Five of the Best

The top five comment pieces from today's papers-on recapitalising the poor, Brown's U-turns, the mea

Philip Blond explains how to recapitalise the poor and free them from welfare dependence in the Guardian.

In the Independent, Steve Richards argues that Gordon Brown's U-turns on 42 days detention, the abolition of the 10p tax and the part-privatisation of Royal Mail reveal a man trying too hard to create a big tent.

In the Times, Roy Hattersley demolishes John Denham's claim that the left should abandon its focus on equality.

Following Alain de Botton's verbal assault on a New York Times reviewer, Philip Hensher explains why slighted authors should remain silent and civil.

The FT's Philip Stephens on Israel's inability to engage with a changing Iran.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Show Hide image

Space Oddity? Dr David Bowie is treating former astronaut Buzz Aldrin

Ground control to major coincidence.

The 86-year-old former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin has been evacuated from the South Pole to hospital in New Zealand. Your mole thought this was yet another piece of dismal 2016 news, before the silver lining popped up on Twitter. Aldrin’s manager Christina Korp sent a thrilling message about her client’s treatment:

Yes, the real-life “Starman” is going to be treated by a doctor who shares his name with the late pop icon who wrote “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars?”, “Ziggy Stardust” and “Starman”, among many other odes to space.

In fact, Bowie’s “Space Oddity” hit about ground control losing contact with the fictional astronaut Major Tom was released in 1969, a few days before Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the moon. This mole’s whiskers are quivering at the poignancy.

I'm a mole, innit.