It has not been a good week for the British Left. First Ed Miliband was put through the mincer by David Cameron as the Labour party suffered a truly terrible defeat. The opposition has been effectively wiped out in Scotland, where it has only one seat. In the north of England, Labour has UKIP on its tail and in the South the party was rejected decisively in places where it had hoped to win. Miliband’s high-tax economic arguments were trounced and the party will need an economic disaster (which on the evidence of 1992 the Tories are quite capable of arranging) to get back into power any time in the next decade.
With the Left in a serious slump, surely the good old Guardian could cheer up those depressed by Cameron’s victory? For months, years, decades, what feels like centuries, the left-wing newspaper has been fighting a legal battle to get access to the private “black spider” memos that Prince Charles sends to government ministers.
I love the Guardian’s dogged determination and some of its writers are my among my favourites. Ian Jack on a Saturday writes the best column in British newspapers. But this time, the Guardian’s campaign has gone awry.
You can read the letters here.
Far from exposing the Prince of Wales as a nutcase determined to boss around government ministers, which is what the republican Guardian was hoping for, they show him to be a diligent, thoughtful and well-informed correspondent, someone who takes a great interest in current affairs and the welfare of people and animals. He is especially interested in improving the quality of housing for Britons and in backing local food producers. He is also revealed to be very hot on nature conservation. Worst of all, he is polite and full of good advice.
I for one cannot wait to see how the Guardian presents these “shocking revelations” in tomorrow’s edition.