KEITH NEWBERY Doomed due to being divorced from reality....

Watching a government splinter and fragment is fascinating because you are witnessing events unfold several years before those directly involved have a clue about the debilitating effect such behaviour is having on their popularity.

Only now, for example, will Gordon Brown look back on his failure to regulate the banks effectively, the 10p tax blunder, the reluctance to control immigration and his general moody demeanour and realise the cumulative damage they all caused.

At the time he will have seen little wrong with any of them and anyone brave enough to express their doubts will have received a curt response.

Now, however, he will only be able to recall such obvious calamities with his shoulders slumped and his head resting morosely in his hands.

It will be the same with the present Conservative contingent in a few years’ time.

At the moment they snort derisively at any suggestion of their being perceived as a bunch of liberal elitists.

That’s because they are so far out of touch they really have no idea how far out of touch they actually are.

It would be interesting to know how many of Cameron’s cabinet chums and advisers actually come from backgrounds which could be regarded as even remotely ‘ordinary.’

That is to say, how many come from working-class families and actually worked for a living before entering politics?

Not many, I suspect, and they will be heavily outnumbered by those who graduated from a well-upholstered childhood, to public school and on to university before being fast-tracked into a safe seat.

This rarefied glide-path means they are spectacularly ill-equipped to know what is going on in the real world far below.

This in turn results in crass measures like the granny tax, fiscal benefits for the rich and the ludicrous levy on hot savouries.

They then compound this foolishness by rushing around to the nearest Greggs to stuff their faces with pasties and sausage–rolls while the cameras roll, in the naive belief we are impressed (rather than patronised) by these ‘men of the people’ antics.

Cameron is in danger of making history by losing the next election to one of the most ineffectual oppositions in living memory – and my money (God help us) is already on a Lib-Lab coalition in 2015.

** The times they’ve been a’changing

Hey dude, you know what they say. If you think you can remember your sixties, you probably haven’t reached them yet.

According to The Independent, one in ten of those living in London who did some of their growing up during the summer of love is still regularly puffing on a joint, snorting a line of cocaine or dropping a tab of acid.

I confess (as I approach my 64th birthday) to quite a bit of puffing, snorting and dropping – but it tends to come with age and none of it involves the ingestion of illegal substances.

For most in their dotage, the drugs of choice tend to be statins, paracetamol and anything which brings relief to throbbing knees.