In my editing days on another newspaper, I discovered that the gardening columnist filed exactly the same piece on a given week as he had the year before and the year before that. The second week of June? Ah, prune your azaleas. Third week of January? Haste to the potting shed.
I enjoy a similar glow of familiarity whenever I read an article by Simon Jenkins on the Liberal Democrats. So last week, he dismissed Nick Clegg, their new leader, much as he had dismissed Ming Campbell and, for all anyone can remember, Archibald Sinclair and Lloyd George. Being a classier scribe than the gardening correspondent, Jenkins at least changes some names and explains why in this particular week he is, reluctantly, turning his withering gaze on the party.