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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
Adam Boulton is not retiring. (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
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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


William Hague tells the 1922 that ‘lessons will be learned’ from Syria vote

4 September 2013 18:28
National Security Council Meet To Discuss The Response To Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

William Hague’s appearance at the 1922 Committee has underlined the fact that the Tory party is now split on foreign policy. I’m told that the questions that the Foreign Secretary… Continue reading


George Osborne: There’ll be no second Commons vote on Syria

1 September 2013 10:39
UN inspectors inspect corpses in a hospital outside Damscus. Photo: YouTube/AFP/Getty Images

There’ll be no second parliamentary vote on Syria, George Osborne stressed this morning. There had been speculation that following President Obama’s decision to go to Congress before using military force,… Continue reading


John Bercow reinvents being Speaker of the House of Commons

9 August 2013 16:39
John Bercow has been laying out his ideas for parliamentary reform. (VESA MOILANEN/AFP/GettyImages)

If only he’d read the job description a little bit more closely, we might have avoided all these rows. Unfortunately for John Bercow, the man who loves the sound of… Continue reading


Sarah Wollaston: Tories are ‘pandering to election strategists’ on plain packaging

12 July 2013 15:10
Sarah Wollaston

Sarah Wollaston is angry. Again. This time it’s about plain packaging on cigarettes. She told the World at One that the decision to stall introducing plain packaging was ‘pandering to… Continue reading


IPSA brings MPs into disrepute once again, without saving a penny or solving the problem

2 July 2013 12:03
IPSA wants to raise the salaries of MPs, but is it the right thing to do? Photo: Getty Images.

IPSA’s proposed increase in MPs’ salary is another example of how it continues to undermine the standing of parliament whilst haemorrhaging taxpayers’ money on unnecessary backroom bureaucracy. The weekend newspapers… Continue reading


Yeo steps aside: how Parliament could improve its reputation with a simple rule change

10 June 2013 22:44
The Houses Of Parliament General Views

As Fraser reported earlier, Tim Yeo has stepped aside from the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee chairmanship following the Sunday Times’ sting this weekend. What’s astonishing is not his… Continue reading