Now, I've always thought Jack Straw is an idiot and I've never had any great admiration for Condoleezza Rice (though I do remember reading a couple of decent pieces by her on the old Soviet Union). But I can't help but think the pair of them have been rather unfairly treated by the meeja during her visit to Lancashire this last few days.
OK, so Blackburn is a dump, Jack Straw is a chump -- that's almost a Ramones lyric -- and it's all been a bit awkward and silly. But Condi has come across rather well as a polite and dignified human being, and our esteemed foreign secretary's boyish enthusiasm has served him well for the first time since he was bag-carrier to Barbara Castle back in the 1970s. Who cares if Condi decided to take the side door rather than face all of 200 Trots, pacifists and Islamists protesting outside a school? Wouldn't you do the same? And mightn't she be better than Hillary?