I was at Oxford University at the same time as Britain's new prime minister. But while I spent all my free time at a famous old pub opposite the historic Bodleian Library with a pint of Guinness in the company of some old Irish porters, I never saw David Cameron there. Which makes me doubt his suitability for office.
That's not because I think the prime minister should be overfond of alcohol (at Oxford, Cameron was a member of a very upper-crust private drinking club famed for smashing places up). Rather, it's because Cameron is the wrong man to unite the pub-drinkers and the rowdy aristocrats -- and all the other splinters of a society still shattered by Margaret Thatcher's destruction of the old identity of Empire.
The coalition Cameron will lead reflects an identity crisis among the English that has developed in the two decades since Thatcher's reign. It's much deeper than mere political divisions, and I don't think he's equipped to resolve it.
Read the rest of my article on AOL News.
By the way, Ivory Madison of Red Room put me in touch with the AOL people, which is one of the great ways in which she's bringing traffic to Red Room and getting attention for Red Room's authors.