In the political column I suggest that the local election results on Thursday were not good enough to give Labour any confidence of winning a majority at the next general election.
This is partly on the grounds that the UKIP surge will fall back to the net advantage of the Conservatives when UKIP voters have to choose between David Cameron and Ed Miliband as prime minister, as suggested by this Lord Ashcroft poll carried out in November (pages 57 and 127).
However, Mark Pack points out that UKIP’s surge last week came more at Labour’s expense than the Conservatives, so this effect may not be as marked as I had assumed (it is likely that UKIP voters overall still lean towards Cameron rather than Miliband; more of the Tory defectors had already defected to UKIP before last year).
I also have a review of Alan Johnson’s childhood memoir, This Boy, the saddest book I have read.
Since I wrote this review I see that Peter Wilby, a former editor of The Independent on Sunday, is another one of those people who thinks that Johnson’s childhood poverty contradicts his New Labour values. This is so wrong it hurts. Johnson’s early life explains his adult beliefs.
Then I have the first of a new feature in the magazine, The New Review, called “The Top 10″. We have started with the Top 10 Worst Beatles Songs. As you will see, this is a collaborative venture, and this is where I need your help. Please do send me your suggestions for the week after next, Top 10 Political Myths, and for other Top 10s after that. Best ideas get generous name checks.Tagged in: aj4pm, local elections, top10, ukip
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