The UK's Ayatollah speaks

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
5 May 2010

We have been told how to vote (or is it to pray) by our religious leader into today's Sunshine

 He says: "I have always hated celebrities lecturing people on politics. So forgive me. But I am passionate about this country.

"I am equally passionate about the potential of the people who live here."


Here is a little bit more from the well-planned front-page feature:

Cowell describes Labour's Gordon Brown as a "sincere man" but says the PM is "tired".

He warns of the dangers of a hung parliament and casts doubts on the Lib Dems and Nick Clegg, saying: "I worry about a lot of his policies."

And of Tory leader David Cameron, he says: "I like him, I trust him. He has substance and the stomach to navigate us through difficult times."

Cowell insists he is NOT telling anyone how to vote. But he calls the poll an "opportunity to bring back common sense" - and give people hope.

It came as support for the Lib Dems collapsed to just 24 per cent, with Conservatives in a commanding 35 per cent lead and Labour on 30 per cent.

So, a man with a large house in California, not that he is non-dom, who tells us that he does not have "servants" there he has "staff", insists, that's insists, note the sincerity, that he is NOT, that's not, note the capital letters, telling us how to vote but that nonetheless we must worry about a hung parliament, oh and love David Cameron's stomach, looks us in the eye and.... Well, religious leaders have charmed lives. Perhaps it should be called the new straighforwardness. After all, it couldn't possibly be hypocritical.

Read more

Trade deals, Brexit and disaster capitalism

If you're tired of Brexit, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Is the UK joining Trumpland? Does this explain Boris Johnson's kamikaze EU negotiating strategy? And could beating this deal begin a challenge to the iniquities of the global economy?

Join us for a free live discussion at 5pm UK time, 24 September

In conversation:

Nick Dearden Director of Global Justice Now and author of 'Trade Secrets: The Truth about the US Trade Deal and How We Can Stop It'

Caroline Molloy Editor of openDemocracyUK and ourNHS

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData