With the passing of Edward Kennedy America has apparently lost an icon of the left. But did the left ever exist? In a nation which recently paralleled fixing some skint person's teeth for free, with the immediate re-emergence of Stalin, how left can it be?
In the UK you could probably stick your hand down the back of the sofa and come up with an anarchist trying to blow up an oil rig. In America you'd have to search the list of assassinated corpses in the desks of the CIA.
The right wing ladies who lunch; the bored, rich debutantes, with time to spare for cat feeding charities, are as much an invention of a 'classless' America, as they are a possession of our class-ridden England. In a way this could be compared to a socialist state finding things to do for unemployed people (who can't get real jobs because they suffer the disability of looking like poodles).
But there the comparison stops. Even the word 'senator' sounds like a right-hand man for Darth Vader. And so it should. Leaving a young woman to die slowly in a car for ten hours while you receive legal counsel on how to hang on to your career is not a left wing principal. Not unless the Holocaust was a hippy commune.
Teddy-drowny-Kennedy's popularity points to the fact that history will always be overtaken by the greater significance of the horn. He was popular in his day for being, like others in his family, a politician that people would actually want to shag. Which, like the arrogant assumption that an American left exists, is a miracle in itself.