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Leading article: Political space

The revelation that the wife of the Japanese prime minister-elect was once abducted by aliens and whisked off to Venus ("a very beautiful place... very green") is food for thought. One can imagine how a few members of our own political classes would benefit from the sort of trip taken by Miyuki Hatoyama.

Gordon Brown would surely find a view of Olympus Mons on Mars more inspiring than the fells of the Lake District. John Prescott might discover a species of life out there capable of understanding his verbless sentences. There must be a black hole somewhere out there in the universe in which Nick Griffin might be safely deposited. For John Redwood it would be a homecoming. If travel broadens the mind, what more improving junket for our legislators than some space travel? One word of caution though: someone had better first warn the House of Commons fees office not to sign off any claims for inter-galactic travel expenses.