I was delighted to read last week's news that from 2016, Winston Churchill will be the new face of the fiver (five pound note, about $7.50, if you're reading this in the US). Now, my reaction isn't surprising, given that I wrote a book about Sir Winston. But it goes far beyond my appreciation for the man who led Britain through her darkest hour and into her finest.
I've nothing against Winston Churchill popping up on our money - it's not actually the first time, having previously appeared on 1965 five-shilling pieces. Although it seems a little rude he's kicking off the only woman, the Queen not withstanding, who currently appears on any British banknote, social reformer Elizabeth Fry. Still, if the public had its way, it could be David Beckham staring back at us as we fork over our fivers, or even Robbie Williams. Those being just two of the more contemporary figures offered up by well-meaning Brits.
Surely a Conservative Prime Minister has preserved Britain as a global force to be reckoned with, even after the follies of his predecessor in Afghanistan and Iraq? Not so much. Despite William Hague's belief that a strong, capable Army, Navy and Royal Air Force is necessary to protect us from traditional threats and combat the malevolence of terrorists, the Conservative Party seems to have either disregarded Reagan's theory or confused it for "strength through weakness."
Choice is, "Shall we paint the bedroom blue or green?" or even "'Shall we start a family?" Choice is not, "Shall I have constant PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) flashbacks?", nor is it, "Shall I be bipolar and be so hard to live with that my partner leaves me?" It is also not, "Shall I feel so depressed that I'll think about ending it all?"
It will be a big week for the Drear Leader. It started at the Conservative Party's spring conference. This is a chance for the PM to give a speech that the news media will put at the top of their bulletins and on the front pages of their papers, unless something more important comes up, like the commencement of all-out thermonuclear war, or Justin Bieber gets a haircut.