David Laws might be a perfectly nice man in private, but the image he projects to the public is of a man so ambitious that he would not only stab you in the back to get what he wants, he would also stab you in the front - and twist.
It was therefore gratifying to see Peter Hitchens take both Laws and Iain Duncan-Smith to task on last night's 'Question Time' for their attempts to paint British Rail as a stain on the national history; a bad thing from a time of troubles, best never to be spoken of and quickly forgotten. If fairness is the criterion by which argument is judged, then it's fair to say it wasn't a fair fight; Laws's head seemed to move downward and to the left like a miniature action figure in need of a new battery, while poor old Duncan-Smith aimlessly lowed dogmae like an old bull let out to pasture, as purposeless as a Borg cut off from The Collective.
What Hitchens did not really get the time to say is that the reason the railways were privatised was the hatred of the people who run Britain, to all intents and purposes the same people for whom Britain is run, towards the idea that the British might ever be attached to anything in which they have a collective stake; and that if British Rail failed, it was not in spite of it being a product of British history, but precisely because it was a product of British history.
If our politicians knew any British history, they would have known that already.