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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

25 Comments

Ukip needs to reduce its defection rate to be taken seriously

15 April 2014 11:36
Nigel Farage needs to ensure that fewer of his MEPs defect to other parties. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Party-switching has been relatively common among British MEPs in recent years.  In the past ten years, 13 MEPs have ended their term of office in a different party to the… Continue reading

54 Comments

Truth, lies and Martin McGuinness

15 April 2014 10:35
Martin McGuinness pictured in 1997 at a rally to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. (Photo by Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Melanie McDonagh wrote a piece on Friday objecting to ‘those pundits who find Mr McGuinness’s presence anywhere intolerable.’ As one such pundit I would like to exercise a right of… Continue reading

137 Comments

Inflation falls again

15 April 2014 10:06
Bank Of England Cut Interest Rates To All Time Low

Wages in the private sector are now rising faster than inflation. The latest CPI inflation figures show that it now down to 1.6 per cent, comfortably below the Bank of… Continue reading

9 Comments

Will Philip Hammond challenge the SNP’s conceits?

15 April 2014 8:51
AUSTRALIA-NAVY-MILITARY

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas has said, in the Telegraph, that the sum of the Royal Navy’s parts is not greater than its whole. Scottish independence, he says,… Continue reading

123 Comments

No, Sajid Javid isn’t a luvvie. That’s why he’ll be a great Culture Secretary

14 April 2014 19:58
Sajid Javid poster3-3

I am taken to task by the Guardian’s Media Monkey for celebrating Sajid Javid’s elevation (as per the poster above) a little too much – and not caring very much that the… Continue reading

105 Comments

The potential of shale – in the fight against climate change…

14 April 2014 18:27
David Cameron tours a Total shale site in Lincolnshire. (AFP PHOTO/Lindsey Parnaby.)

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report earlier this morning which contains a remarkable insight. Ottmar Edenhofer, head of the IPCC working group, told a press… Continue reading

52 Comments

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

39 Comments

Modern Britain: little islanders who love the Queen and Richard Branson

14 April 2014 15:03
Basil Fawlty: still representative of the typical Englander? Photo: BBC.

Who and what represents Britain today? Our country has changed significantly in the last few decades; but, a batch of YouGov polls published this weekend suggest that traditional notions of… Continue reading

100 Comments

Philip Hammond and David Mundell expose lack of political grip at heart of government

14 April 2014 12:59
Philip Hammond and David Mundell are odds over where Trident would stand in discussions with an independent Scotland. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

Was it Philip Hammond who told the Guardian that Britain would discuss a currency union with an independent Scotland? Fleet Street is asking that question after the Defence Secretary said:… Continue reading

76 Comments

British justice the envy of the world? Tell that to Nigel Evans

14 April 2014 11:32
MP Nigel Evans Is Found Not Guilty Of Sex Offence Charges

I am utterly delighted that Nigel Evans has been acquitted of serious allegations of sexual assault. He is a good, kind, gentle and decent man and a very old friend.… Continue reading

87 Comments

Nigel Evans: I am not seeking to return to the position of Deputy Speaker

14 April 2014 11:16
Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans Returns To Work Following Arrest

Nigel Evans, who was cleared last week of sexual assault and rape, has described the last 11 months as torturous, and believes the case should never have been brought to… Continue reading

16 Comments

Ukraine increases mistrust and misinformation between Russia and the West

14 April 2014 8:48
World Leaders Meet For G8 Summit AT Lough Erne

The tense situation in Ukraine has escalated overnight. A deadline has passed for pro-Russian agitators to vacate government buildings in eastern Ukraine or face military action. There is no indication… Continue reading

73 Comments

The joy of the Spectator’s ‘Portrait of the Week’

13 April 2014 17:53
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It’s a gorgeous spring day, and I’ve been spending it reading an out-of-print history of The Spectator from 1828-1928. With out new online archive – which has scans of every… Continue reading

4 Comments

Cabinet concern over the state of the Unionist campaign in Scotland laid bare

13 April 2014 12:32
Scotland Prepares For The Independence Vote

There are only five months to go to the Scottish referendum and the Cabinet is becoming increasingly agitated about the state of the Unionist campaign. At Tuesday’s meeting there was… Continue reading

283 Comments

Downing Street has forgotten that its business is politics

13 April 2014 11:03
Image: Getty

The Sunday papers resound with the sound of Tory MPs thinking aloud about how to deal with ill-discipline: principally expenses and harassment. On harassment, the Sunday Times reports the 1922… Continue reading

66 Comments

Alex Salmond’s message to Labour supporters: vote ‘yes’ to escape the Tories

12 April 2014 17:28
SNP Leader Alex Salmond Delivers His Keynote Speech At The SNP Conference

When is a conference not a conference? When it’s a rally. Sitting in the hall listening to Alex Salmond this afternoon, it was hard to ignore the feeling that this… Continue reading

228 Comments

What if mayors ruled the world?

12 April 2014 16:11
Boris Johnson And Michael Bloomberg Launch Mayors Challenge In Europe

Once, countries competed. Now, cities do. Take the above video of Stockholm, boasting about being the best place in the world to live and work. As the magician says, ‘it’s… Continue reading

12 Comments

Six books to leave unread when you die

12 April 2014 13:32
(Image: ERIC CABANIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The recent challenge to compose the most off-putting book blurb imaginable elicited an avalanche of entries. This was one of those competitions that is both a pleasure and a pain… Continue reading

71 Comments

Blame it on the bankers’ boogie

12 April 2014 11:30
Michael Fallon (second right) at the launch of Royal Mail Plc last year. (Image: Royal Mail Group/Getty Images)

Vince Cable and Michael Fallon, ministers responsible for the Royal Mail sell-off, have been summoned for another select committee grilling after Easter. Meanwhile, Labour’s irritatingly smug business spokesman Chuka Umunna… Continue reading

11 Comments

Sajid Javid’s first task is to recognise that the price of a cultural asset lies in its value as art

12 April 2014 10:30
SajidJavidF

The suggestion, made by the poet Michael Rosen and others, that Sajid Javid is not sufficiently cultured to be Culture Secretary is as ludicrous as it is pompous. The secretary… Continue reading

59 Comments

What are the Liberal Democrats for?

12 April 2014 10:06
United Kingdom Minister of State for For

Of the three main parties, none is clearer about how they intend to fight the next election than the Liberal Democrats. Their message will be that they’ll make the Tories… Continue reading

23 Comments

Parliament unusually full of women

11 April 2014 11:44
Scenes from 'Suffragette' are filmed in New Palace Yard in Westminster.

It’s quite easy to grow quite used to the way things are, and only realise that they’re a bit odd when there’s a momentary shift. Today Parliament is packed with… Continue reading

57 Comments

Osborne banks the recovery – and whacks his critics

11 April 2014 8:49
Image: Getty

A few months ago, colleagues of George Osborne were worried the Chancellor risked ‘banking the recovery’ too early. If they’re still worried about that, then Osborne certainly isn’t. Today he’s… Continue reading

162 Comments

David Cameron: Trust me to change EU, not Ukip

10 April 2014 18:35
Local and Euro elections campaign

David Cameron launched his party’s European and local elections campaign in Manchester today. After weeks of polarised debate between Nick and Nigel, the PM had a task in suggesting that… Continue reading

261 Comments