The penchant for pernicious moral preening amid republican grandeur as seen on “The West Wing” (I should know; I held my nose and watched it almost every Sunday) has spread beyond the self-congratulaty U.S. Democrats, who saw this as wishfull reality TV. 

A U.K. columnist points out how West Wing fever has proven costly for the Brits:

If Conservatives enjoyed the programme, Labour professionals wanted to live in it. They dreamt of the opulent backdrops, fantasised about the huge secretariats, drooled over the thought that even middle-ranking officials could wield such vast powers. Then they looked around at their drab party headquarters and they said to themselves: ‘This will not do!’ Hence the swanky new offices on Victoria Street.

Hence the engorged party payroll, which now costs 12.8 million a year in staff and pensions. Hence Labour’s financial crisis. And hence the near inevitability that you will be asked to fund the shortfall. All because, as a Labour insider told this newspaper yesterday: ‘They thought they were in The West Wing.’