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Fallon refuses to back Labour on Trident as he plays politics with defence

28 April 2015 17:08

Things have come to a pretty pass when the two party spokespeople who experience the worst drubbing in a debate are the current Defence Secretary and the Green party representative.… Continue reading


Exclusive: Where the next generation of MPs think the burden of cuts should fall

16 April 2015 16:16
Image: Getty

What do the next generation of MPs think with regards to public services, government spending and taxes? Coffee House has got its hands on new research by Ipsos MORI on… Continue reading


There’s no need for the Tories to descend into the gutter

9 April 2015 12:34
Gordon Brown Announces Plans To Cut Trident Submarines

You might be forgiven for expecting that a Defence Secretary giving a speech on defence during an election campaign would involve an announcement about his party’s defence policy. And Michael… Continue reading


Don’t expect to hear anything about Islamic State during the election campaign

7 April 2015 15:50
The Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, where Islamic State fighters have launched an offensive (Photo: Getty)

Granted, you don’t really expect foreign policy to feature much in an election campaign – we’re not saints – but it’s still shaming the way that the biggest foreign policy… Continue reading


Britain might want a holiday from history, but we’re not going to get one

4 April 2015 11:06

The more I think about the debate on Thursday night, the more I think it was a disgrace that there was no question on either defence or Britain’s role in… Continue reading


The Boris approach

21 March 2015 11:46
Boris Johnson Stand For Selection As An MP

It is sometimes easy to forget that Boris is more than just a personality, that he has policy views too. In interviews with The Mail and The Times this morning,… Continue reading


Tiny revolt in Commons over defence doesn’t mean the trouble’s gone away

12 March 2015 17:32

MPs this afternoon backed the motion calling for the government to set defence spending at 2 per cent of GDP – though not in huge numbers. There were 37 votes… Continue reading


The Tories must commit to spending 2 percent of GDP on defence

12 March 2015 12:39
A flypast over the NATO 2014 Summit (Photo: AFP/Carl Court/Getty)

At a time when Russian fighter jets are forcing civilian flights into UK airports to be diverted, you would expect defence to be one of the big issues of the… Continue reading


Podcast: the death of childhood and has Hillary gone too far?

12 March 2015 9:15
24th September 1952, Donald the Duck joins in the lessons at Grange Park School, Hayes, Middlesex.

Have we lost the age of innocence forever? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Melanie Phillips and Sarah Green discuss this week’s Spectator cover feature on consequences of dropping… Continue reading


How to make a row about defence worse

11 March 2015 8:50
Soldiers From The 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment March In A Farewell Parade

There are many quite understandable reasons for not promising to protect the defence budget. Some are pragmatic: there’s not much room in Whitehall for more budgets to be protected once… Continue reading


The issue of the defence budget could force more Tory MPs to become rebels

9 March 2015 17:13
Rory Stewart, the Defence Select Committee chair (Photo: David Levenson/Getty)

One of the really striking claims that Ed Balls made in his speech today was that the Tories would end up cutting more from the defence budget than Labour. This… Continue reading


A masterclass in dodging questions from Philip Hammond and Caroline Flint

8 March 2015 11:50
Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 11.48.53

Two politicians put in very assured and impressive performances on Marr this morning – if you can include nimbly dodging questions that you don’t want to answer ‘impressive’. of course,… Continue reading


Even if there are ‘no votes’ in defence, Cameron must beware of mutiny in his party

5 March 2015 11:47
Philip Hammond said David Cameron's pledge to see defence spending rising from 2015 only referred to the equipment budget. Picture: Getty

Tory MPs are becoming increasingly agitated about defence spending and whether or not Britain will maintain its defence spending at 2 per cent of GDP. They do understand the pressures… Continue reading


Do we now know what the Tory strategy for defence is?

25 February 2015 8:48
Britain's Defence minister Michael Fallon talks with his US counterpart Chuck Hagel during a defence ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 5, 2015.

For a while the Tories had hoped they could get away with dodging questions on defence spending until after the election. Even as the pressure within their own party for… Continue reading


We are one town away from a proxy war between Russia and the US

22 February 2015 11:06
Pro-Russian separatists on a road near Uglegorsk (Photo: Dominique Faget/Getty)

We are alarmingly close to the most serious confrontation between Russia and the United States since the end of the Cold War. A proxy war between Moscow and Washington on… Continue reading


Here’s an election idea: why not weaponise defence?

(Photo: Getty)

A few weeks ago, Boris Johnson posed a question in his residents’ survey for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency. ‘Which issues are most important for the country as a whole?’… Continue reading


Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help – or can it?

24 October 2014 18:05

Iraq and Syria are lost causes: Western intervention can’t help. Well, at least that was the motion put forward on Wednesday evening at a Spectator debate, in association with Brewin… Continue reading


Ottawans to jihadists: our city is stronger than ever

24 October 2014 13:29
Flowers left in front of the Canadian Parliament in honour of Cpl Nathan Cirillo of the Canadian Army Reserves, who was killed while guarding the National War Memorial (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

I was born in Ottawa. I grew up in Ottawa. I studied in Ottawa. I work in Ottawa. Ottawa is in my DNA, as it is for more than a… Continue reading


Philip Hammond: No plans to engage in airstrikes

18 August 2014 14:52
Philip Hammond. Image: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images

So Britain’s long-term fight against Isis isn’t, at the moment, going to involve this country doing any fighting. The Prime Minister this morning insisted that there would be no ‘boots… Continue reading


The Tories must commit to more defence spending in the next parliament

1 August 2014 12:32

Nato is 65 years old this year; but there’s little cause for celebration. The Defence Select Committee’s latest report suggests that the populations of western Europe and North America are… Continue reading


Is NATO a busted flush?

31 July 2014 9:22
The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

Rory Stewart is no soft-touch. When he was elected chairman of the Defence Select Committee, it was thought that he would hold the government and NATO’s feet to the fire.… Continue reading


A full separation of powers could reinvigorate parliament

26 July 2014 13:22
Big Ben and the The Houses of Parliament

Last summer, parliament was recalled after President Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in Syria. David Cameron wanted the Commons to support air strikes against the Syrian regime in response. But… Continue reading


Is it time for ‘nose-peg Toryism’?

24 July 2014 16:24
Image: Getty

Before the election in 2005, the magnificently grand Polly Toynbee made a generous offer to Guardian readers reluctant to vote for Tony Blair after Iraq. ‘There is much to be… Continue reading


Michael Fallon marks century of Muslim service in British armed forces

24 July 2014 14:45
Muslim prayer taking place in the Memorial Courtyard of the Ministry of Defence in London on 23rd July 2014. (Image: Ministry of Defence)

After nineteen hours without food, nor even a drop of water, the prospect of the single succulent date which breaks the fast looms ever larger in the mind as sunset… Continue reading


Rory Stewart elected Chairman of the Defence Select Committee

14 May 2014 15:53
Rory Stewart, the new Commons Defence Select Committee chairman. Image: Getty

Rory Stewart, the colourful and interesting Tory MP, has been elected as chairman of the Defence Select Committee. Stewart is a formidable appointment. He is knowledgeable on defence and foreign… Continue reading