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Curious lack of support for Miller in Cabinet

8 April 2014 13:53
Maria Miller and colleagues at the Cabinet table. Image: Getty

Senior 1922 Committee members are quite surprised by the suggestion that tomorrow’s end-of-term meeting with the Prime Minister represents the deadline for the Maria Miller problem to be resolved. But… Continue reading

18 Comments

The German Greens might do so badly they end up getting in

20 September 2013 10:27
German Greens' campaign poster: 'Germany is renewable'. Image: Getty

The German Green Party is having a torrid time. In an election campaign remarkable for static polls, come what may, the collapse of a third of the Green vote has been… Continue reading

9 Comments

Jeremy Heywood, just call him very influential

7 December 2012 19:43
The 'very influential' Sir Jeremy Heywood

The main topic of conversation in Whitehall today has been The Guardian’s profile of the Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood. One particular passage has raised some eyebrows in several ministerial… Continue reading

23 Comments

Hodge’s new nemesis: Sir Jeremy Heywood

15 March 2012 16:33
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Margaret Hodge subjected senior civil servants to a fierce ear-boxing this morning. She accused them of trying to avoid the scrutiny of her Public Accounts Committee, and declared the current… Continue reading

18 Comments

Uncivil service

12 January 2012 18:38
170510

Political cultures differ. In Iran, for example, hyperbole is expected in all political conversations. So slogans always call for ‘Death to the US’, and nothing less. In Britain, of course,… Continue reading

16 Comments

Overreacting to Werritty

17 October 2011 11:34

The Werritty case has made everyone who believes that government is controlled by lobbyists and tycoons slaver. The Guardian screams that Ministers held more than 1,500 meetings with corporate representatives… Continue reading

17 Comments

Cameron makes poor start on the long road back

8 July 2011 10:59

This was David Cameron’s most difficult press conference since becoming Tory leader. The Prime Minister refused to distance himself from Andy Coulson, a man he said was still his friend.… Continue reading

108 Comments

Treasury notes reveal Osborne’s position on euro bailouts

1 July 2011 17:23

There has been much talk about what George Osborne told Alistair Darling about the EU bailout mechanism during those days in May between the election and the coalition being formed.… Continue reading

15 Comments

Tax versus philanthropy 

25 June 2011 9:45

I was on the panel of Any Questions last night in Saltaire, the most beautiful town I’ve seen outside of the Highlands. Jonathan Dimbleby always warms everyone up with a… Continue reading

29 Comments

Britain makes new senior diplomatic appointments

24 June 2011 14:53

From the Number 10 website: The Prime Minister is pleased to confirm the following senior appointments: Sir Peter Ricketts, currently the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor, to become HM Ambassador… Continue reading

16 Comments

Britain’s other, bigger debt problem

31 May 2011 11:16

And what about the other sort of debt? We spend so much time harrumphing about the national debt that an important point is obscured: personal debt, the amount owed by… Continue reading

41 Comments

The Portuguese fallout

7 April 2011 10:50

How much are we in for? That is the question that springs most readily to mind after Portugal’s request for fiscal aid from the EU. And, sadly, the answer is… Continue reading

27 Comments

What were the SAS doing in the eastern desert?

8 March 2011 9:01

When the official files are opened in 30 years time, we will see what series of decisions led the government to send a helicopter-born SAS team into eastern Libya when… Continue reading

37 Comments

Government to appeal on prisoner votes

2 March 2011 17:58

PoliticsHome reports that the government is to ask the ECHR to reconsider its verdict in the prisoner voting rights case. The website says: ‘In a response to a parliamentary question… Continue reading

23 Comments

From the archives: The resignation of Alastair Campbell

21 January 2011 18:04

No need to explain why we’re looking back on the resignation of Alastair Campbell for this week’s entry from The Spectator archives. The piece itself is merciless stuff from the… Continue reading

15 Comments

What’s with the Wiki-fuss?

29 November 2010 13:02

The whole Wikileaks scandal reminds me of a recent conversation I had, at his request, with a member of a foreign diplomatic service. The country he represented is a long-standing… Continue reading

13 Comments

What the new peerages tell us about the party leaders

19 November 2010 13:00

Today’s peerage list contains more interesting names than usual. Jullian Fellowes — Downton Abbey, Gosford Park, Snobs — is the one who will get the most attention. It is a… Continue reading

18 Comments

Stop dreaming of Leo McGarry

9 November 2010 18:03

The West Wing has an amazing hold over Fleet Street. The TV series has not only taught a generation of British reporters about US politics but even influenced the way… Continue reading

20 Comments

Gordon Brown speaks out about not speaking out

9 November 2010 11:46

Courtesy of Andrew Sparrow’s ever-superb live blog of the political day, from Brown’s appearance before the Commons development committee: "Let’s not get into this in any detail because it’s a… Continue reading

32 Comments

Bringing Arcadia to Whitehall

11 October 2010 16:39

Philip Green’s business background is writ plain across his review of government waste – right down to its PowerPoint style layout. Many of its recommendations reduce down to a claim… Continue reading

22 Comments

Finding a narrative of hope

16 September 2010 18:32

In these grim dark days of austerity and cuts, the coalition urgently needs to find a compelling political narrative of hope and optimism. David Cameron’s Big Society rhetoric occasionally threatens… Continue reading

19 Comments

A bill that deserves trimming

6 September 2010 22:35

The electoral reform bill has passed comfortably, by 328 votes to 269. Now comes the hard bit: this bill is going to be deservedly lacerated in committee. The bill drew… Continue reading

30 Comments

May’s straight-bat technique

6 September 2010 16:37

Theresa May channeled Chris Tavaré today, every question on this phone tapping scandal was met with a solid defensive answer. She was helped by the number of Labour MPs who… Continue reading

14 Comments

Bravo, Mr Pickles

12 August 2010 14:33

I think it’s fair to say that Eric Pickles doesn’t look like a pioneer of the Cameroonian "Post-Bureaucratic Age". But that’s exactly what he is, as his department becomes the… Continue reading

20 Comments

Clegg denies it was a mistake to assert the illegality of the Iraq War at PMQs

24 July 2010 18:18

Nick Clegg has made this statement on Channel Four News: ‘I have always been open that my personal opinion that the legal base is not justified for our going into… Continue reading

33 Comments