In 20 years of dedicated thrifting, I can say with complete confidence that I have never knowingly passed a charity shop without going in. I often miss trains and am late for lunch dates because I've happened upon a British Heart Foundation. I just can't help myself. I am obsessed.
Unlike Chancellor Merkel of Germany, who has a reputation for only sticking her neck out when confident of victory, Margaret Thatcher sometimes had little choice in the timing of the battles she had to fight.
The outbreaks of violence, looting and arson in England's towns and cities might become slightly less perplexing if set within the context of the immoral behavior and wrong-doing that seems common in public life.
The politicians have shown us what is possible when they harness public outrage, have shown us how an over-reaching bully like Murdoch can be beaten into a retreat. We need the same with the banks and we need it more urgently than any problems deriving from News International.