Politics 23 July 2009 Columnist of the Week All the way from Houston, Texas Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML The inaugural edition of the keenly anticipated Columnist of the Week sees this week's prize going to... Leon Hale of the Houston Chronicle! Leon is a legend. He is Texan, 88 years old and writes a column THREE TIMES A WEEK. He has written books called things like Home Spun and Supper Time. Hallmark style = utter bemusement at the modern world. Example (on a recent visit to New York): "The greatest multitude I've enjoyed on this trip was the one that forms on weekends in Times Square, where automobiles are no longer permitted. Who could know how many folks gather there? Untold thousands, who wander about and talk on their little phones. Calling friends, I guess, who are on the other side of the street. "Can you see me from here?" › So why do they call it the welfare state? Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles Douglas Carswell leaves Ukip to become independent MP Labour is a pioneer in fighting sexism. That doesn't mean there's no sexism in Labour Why isn't Labour putting forward Corbynite candidates?