Monday, May 10, 2010

Nick Clegg says his hero is Samuel Beckett

This is not a political blog, but these facts from the London Review of Books blog must be noted:

Subjects addressed by party leaders in the Guardian Review’s ‘My Hero’ slot:
Gordon Brown: Nelson Mandela
David Cameron: n/a
Nick Clegg: Samuel Beckett
The Guardian Weekend magazine, 24 April 2010. Question: ‘Which living person do you most admire, and why?’
Gordon Brown: Nelson Mandela (‘for inspiring us never to give up, even in the darkest times, on the fight for justice and, with his wife, Graca, for championing the movement against poverty and for education that has changed hundreds of millions of lives’)
David Cameron: Nelson Mandela (‘for his grace and complete lack of bitterness’)
Nick Clegg: J.M. Coetzee (‘he writes with a simplicity which lays bare what really matters’)
Question: ‘What is your favourite book?’
Gordon Brown: ‘There are so many that have made a big impression on me – the one I’ve read and loved most recently was about the female winners of the Nobel prize.’
David Cameron: ‘Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves.’
Nick Clegg: ‘Life & Times of Michael K, by JM Coetzee.’
I'm reminded of many years ago when there was a small tempest between France and the UK after Margaret Thatcher made a critical remark about the French Revolution. A pundit pointed out that no American politician would even have an opinion about the French Revolution, unless it had been vetted by committee and tested with focus groups. (Gordon Brown, based on his responses above, is clearly an American.)