A British Take On Iowa

Here is my Times of London piece from Saturday. It's written for a British audience and has references that may puzzle many readers. Granita is the restaurant where Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had their famous dinner in May 1994, after the sudden death of Labor Party leader John Smith, where Brown supposedly agreed that Blair would become party leader. I've written about my dinner at Granita in June 2002 (the restaurant is now closed). The "Mr. Kennedy" referred to is Charles Kennedy, Liberal Democratic Party leader in the 2005 election, who was ousted soon afterward when it was revealed that he had a drinking problem. Also, warning: This column is a bit racier than my writings for American audiences.

By Michael Barone