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Matthew Norman

Matthew Norman: So much that the Bible can teach us about Tony Blair

After a hiatus of what feels like several weeks, the anguished wait for the latest tranche of Alastair Campbell's Downing Street memoirs is over. Power And The People, 1997-99 is out this week, and from the serialised snippets it looks a belter. My favourite bit concerns Tony Blair reading his Bible the December 1998 night before the bombing of Iraq, although the reference to it concerning Herod and the John the Baptist makes no sense in the context of that training session for the big match to come.

Matthew Norman: Liz Jones, poster girl for Big Society

In the most startling reinvention this industry has known in decades, the Daily Mail shrugs off its reactionary stereotype to host an intriguingly hybrid social experiment. The pit canary here is the magnificently prolific Liz Jones, who single-handedly spearheads two major breakthroughs – the first recorded case of Mr Cameron's Big Society in action, and the inaugural deployment of a newspaper column as care in the community. As many of you will know, Liz likes to keep the readership minutely informed of life, latterly dwelling on the £150,000 debt she says has depressed her even more than her rejection by the Somerset neighbours who took mystifying umbrage at being depicted as toothless imbeciles. "Being in debt," wrote Liz, "is worse than anything I have experienced." Given what Liz has experienced – and short of alien abduction, bless her, what has she not? – that's going some. "When you have no money people assume it's because you are lazy or profligate." The rank injustice. The very idea that a woman who spent £26,000 on a bat sanctuary, and lavishes more than £1,000 a year on mineral water, tends towards the wasteful!