Give or take a few months I am the same age as Max Hastings whose excellent article in The Times today about the failings of Trump and Johnson I commend to you. I have seen many of the same things over sixty plus years as Sir Max has. In politics, along the way, there have been a few crooks and charlatans and a few with the morals of a polecat. But never can I recall such an absence of talent as today.
Take Richard Nixon. He was an able man, streets ahead potentially of any current politician in the US. Unfortunately when he was made along with giving him the talent God made him a shit (as Denis Healey once said of David Owen). Trump is like Nixon – only without the ability.
Its not just about character. Johnson is less disqualified from being Prime Minister by his abhorrent character than he is by his incompetence. He actually gets nothing right and manages nothing well. If he was a brilliant leader but with personal flaws (Lloyd George or JFK) you’d shrug and say fair enough. But he isn’t.
In the land of the blind the one eyed man is King. Joe Biden and Keir Starmer are , I think, better than that. Certainly Starmer has the potential to be a good leader and seems a principled and decent man. Biden and Harris can clear the Augean stables – a task which will dominate the presidency. What a mess his predecessor leaves behind him.
My dream of a summit between Starmer and Kamala Harris in 2024 is on track! There’s talent enough there and an absence of the fatal flaws of Trump or Johnson. Come that blessed dawn we can draw a line under the Age of Incompetence and Venality in which we now live. Live the dream.