I've written the Diary in this week's New Statesman. You can read the whole thing HERE, but here's a taster.
It's not just the British economy that has been going back to the Seventies. For Christmas 2007 I was given a machine that lets you convert vinyl recordings into MP3 files. It sat in its box for a year because I feared I wouldn't be able to figure out how to make it work. Last week I finally plucked up the courage and linked it to my laptop. And what do you know? It's easy to operate and I have started putting all my 1,500 singles and 200 LPs on to my iPod. I have discovered records I had forgotten I possessed, and which I last played more than 20 years ago. I still can't find a record that the Liberal Party released for the 1964 election called "The Jo Grimond Song", though. Or a 12-inch acid-house track from 1991 called "Maggie's Last Party", with Lady Thatcher's dulcet tones dubbed over house music - an NS reader offer if ever there was one.
Those of us on the right who broke the habit of a lifetime, as well as our Republican tribal allegiances, and supported Barack Obama are now in a bit of a bind. We want him to prove us right, if only so we can salve our consciences, but we're also keen for the Republicans to find a moderate voice to challenge Obama in 2012. That can't happen while Sarah Palin remains the de facto leader of what is rapidly becoming a narrow right-wing sect rather than a big-tent political party. Like Tony Blair, Obama will go through his first term with no serious opposition. Let's hope he achieves more than Blair did.