The writer Alwyn Turner has spotted a fascinating statistical anomaly and it is this: the generation to which he belongs has produced significantly fewer front rank politicians than those either side of it. Or indeed any generation within living memory. In fact it would be fair to say that, politically speaking, this is a lost generation. Being a social historian Alwyn was prompted to figure out why, and the answer is his ebook, Things can Only Get Bitter. He identifies the pivotal 1992 general election as the crucial event, and analyses the impact on popular culture of the disgust of a generation which turned instead to comedy, music, movies, and publishing. By coincidence Tim is of precisely the same generation, so it was more or less on the order of a certainty that he would need to get hold of Alwyn and ask him how come he had failed to become leader of the Conservative party.