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Francis backs Pell’s reforms: centuries of expense-fiddling at the Vatican are brought to an end

3 March 2015 14:06
Illustration by Christian Adams, courtesy of The Catholic Herald

Phew! I was worried that the smear campaign against Cardinal George Pell mounted by the pigs at the Vatican trough would persuade Pope Francis to water down Pell’s plan to… Continue reading


Justin Forsyth has far more to apologise for than Tony Blair’s Save the Children award

3 March 2015 13:47
Tony Blair with Justin Forsyth to his right (Photo: Getty)

You almost have to admire Justin Forsyth’s brass neck. He is a former Gordon Brown spin chief earning more than the Prime Minister’s £142,000 for running Save the Children. Or,… Continue reading

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Suburban legends: Why London’s property boom seems set to help Labour win seats

3 March 2015 13:02
Repossessions Continue To Increase Due To Economic Downturn

Economists have for some time spoken of a ‘great inversion’ of London, whereby property price hikes in inner London, often linked to gentrification, has made suburbia comparatively more affordable. These… Continue reading


Property crime is not a victimless crime

3 March 2015 12:01
Last year around 19,000 bicycles were reported stolen to the Metropolitan Police yet only 666 (3.5 per cent) of these thefts were solved

While researching Taking its Toll, a report written with Policy Exchange on the regressive impact of property crime, some troubling facts became clear. In the year to March 2014 there… Continue reading


Can the Tories really make another net migration target?

3 March 2015 8:54
Image: Getty

Why is Theresa May doggedly sticking to the Tory net migration target, even when it has failed so badly in this Parliament? Her Tory colleagues might be asking why she’s… Continue reading


Does the Tory housing pledge really help the housing crisis?

2 March 2015 18:26

Given the Tories are the party of Macmillan, it seems quite right that they’ve picked housing as one of their six key election priorities. David Cameron gave a speech on… Continue reading


Tories launch new Saatchi poster campaign

2 March 2015 18:12
The new Conservative poster campaign, created by M&C Saatchi.

You know the Conservative campaign is well underway when there’s a new Saatchi poster about. Today, Conservative HQ has released a new campaign to remind the public that Labour pose a threat… Continue reading


Vladimir Putin’s Russia is no longer just an authoritarian state; it is a dictatorship

2 March 2015 17:26
(Photo: Getty)

The murder of Boris Nemtsov, even more than previous assassinations of journalists and other figures deemed unhelpful to Vladimir Putin’s regime, feels like a moment of grim significance. It represents… Continue reading


If Isis doesn’t like Twitter, it should invest in its own tech companies

2 March 2015 17:17

Isis has a new bête noir: Twitter. Employees at the social media company have received death threats, as has Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter. Why? Because the site has been blocking accounts… Continue reading


Tories ‘have fixed’ beleaguered campaign database

2 March 2015 14:46
Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps Visits Rochester

The Conservatives believe they have fixed their beleaguered campaign database, VoteSource, after increasing complaints from MPs. Coffee House understands that a number of MPs in marginal seats complained to party… Continue reading


What are we meant to say about grooming rings?

2 March 2015 13:13
A new report has identified 300 victims groomed and assaulted by Oxfordshire gangs

It is a tragedy that some of us are born in the wrong times. According to that increasingly gobby conduit of right-on morality, the NSPCC, girls these days feel compelled… Continue reading


Mini Election: Patrick O’Flynn on the economy, party tribes and the importance of Farage

2 March 2015 12:48
U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) Spring Conference

Has Ukip found a set of credible economic policies? In the latest Mini Election video, I discuss the party’s spring conference with Patrick O’Flynn, MEP for the East of England and Ukip’s economic… Continue reading


Immigration threatens to overshadow Tory housing week

2 March 2015 8:42

It’s supposed to be the Tory housing week, with David Cameron setting out plans to double the number of discounted starter homes to 200,000. It’s an important, salient issue to… Continue reading


Is a married clergy on Pope Francis’ agenda? I hope not

1 March 2015 16:30
Pope Francis waves to faithful and pilgrims as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience on February 18, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Francis, is, according to Cardinal Walter Kasper – a Swabian formerly responsible for ecumenism – neither a traditionalist nor a liberal – “both of which categories have become rather… Continue reading


Who paid for that?

1 March 2015 16:16

One of the things that even its critics, such as myself, have to concede that the European Union has been good at is making clear what it has funded. By… Continue reading


How do you tell a sturdy vagabond from a submissive pauper?

1 March 2015 15:00
A homeless woman, with her belongings in a shopping trolley, sitting on steps on Remembrance Day, central London, 11th November 1995.

The number of people sleeping on the streets has risen by 55 per cent in the last five years. New statistics show that London had 742 rough sleepers on the… Continue reading


Farage wants to learn American campaigning techniques — just weeks after lambasting them

1 March 2015 13:45
Nigel Farage on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Was Nigel Farage ‘absent on the job’ this week, addressing a conference in America instead of focusing on the immigration figures and Ukip’s spring conference? He defended the trip on the Sunday Politics today, arguing that… Continue reading


Putin may be mad – but not mad enough to have had Boris Nemtsov killed

28 February 2015 14:57
Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 18.58.45

Boris Nemtsov signed his own death warrant when gave an interview earlier this month to the Russian newspaper Sobesednik saying that he was afraid he was going to be killed… Continue reading


National parties no more

28 February 2015 14:10
Image: Getty

All the election forecast models agree, the next election result is going to be remarkably tight. On these models, neither Labour nor the Tories are going to come close to… Continue reading


The hit job on Cardinal Pell was inevitable: he’s cleaning out the Vatican stables

28 February 2015 13:14

Ever since Cardinal George Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to clean up the Vatican’s finances, I knew a hit job was coming; and I was doubly certain when he… Continue reading


Spectator competition: a Pepys’-eye view of the 21st century (plus: female chauvinist authors)

28 February 2015 12:19
Circa 1670, English diarist and reformer of the navy, Samuel Pepys (1633 - 1703). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

It was Samuel Pepys’s birthday this week and for the latest competition you were invited to imagine him let loose on the streets of 21st-century London and to provide a… Continue reading


Are reports of a Ukip split greatly exaggerated?

28 February 2015 11:11

Day two of the Ukip conference, and the placid mood continues. Delegates seem very content with the speeches that they’ve heard from Douglas Carswell, Patricia Culligan, Janice Atkinson and Diane… Continue reading


Two parties, two failures of logic

28 February 2015 10:24
David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

Two party election policies, two failures to think things through. Or, at least, to engage with realities. First, Labour announces a cut in university tuition fees to a maximum of… Continue reading


Watch: Mark Reckless and Steve Crowther discuss day one of Ukip’s spring conference

27 February 2015 19:45
UKIP Spring Conference

Today has been ‘Nigel Farage Day’ in Margate. Although many of the party’s other prominent characters addressed its spring conference, it was the leader who entirely stole the day with… Continue reading


Farage uses speech to clarify his position

27 February 2015 17:52

Nigel Farage’s speech to the Ukip conference was fine. Not a bad speech, but not his best speech, either. It was just fine. Activists seemed happy, ecstatic, even when he… Continue reading