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Podcast: Morality and privacy online, and how the SNP MPs may save the Union

23 July 2015 9:55

The hacking of adultery website Ashley Madison has raised the question of whether there is such a thing as privacy online. On this View from 22 podcast, Hugo Rifkind discusses this week’s… Continue reading


RIP Charles Kennedy, but did we really need 27 tributes in the House of Commons?

4 June 2015 14:45
(Photo: Getty)

Is it too cynical to say that the tributes paid to Charles Kennedy in the House of Commons yesterday were excessive, maudlin, and more than a bit silly? Is it… Continue reading


Ed Miliband returns to the Commons as Osborne announces £3bn of more cuts

4 June 2015 13:53

Ed Miliband has wasted little time in returning to speaking duties in the House of Commons. George Osborne came to the Chamber to announce £4.5bn of savings – made up… Continue reading


The one thing sadder than an ex-MP

14 May 2015 16:21

Tonight at midnight, something will change in Parliament. All the MPs who lost their seats in last week’s elections will have their passes cancelled, to be replaced by a pass… Continue reading


Which arguments about government legitimacy are legitimate?

4 May 2015 16:40
Big Ben and the The Houses of Parliament

Well, Labour has started on its own mission of framing the post-election legitimacy debate. Responding to the Tory operation to prepare the public for what might happen from 8 May… Continue reading


Parliament is weak and ineffective — it needs to change

20 March 2015 17:10
London Landmarks At Night

Only a third of the public think Parliament is effective in holding government to account: two thirds want improvement of our democratic institutions. We struggle to get more than two in… Continue reading


An idiotic guide to politics

14 February 2015 13:19
Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 13.18.14

What’s wrong with our politics? Now that more and people are turning to ‘anti-politics’ parties, this question is becoming steadily more fashionable and urgent. It’s now even got its own… Continue reading


Why Russell Brand isn’t wrong to fear entering Parliament

12 December 2014 15:31
The Residents Of New Era Estate Protest Against Their Eviction

Oh look, Russell Brand doesn’t want to stand for Parliament even though he moans about it! You can watch the clip of the man who was introduced as a ‘comedian… Continue reading


The menace of memes: how pictures can paint a thousand lies

29 November 2014 12:14
An image shared by a Facebook page this morning

It’s very fashionable these days to be despondent about the quality of our politicians. They’re all lazy liars who look only to their interests and neglect their duties to their… Continue reading


An NHS stale-mate and squirms for John Bercow, in today’s PMQs

22 October 2014 13:11
David Cameron  (Photo: WPA Poole/Getty)

Today’s PMQs was an NHS stale-mate. David Cameron went after Labour on the NHS in Wales, demanding that Labour agree to an OECD inquiry into the NHS there, while Ed… Continue reading


Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.

19 August 2014 16:10

Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps, as some suggest, it’s time to concede the game’s a… Continue reading


Forget warnings and labels. Make problem drinkers pay for their excess

11 August 2014 13:26
Pubs And Clubs in England and Wales Prepare For New Licensing Laws

It was news to me that there exists an All Party Commons Committee on Alcohol Misuse, but when you think about it, the notion makes complete sense; for evidence, all… Continue reading


The three parent technique is genetic modification. Will parliament confront this?

29 July 2014 16:19
DNA Testing

If I were choosing a third parent for a baby, you know, I’d be inclined to choose one of the Williams sisters — the top-notch tennis players. If you want… 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


Boulton and Co

26 June 2014 15:45
(Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

Journalists do, occasionally, say something nice about politicians. It does not happen very often; but, when it does, it’s usually heartfelt. Adam Boulton hosted a party at the Savoy last… Continue reading


We get few answers from the Work and Pensions grudge match

23 June 2014 17:41
Image: Getty

Departmental questions have, by this stage of the parliament, all developed their own characters. There is the colourful combat of Treasury questions, often involving one Tory minister deploying a lengthy… Continue reading


MP recall is a populist gesture that cheapens our democracy

5 June 2014 10:58
Image: Getty

Anger is a bad counsellor. A lot of voters are angry with MPs and want to punish them. They believe that during the recent economic crisis, many MPs had only… 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


When is a party not a celebration?

15 April 2014 12:12
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 16.26.14

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans stood on the steps of Preston Crown Court last week and said: ‘This isn’t a time for celebration or euphoria. Bill Roache just a few… Continue reading


Keith Vaz on the smarm offensive

14 April 2014 15:52
Keith Vaz is all things to all men. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Vaz was in full oil slick mode on Friday night when he found himself as the only Labour MP at the Asian Business Awards in Waterloo. Surrounded by dozens… Continue reading


Why Maria Miller should not have resigned

10 April 2014 12:39

Maria Miller’s forced resignation is a disgrace. No iniquity was proved against her. Over her expenses, I suspect her motive was innocent: she was trying to work out childcare with… Continue reading


PMQs needs reforming but it shouldn’t be toned down

11 February 2014 21:57
Angry shouty politicians — the hallmarks of Prime Minister's Questions.

To anyone in Westminster, Prime Minister’s Questions is terrific fun and a good measurement of how the leaders are doing every week. But what does the rest of the country… Continue reading


Parliament itself shouldn’t drag MPs down

24 January 2014 14:56
London Landmarks At Night

The conventional image of Parliament is of a grand, imposing building packed with ancient traditions. The reality for those who work in it isn’t quite so glamorous: mouse-infested offices, administrative… Continue reading


John Bercow is his own worst enemy

14 November 2013 18:20
Photo: Getty Images.

John Bercow has done many good things as Speaker. But he’s in danger of being the second Speaker in a row to be turfed out. Why? Because he can’t let… Continue reading


Are Parliament’s select committees working? – I say no

5 November 2013 18:57
Members Of The New Coalition Cabinet Arrive For Their First Cabinet Meeting

Our parliamentary select committees need to be taken seriously. Yet, for them to be so, we need to clarify their legal powers, use wider expertise and practice what we preach.… Continue reading