President Mitt Romney 'is just what Britain needs'
Opinion Digest: Why Romney offers economic hope and how Vince Cable could save the coalition
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PRIME MINISTER IS RIGHT TO WELCOME ROMNEY
IAIN MARTIN ON DAVID CAMERON'S U-TURN
David Cameron has finally "seen sense" and agreed to welcome Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney this week in London, says Iain Martin in The Daily Telegraph. Cameron previously refused to meet Romney during his last visit to the US. Instead he miscalculated with a "cringe-inducing" display of support for President Obama. There is now a reasonable chance that Romney will win the election, and mishandling these matters could weaken Britain's clout and damage our interests. Romney is far from perfect, yet he is a believer in free markets who says he wants to lead a classic "turn-around" operation on the US economy. This makes him a much better bet than Obama, who appears clueless on the economy. For an upturn in the UK, we need America to recover robustly. "The Tories would be well advised to start praying for a Republican victory."
VINCE CABLE CAN SAVE THE COALITION
STEVE RICHARDS ON THE LIB DEM LEADERSHIP
As the coalition approaches mid-term, Vince Cable has become one of the most important figures in British politics, says Steve Richards in The Independent. He is the only Lib Dem who has dared to wonder aloud whether David Cameron is really a moderate, while at the same time establishing a dialogue with Labour on key issues such as bank reform. Cable's distinctive voice has earned him public support, and made him a plausible leader-in-waiting. If Clegg stepped down before the next election, Cable would be the obvious successor. Or, in the event of a hung parliament at the next election, Cable would be the key figure to re-establish a constructive relationship with Labour. The third, more imminent scenario is that he will take a more active role in the coalition, challenging Osborne's Plan A. If Cable has the inclination to exert the power he has earned, "he could save the coalition from itself".
THE PEOPLE'S GAMES MUST NOT BE HIJACKED
MARY RIDDELL ON OLYMPIC COMMERCIALISM
If ever the country needed bread and circuses, it is now, says Mary Riddell in The Daily Telegraph. "So bring on the Olympics." The trouble is the citizens are lukewarm about the Games. The over-commercialisation of an event that should enshrine the best of national values has made Coca-Cola and McDonald's "the patron saints of international sport". Worse still, the politicians are muscling in on the event. The first mistake is for the PM to allow the impression to build that the Olympics are "a giant trade fair". The second error is "to hope that the lustre of a great national event will rub off on political reputations". With the curtain about to rise, we need to ask: who owns the Olympics? It would be ironic, even tragic, if the people's games were hijacked by the demons of the recession – "by the plutocrats whose ilk wrecked the economy and by the politicians who let them do it".