Last week Michael Howard laid out his philosophy as Tory leader in a public declaration of 16 beliefs. I dislike and disagree with him, but he came in for a thoroughly undeserved kicking for his statement. Cambridge’s very own Chris Lightfoot half-defended him from the press, now I’ll half-defend Howard too.

The Conservative leader’s credo at least sets out some principles. This made a refreshing change from the shallow, vote-grabbing, anti-liberal poses he has taken up since ascending to lead Her Majesty’s Opposition: opposing top-up fees to defend subsidies for the offspring of the rich; “supporting” the war against Saddam, but carping about its justification and conduct at every opportunity; and desperately trying to out-Nazi the government over immigration, despite his own history.