A reader writes:
I've been an avid reader of yours for the past few years, and I feel compelled to make a comment on how you've been covering the election in the UK. Specifically, your coverage has felt very different from your coverage of the US election two years ago. Whereas in the American election your coverage felt very balanced, pragmatic, and focused on the issues, your coverage recently of the UK has had a constant undercurrent of gloating, specifically in reference to the fading fortunes of Labour, reaching a climax over Bigot-gate. I'm no big fan of Brown, who isn't a terribly attractive candidate, and would much rather prefer the Lib Dems. But I also don't think Labour or Brown deserve your comment "the fakeness of Brown and his contempt for the voters." And your readers deserve better than "It just doesn't get better for political junkies than this." I read you because of your independent, reasoned perspective on the issues, not to see you revert to '80s-style Tory cheerleading. Apparently "no party or clique" doesn't extend across the Pond.
As a Whiggish Tory, I think I've been extremely fair and generous to the Liberal Democrats in this campaign. I like Clegg and have been fascinated and thrilled by his rise to second place. My disdain for Brown is based on terrible fiscal mismanagement, statist reflexes, the old class attitudes of the old Labour left, and a nasty personality. My partisanship is not complete at all: I supported Blair in 1997 for many of the same reasons I supported Clinton in 1992. But yes, in my native land, unlike America, I have residual partisan loyalty - and, as readers know - am close to some senior Tories with whom I've been friends since Oxford (William Hague being the prime example). I like them. I like Cameron. I feel that the British Tories may even have a role in showing the American right how to steer back to the sane, governing center. I want them to succeed - and I want the Lib-Dems to do well too.
Imagine, also, if Bush and Cheney had been seeking re-election in 2008 (as they could do in a British context). I think my coverage of the US campaign would have been very similar to my coverage of the British. I want change. After thirteen years of one party rule, you might too.