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How to vote 

Chris Bertram: “If there were a terrorist attack which killed 200 of my compatriots, and the government, suspecting al-Qaida, chose nevertheless to spin a story that the Real IRA were to blame, I might, just might, change my mind. But I’d still probably vote Labour. I certainly wouldn’t take kindly to commentators from other countries — themselves basically ignorant of my country’s politics and history — telling me that my task, in casting my vote, is to ‘send a message’ to Osama bin Laden or anyone else. I’d be upset if such pundits told me that voting other than they way they recommended amounted to dishonouring the dead . And if a Spanish person, encountering such a commentator were to punch them on the nose, I’m not saying they’d be right, but I’d understand.”

Back in harness 

I’m back from a week in Courchevel, which for mysterious reasons seems to have become the ski resort of choice for super-rich Russians.

According to a reliable source, Roman Abramovich (who was recently described as the wealthiest man in Britain) tried to buy one of the multi-million euro chalets in Courchevel 1850 last year and no one would sell to him.

I find everything other than the reluctance to sell believable. I had a great week, but the Courchevelois (if that’s the right term) certainly have no compunction about selling their wares for top euro, dollar or rouble.

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