by Ray Fleming

O N BBC Radio 4's World at One yesterday David Cameron defended in some detail his recent decision to appoint two further Old Etonians to his inner circle of advisors, making eight in all, a subject I commented on here on Tuesday.

Listening to him praise the “immense brain” of one of these appointees, Jo Johnson, it struck me that what the prime minister most needs in Downing Street is a few people with the down-to-earth common sense that he seems to lack.

On another subject which I wrote about recently (in last Sunday's Looking Around) Mr Cameron is ignoring what would be a common sense response to the appeal of the British Army's Afghan interpreters to be able to choose to come to Britain when their service ends next year because of their understandable fear they will be targetted by the Taliban for “working for the enemy”. Several of them have already been killed as an advance notice of the Taliban's intentions. Mr Cameron's view is that they should be paid-off generously but left to face their fate in Afghanistan. As a concession he has agreed that “in extremis” they should be allowed to appeal for asylum if they are under direct threat from the Taliban -- but apparently no one among his Etonian advisers has pointed out to him that by then it may be too late.