We were back in my hometown, London, at a dinner party this evening to celebrate a dear friend’s 50th birthday. The friend and her husband are both journalists and there were several other journalists among our fellow guests, including a representative of the regional press. The Leveson Inquiry into the behaviour of the British press published its final report and recommendations just two days ago and, as could be imagined, there was some interesting discussion at the table about the findings and the recommendations. What immediately became apparent was that there are a number of subtleties and nuances in the Inquiry’s recommendations that have not been teased out in the political debate and media coverage to date. To my left was a friend who is a renowned expert on New York infrastructure. She was eloquent on how short-sightedness cost the city dear. Simple measures such as putting generators at the tops of buildings rather than in the basement and building floodgates at subway entrances would have helped spare the city many of the inconveniences that occurred when Hurrican Sandy hit. And, yes, there was talk about the European Union, particularly following on from Tony Blair’s 28 November speech to the Confederation of British Industry. His concluding paragraph understandly generated a lot of media attention: ‘Europe is a destiny we will never embrace easily. But it is an absolutely essential part of our nation remaining a world power, politically and economically. It would be a monumental error of statesmanship to turn our back on it and fall away from a crucial position of power and influence in the 21st Century.’