With the demise of the Liberal Democrats comes an intro to savour from The Guardian’s Michael White.
He begins today’s page one commentary:
‘Nick Clegg has spent most of this week looking like a man who knows he’s stepped in a turd but can’t scrape it off his shoe in front of the cameras.’
His fine penmanship is on a par with Bryony Gordon’s at the start of this interview with the mighty Hezza in January:
‘There is a faintly decaying smell in Lord Heseltine’s living room, but I can’t work out if it’s coming from his musty carpets or our interview, which died a tragic death before it ever got going.’
Less snappy, but still brilliant, was this scathing opener from Decca Aitkenhead back in 2008:
‘By the time learner drivers are ready to sit their test, they tend to operate a car so correctly that there seems something almost wrong with how they drive. Every manoeuvre is executed with exaggerated concentration, and their driving is perfect – but it will still be a while before they relax at the wheel, and the intensity of their focus is both impressive and somehow comic. There is a touch of the newly qualified driver about Justine Greening.’
All are very good indeed. But what’s the best political intro ever written?
For my money, the gold standard remains the classic second line of George Sylvester Viereck’s famous interview of Hitler in 1923:
‘Adolf Hitler drained his cup as if it contained not tea, but the lifeblood of Bolshevism.’
[PS. Hat-tip to Stefan Stern for first spotting Michael White’s intro]