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Watch: Douglas Carswell re-enters the House of Commons as a Ukip MP

13 October 2014 15:53

Douglas Carswell has just re-entered the House of Commons as a Ukip MP. Nigel Farage was in the peers’ gallery to watch his first elected MP take his seat. So… Continue reading


Cameron annoyed by TV debate proposals that include Ukip but not the Greens

13 October 2014 13:52
(Photo: David Jones/PA/Getty)

The broadcasters’ proposals for the TV debates have not gone down particularly well in many quarters of Westminster. David Cameron, who has been trying to avoid the issue for as… Continue reading


Jonathan Powell is wrong – talks with the IRA prolonged the Troubles

13 October 2014 12:20
Belfast, 1972 (Photo: Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Jonathan Powell seems to be unavoidable at the moment. Having read his first two books a couple of times I felt a weary sense of resignation on news of the… Continue reading


Boris Johnson asks voters to decide if he’s a fool or just a cynic. What a choice!

13 October 2014 11:44
Conservative Party Conference Held In Birmingham - Day 3

Boris is at it again this morning. Revealing, that is, why he cannot be trusted with office. To be charitable, I wouldn’t trust many newspaper columnists with the keys to… Continue reading


Broadcasters throw down TV debates gauntlet

13 October 2014 11:00
The BBC Host The Third And Final Televised Leaders' Debate

It has been clear for several years now that the Tories would not agree to a repeat of 2010 when there were three debates in three weeks featuring the Tory,… Continue reading


Of course marijuana isn’t ‘safe’ – but should it be illegal?

13 October 2014 9:26

Sometimes I read things that really get on my wick, and last week was one of those times. A new, ‘definitive’ 20-year study has ‘demolished the argument that the drug… Continue reading


To Nigel Farage in the wake of Heywood and Middleton: an apology

13 October 2014 8:58
Nigel Farage (Photo: Oli Scarff, Getty)

Nigel Farage – an apology. My suspicion had been that Ukip would not frighten the horses terribly in Heywood and Middleton. It is not great territory for them, after all.… Continue reading


Brooks Newmark was in mental agony: I saw it with my own eyes

12 October 2014 21:36

Tory MP Brooks Newmark quits politics after sexting photograph comes to light; talks of depression, needing help, checks into clinic. To which the response of many people will be: Yeah, right. He’s playing… Continue reading


If Brooks Newmark didn’t want these photos leaked, why did he email them?

12 October 2014 15:16
Brooks Newmark, this time without his Paisley-patterend pyjamas

So it now seems pretty clear to me that we can no longer send women photographs of our genitals without worrying that we might be the subject of some horrible… Continue reading


Nigel Farage does ‘do God’ – and has the Bible to prove it

12 October 2014 14:55
Nigel Farage speaking from his home in Kent. The yellow Good News bible is prominently displayed behind him.

Ever the insurgent, Nigel Farage decided to give his post-Clacton interview to BBC Sunday Politics today rather than Andrew Marr show. He would have regretted fairly soon: the line of… Continue reading


A Lab-Con coalition? It’s not as crazy as you think

12 October 2014 13:11
David Cameron and Ed Miliband, April 2013 (Photo: WPA Pool/Getty)

In the few days since Conservative defector Douglas Carswell gave Ukip its first Westminster MP and John Bickley scared the pants off Ed Miliband by almost snatching Heywood and Middleton… Continue reading


If Cameron loses Rochester to Ukip, he may face a leadership challenge

12 October 2014 12:58
Day Two - UKIP Holds Its Annual Party Conference

The Tory party reacted with striking calm to Douglas Carswell and Ukip’s thumping victory in the Clacton by-election. But this calm will not hold if Ukip and the other Tory… Continue reading


Jonathan Powell interview: middle-man to the terrorists says ‘secret talks are necessary’

11 October 2014 19:50
(Video: the RSA/YouTube)

Jonathan Powell is a British diplomat who served as Tony Blair’s chief of staff from 1997 to 2007. During this period, he was also Britain’s chief negotiator for Northern Ireland.… Continue reading


Why the Tories must win Rochester – and how they plan to do it

11 October 2014 16:40

Why are the Conservatives so serene after losing the Clacton by-election and seeing their vote collapse in Heywood and Middleton? It is not that the party has finally decided endless… Continue reading


Clacton to Ukip, Britain’s anti-politics were long in the making

11 October 2014 16:30
Clacton-on-Sea, June 1922 (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Talking to people in Clacton-on-Sea this week, there was a sense that, as much as they thought there were too many people in Britain, they felt politicians had it too easy.… Continue reading


Your enemy’s enemy is not your friend

11 October 2014 13:40
(Photo: JM Lopez/AFP/Getty)

The United States faces a very difficult task in Syria. It is trying to use air raids to contain and weaken ISIl. But, at the same time, it is trying… Continue reading


Spectator competition: a magical realist shipping forecast (plus: a dialogue in verse between God and man)

11 October 2014 9:43
Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.16.54

Since the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez earlier this year, I have been meaning to set a comp with a magical realist twist and I finally got around to it… Continue reading


Moazzam Begg: Islamic bookseller or terrorist trainer?

10 October 2014 16:44
Moazzam Begg leaving prison after prosecutors dropped the charges against him (Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Moazzam Begg’s lawyer once said that the former Guantanamo Bay detainee was ‘an extremist all right – he believes passionately in charity and justice for all.’ Many seemed to agree.… Continue reading


Syria or Scotland? Tory whips confuse MPs with mysterious message

10 October 2014 16:26
Tories still haven't discussed how close the Scottish referendum came (Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

The Tory whips are busy today, but not necessarily with fallout from the Clacton by-election. They have sent a message round to MPs saying the following: ‘There is a possibility… Continue reading


The house wins as Phil Ivey loses High Court battle against Crockfords casino

10 October 2014 15:31
Phil Ivey (Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty)

It turns out the house really does always win. The BBC reports: ‘Professional poker player Phil Ivey has lost a High Court battle against the owners of a London casino… Continue reading


Ed Miliband does not want to talk about Heywood and Middleton

10 October 2014 14:19
You might get more answers from the Conservatives' Miliband merchandise than from the man himself. (Photo:  Carl Court, AFP/Getty Images)

listen to ‘Podcast: Ukip's Clacton victory’ on audioBoom Labour are doing their absolute best to put a positive spin on their result in the Heywood and Middleton by-election, despite coming… Continue reading


Ukip means mainstream parties should stop seeing voters as ‘theirs’

10 October 2014 13:51
Image: Getty

How are the two parties reacting to their bruising night in the two by-elections? David Cameron – after telling us, helpfully, that ‘there were two by-elections last night’ – went on to… Continue reading


Podcast special: The Ukip earthquake

10 October 2014 8:57
Douglas Carswell and Nigel Farage. Image:  LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Ukip has arrived at Westminster. Douglas Carswell held his Clacton seat after defecting from the Conservatives, and in Heywood and Middleton Ukip came just 617 votes short of victory. Which… Continue reading


Tories and Labour defiant after bruising by-elections

10 October 2014 8:25

Last night’s by-election results were bad for both the main Westminster parties. The Tories did not manage to make significant inroads into Douglas Carswell’s majority, and their vote collapsed in… Continue reading


What Labour and the Tories can learn from their Ukip spanking

10 October 2014 7:36
Political Leader React To Local Election Results

listen to ‘Podcast: Ukip’s Clacton victory’ on audioBoom Both Labour and Tories have much to be embarrassed about this morning. David Cameron’s Conservatives won Clacton decisively four years ago – now… Continue reading