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The Brits

We’re not sure what our friends across the pond think of our politicians or the Presidential campaign process, but we love the Brits….particularly the rowdy bunch in Parliament … and figured they could pass along some tips. We have The Art of the Deal, they have The Art of the Insult which we may want to adopt here in the US. MPs are forbidden from using language that might ‘offend the dignity’ of Parliament. “This commonly covers swearing, personal insults and, most seriously, accusing an MP of being dishonest,” according to historians. “Many words have been deemed unparliamentary by House Speakers over time including ‘coward’ – ‘guttersnipe’ – ‘hooligan’ – ‘liar’ – ‘traitor’ and ‘git’.” Here’s the kicker: “Many MPs have perfected the art of insult whilst avoiding reprimand from the House Speaker and enjoy mocking their rivals with stock phrases such as being ‘economical with the truth’ when lying or ‘unusually fatigued’ when drunk.” Just sayin’.

Hollywood on the Potomac sat down with British conservative Steve Hilton, author of More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First at a book launch in his honor at the Kalorama home of Juleanna Glover, co-hosted with Niki Cristoff, Josh Ginsberg, Tammy Haddad, Susan Molinari and Steve Schmidt.

We asked Hilton, who worked in the government with Prime Minister David Cameron on Downing Street, to describe the difference between the conservative party in Great Britain and in the US. “There are many differences,” he told us, “because of the different heritage and the different histories of the two countries, but I think that the thing that unites the conservative movement – if I could call it that generally and it’s very much a theme of my book – is this belief that if you trust people and give them responsibility then you tend to get better outcomes than if you try and determine things according to some centralized bureaucratic master plan. So I think that is something that the two versions of conservatism definitely have in common. I just think it tends to be the case that those on the left of politics tend to have greater faith in the ability of a centralized authority to deliver the good society whereas those on the right tend to be more skeptical of that and prefer, instead, to disperse power and put power in people’s hands directly. That’s not to say that they always deliver on that when they’re actually in government.”