local activities and institutions. Religiously, you probably behaved, believed and belonged in the same way as everyone else.