There is much talk today that so-called "unspun" political figures - Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage - are the only ones to win significant personal popularity. But the apparent spontaneity and geniality of these two politicians is in fact carefully considered, and rehearsed. It is only skin deep. What Bob Crow displayed was that other, elusive quality of authenticity. What you saw was what you got.
Hats off to Philip Hammond. He has done that unfashionable thing and admitted he has changed his mind. And happily, this being August, he has not been set upon by a seething mob shouting "U-turn, u-turn!"
I know why George Osborne has called for a "relentless focus" on the UK economy. It's because it keeps getting smaller. If you don't look hard soon you might not be able to see anything at all. But a flat-lining (and worse) economy is not really a joking matter. The 0.7 per cent fall in second quarter GDP was the sort of shock that no-one finds funny.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/17/stephen-r-covey-dies_n_1678636.html" target="_hplink">Stephen Covey</a> died this week. You may not have heard of him, or even of his multi-million best-seller <em>The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People</em>, which was published in 1989.
Presumably Bob Diamond, the former Barclays boss, was touched to see his daughter speak up for him on Twitter the other day. But it's not clear that her more profane comments (look them up) were entirely helpful.
12/07/2012 14:30 BST
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