Emboldened, perhaps, by his successful conference, David Cameron has now been asking Gordon Brown to let his shadow cabinet team meet up with civil servants so that they can be prepared to implement the policies of a new Conservative Government. Nice touch. After an uncertain summer, Cameron's rediscovered how to play the political game.
There have been voices raised, meanwhile, against the prospect of a November election. None is more vocal than the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. Call an election in November, he asks? What a terrible idea. "To try to persuade people to come out at half past nine on a wet and windy, dark November - I think it's dreadful," moans the mayor, who is something of a fair weather democrat. While the Burmese suffer torture and die for their dream of democracy, in a replay of some of the most inspiring actions of the past few decades (think Mandela, think the Chinese protestros in Tiananmen Square, think the people who brought democracy to the Eastern European nations, one by one), Ken is worried that dark nights will deter people from voting. What a truly miserable outlook. A people who don't want to vote because it's dark have no right to such a luxury; and a leader who endorses such an attitude has betrayed the highest ideals of his calling.