25 OCTOBER 1963, Page 11

Prejudging the PM

I have no idea whether Lord Home will be a good or a bad Prime Minister, but I am sure that Mr. Wilson'and Mr. Brown are right in thinking that their original attacks on him as a scion of the effete aristocracy were unwise. Surely the humanitarian principles of the Labour Party should make its leaders glad to see one of a depressed class making good despite the dis- advantages of his birth and Etonian education? In any case, I fancy that the British public is not too keen on seeing a man condemned as unfit for a job before he has been given a chance to show his mettle. The fact is that a great deal of cant is talked about some types of experience being 'more modern' or 'closer to real life' than others. The new Prime Minister is presumably just as capable of exercising his political under- standing and human sympathy on problems such as housing or education as Mr. Wilson is of using his common sense to make up for his lack of experience of foreign affairs. Anyone taking on the job of leadership of a political party has to learn something. but he would hardly have got the job if he had not displayed a certain capacity for learning in the past.