On my way into work this afternoon, I received a chilling e-mail from Clive Crook. It informed that he had blogged in response to my column on conservatism (see below, October 7th). Nervously I called up Clive’s blog on my BlackBerry, but could only read the ominous first line: “It’s rarely a good idea to pick fights with one’s friends – especially the clever ones – but I’ll take issue with Gideon Rachman’s column, “Conservatism overshoots its limit.”
My mood was further darkened by receiving another e-mail from 430Berea – otherwise, known as my mother. She cheerily informed me that “Clive Crook has done a very effective hatchet job on you.” This must count as her most supportive comment, since she remarked – “Of course, Martin Wolf is in a completely different intellectual league from you, darling.” Have I ever denied it? Still, there are some things better left unsaid – even in the closest families.
So, when I got into the office at 6pm, I called up Clive’s blog with a feeling of dread and began to read. Read more