Over the past week I've been tied up with both work and a university alumni reunion event and so I've not had much time to comment on several big stories this week. So here are my quick thoughts on each of them, in chronological order:
* Tom Elliott has been elected leader of the Ulster Unionists in their first ever One Member One Vote election, albeit with votes cast at a meeting instead of by post. It speaks volumes about the Ulster Unionists' collapse over recent years that Elliott's election has gone unnoticed by many. I can't say that he strikes me as someone who is going to reverse the trend but then I've made several mispredictions in the past so who knows?
* Ken Livingstone has won the Labour nomination to be Mayor of London. So for 2012 Labour will be offering a candidate who doesn't give a toss about huge parts of London and who will instead spend much time patronising select groups who don't want to be patronised, filling up City Hall with corrupt cronies, and not giving a toss about huge parts of London. Is Labour even serious?
* Ed Miliband for Labour leader? I've never been able to take Miliband the Younger seriously at all. But now the trade unions have spoken and imposed "Red Ed" upon the Labour Party in an election where some people were hundreds of times more equal than others. I'm sure over the years to come Ed Miliband is going to give us a lot to laugh about as Labour continues to be a non-serious party that doesn't want to win elections.
Ironically when the Miliband election was being announced I was attending a lecture by David Starkey talking about another younger brother who unexpectedly came to power in place of the elder brother whom everyone had expected to be the one. It was a very enlightening talk about Henry VIII.