Andrew Mitchell speaks to refugees from Somalia in north-east Kenya in 2011. Image via DFID—U.K. Department for International Development

Here’s something that happened in Britain a few months ago. Andrew Mitchell, a Member of Parliament and the recently appointed government Chief Whip, a man with a reputation for abrasiveness, rode his bicycle to a meeting at Number 10, Downing Street. Let’s stop right there for a moment and reflect on the unlikelihood of such an official’s choosing such a mode of transport on such an errand in the U.S. or, indeed, almost any other country in the world, outside Scandanavia. You might almost think it a sure-fire proposition that Mr. Mitchell was angling, like his fellow Conservative and fellow cyclist Boris Johnson, the ma ...