Clinton is a big personality who has led a big life and for some of the media conventional wisdom to boil it down to a view that ‘all people are really interested in’ are a few moments of madness in the Oval Office gets him the importance of the presidency and the significance of his life all wrong.
We should confine booing in sports arenas to sport. I love a good boo as much as the next football fan.
There has been a shift to what may be defined as a culture of negativity which goes well beyond coverage of politics.
To me marriage is partly a religious thing and I’m not religious.
Friends have suggested that I am the least qualified person to talk about happiness because I am often down and sometimes profoundly depressed. But I think that’s where my qualification comes from. Because to know happiness it helps to know unhappiness.
By asking the question ‘Am I happy?’ and via the answer setting out what I mean by happiness there is a political route that can be taken by asking another question – ‘Can politics deliver happiness and should it try?’
Failure it is thought is what sells and what people want to hear and read about. I am not so sure.
So here is one of my theories on happiness: we cannot know if we have lived a truly happy life until the very end. This view of life and death was reinforced by my close witnessing of the buildup to the death of Philip Gould. Philip was without doubt my closest friend in politics. When he died I felt like I had lost a limb.
My dad Donald was a vet and had a practice in Yorkshire. Cats and dogs were his bread and butter but his greatest love was large animals.
May I share with you my earliest memory of a political row? It was with my mother about the Queen – classic Freudian stuff shrinks would say. I was eight and refusing to watch the Queen’s Christmas Day broadcast.