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Murphy’s mission

20 December 2014 12:30
The Labour Party Conference Continues

The proverbial visitor from Mars would assume that the Scottish Nationalists had won—not lost—September’s referendum. Alex Salmond has given another crowing interview today, you can read mine with him from… Continue reading


Spectator competition: Mr Micawber’s Christmas round robin (plus: sell the Bible to modern audiences)

20 December 2014 9:30
'Micawber in his element' - Artist -  Fred Barnard  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This year’s festive comp asked for Christmas round robins as they might have been written by a well-known fictional character. It was all there: the boasts, bad jokes, inappropriate intimacies… Continue reading


Spectator internships 2015: applications open

19 December 2014 15:20

Christmas is coming, and so are new year’s resolutions. If yours is to get some journalistic work experience, then we’d like to hear from you  – if you feel you… Continue reading


Listen: Lucy Powell tries to dodge questions on leaked Ukip document with ‘it’s irrelevant to you!’

19 December 2014 14:21

How has Labour managed to make such a mess of its response to the leak of a document on dealing with Ukip that came out on Monday that it’s still… Continue reading


Yes, this Spectator Christmas card is a bit brutal. But so is the Christmas story

19 December 2014 13:25

‘What kind of message are you guys trying to send with that brutal Christmas card?’ asked my friend in the bar last night. He’s referring to the above card, an… Continue reading


Ukip MPs decline to comment on Nigel Farage’s ‘chinky’ remarks

19 December 2014 13:14
Nigel Farage on Phone Farage this morning.

Another week, another controversial set of controversial remarks from Nigel Farage — this time, it’s about the use of the word ‘chinky’ by Kerry Smith, who was running to be… Continue reading


Why do internet companies have one rule for paedophilia and another for terrorism?

19 December 2014 12:52

Today’s Times investigation into how the Islamic State is encouraging young British women to marry into this terrorist organisation is chilling. It is also a reminder that social media is the jihadis’… Continue reading


Why Alex Salmond’s help could hinder Labour

19 December 2014 12:02

Anyone surprised by Alex Salmond’s comments in the Independent about SNP MPs possibly voting on English matters if it helped Labour is clearly missing out on the wealth of wisdom… Continue reading


Why is George Osborne’s aide paid £95,000? Because he’s worth it

19 December 2014 9:41
Rupert Harrison (right) is more than just a bag carrier. But he carries bags too. And newspapers.

The Daily Mirror has today splashed on the fact that Rupert Harrison, chief economic adviser to the British government, has had a pay increase and is now on £95,000. Outrageous,… Continue reading


Watch out Labour, Ukip are coming for you

18 December 2014 17:35

How much of a threat is Ukip to Labour? The tanks of the people’s army have been on the Conservatives’ lawn for some time but we now have an idea… Continue reading


The fatal contradiction at the heart of the Tory message: there is no money, except for people we like.

18 December 2014 16:55
David Cameron and George Osborne Visit Eastbourne Pier

Next year’s general election looks like being the most gruesomely entertaining in years. Entertaining because no-one knows what is going to happen; gruesome because of the protagonists and the sorry misfortune… Continue reading


The May-Cameron feud claims another victim

18 December 2014 16:04
(Photo: Toby Melville/Getty)

The increasingly bloody feud between Theresa May’s political operation and David Cameron’s has claimed another victim. Nick Timothy, May’s long-serving special adviser, has been spectacularly kicked off the candidates’ list.… Continue reading


Labour’s ‘quick and dirty’ briefing

18 December 2014 14:12
Lucy Powell told MPs they could get a 'quick and dirty' briefing on Ukip.

More fallout from the Labour Ukip leak reaches me. Some sources in the party remain amazed that it apparently never crossed the desk of Yvette Cooper, given her role in the… Continue reading


Labour tries to deal with dysfunctional campaign machine after Ukip leak

18 December 2014 8:56

After spending all week stamping all over their own report about how to approach Ukip, Labour is now trying to work out what on earth led to the row. It’s… Continue reading


This is how you can fight the Taleban

17 December 2014 18:26
(Photo: A Majeed/Getty)

The murder of over a hundred children by the Taleban in Peshawar left people furious but also frustrated. What can we do to stop the Taleban? Troops are leaving Afghanistan, combat mission… Continue reading


What on earth qualifies Alan Rusbridger to run an Oxford college?

17 December 2014 18:06

When Alan Rusbridger announced his departure from The Guardian, two questions presented themselves. The first was: who will succeed him? And the second — admittedly far less interesting — was:… Continue reading


Meet Libby Lane – the first interview with the first woman bishop

17 December 2014 16:54
Libby Lane, the first female bishop in the Church of England (Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty)

Why is Libby Lane the first woman bishop appointed by the Church of England? She was one of the first to be ordained as a vicar 20 years ago when… Continue reading


PMQs sketch: Three senior politicians are accused of mass murder

17 December 2014 16:53
(Photo: Getty)

Time travel came to PMQs today. The leaders discussed what year it will be in 2020. The answer, naturally, isn’t 2020. Ed Miliband quoted the OBR and claimed that the… Continue reading


The oldest trick in the detainees’ book

17 December 2014 16:41
Sir Thayne Forbes. Image: Getty

The £31 million al-Sweady Inquiry is in. And it describes claims that up to 20 Iraqis were killed and mutilated by British troops after a battle in 2004 as “without… Continue reading


Restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba? What’s with all this eruption of sanity in Washington?

17 December 2014 16:38

The conventional wisdom, at least in Britain, seems to be that Barack Obama’s presidency has been a desperate disappointment. That is partly a reflection of the extravagant – impossibly so… Continue reading


PMQs: Cameron and Miliband clash on the economy

17 December 2014 13:55

Today’s PMQs was the last one before the holidays. But there was not much Christmas cheer on display. Cameron and Miliband clashed on the economy, with the Labour leader keen… Continue reading


John Bercow loses his battle to appoint Carol Mills as Commons clerk

17 December 2014 12:24

John Bercow has lost his biggest attempt at a power grab after MPs recommended that the appointment process for the Commons clerk be terminated. The governance committee set up after… Continue reading


Private enterprise has shaped Britain. So why is privatisation thought to be politically toxic?

17 December 2014 11:22
(Photo: Getty)

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the ‘P’ word: privatisation. Ed Miliband’s team hasn’t done the hard policy work to revitalise Labour as a party of government, and… Continue reading


Tony Abbott is no common sense speaking politician — just look at his comments on ISIL

17 December 2014 8:01
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott gives a statement to the media about the hostage situation which took place in Martin Place yesterday, at Parliament House on December 16, 2014 in Canberra, Australia.

Wow. Anyone who still harboured the idea that Australia was led by no-nonsense, common sense speaking politicians should look away now. Here is Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, talking… Continue reading


Why parties should never trust their own MPs

16 December 2014 19:07

MPs are often fond of complaining that they are ignored by senior figures in their parties as orders are passed on from central HQ with no explanation or opportunity for… Continue reading