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PMQs sketch: Miliband targets Tory turpitude

15 October 2014 16:36
(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

It was like the last night of the Proms at PMQs. Miliband stood up to hearty roars—Tory roars—that seemed to go on for minutes. This was the longest and most… Continue reading


Lord Freud was right and Miliband shameful

15 October 2014 16:27
Former city banker David Freud speaks at

Markets are amoral. If a severely disabled person cannot produce more than the minimum wage’s worth of work, no employer will be able to profitably employ them. Some generous ones… Continue reading


The Tories can do anti-politics too. Here’s how

15 October 2014 15:11
H'Angus the Monkey, elected Mayor of Hartlepool in 2004. Image: Getty

November marks ten years since the North East voted overwhelmingly to reject Government proposals for a Regional Assembly. While there were signs that the electorate was becoming increasingly disillusioned –… Continue reading


Stop ‘Stoptober’: seven health benefits associated with smoking

15 October 2014 14:19
England, 1929 (Photo: Getty)

James Delingpole’s latest Spectator column laments the pernicious portmanteau afflicting this fine month: Stoptober. Geddit? That’s ‘-ober’, as in the second half of ‘October’, with the word ‘Stop’ cunningly positioned where the… Continue reading


All is fair in football, war and the former Yugoslavia – even Albanian mini-drones

15 October 2014 14:16
A drone-operated flag with Albanian nationalist symbols causes a stir at a match in Serbia (Photo: Andre Isakovic, AFP/Getty)

The whole notion that sport is, like the EU, an alternative to war, took a bit of a battering at the Euro 2016 qualifier in Belgrade’s Partizan stadium last night. The… Continue reading

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Brighton has become an object lesson in why it is a disaster to vote Green

15 October 2014 14:06

I have just moved back to Brighton, and I am happy to report that it remains as shambolic as ever. The estate agent said before opening the door to a… Continue reading


Lord Freud offers ‘full and unreserved apology’ for disability comments

15 October 2014 14:04
Work and Pensions Select Committee

Lord Freud has apologised for suggesting that disabled people were not ‘worth’ the minimum wage. He said: ‘I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish… Continue reading


Can Lord Freud survive row over disability comments?

15 October 2014 13:55
Lord Freud. Image: Getty

Labour clearly scent blood with Lord Freud’s comments about disabled people not being ‘worth’ the full minimum wage. They knew their first PMQs back would be difficult after their own… Continue reading


Miliband takes on Cameron over Freud; Ukip gets a dig on recall

15 October 2014 13:48
Lord Freud (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images)

When Ed Miliband started speaking at PMQs today you could tell straight away that he had a foul sore throat. Combine that with the promising unemployment figures out today and… Continue reading


Jeremy Browne to stand down as an MP

15 October 2014 13:13
United Kingdom Minister of State for For

Jeremy Browne, the Lib Dem former Home Office minister, has just announced that he is to stand down as an MP at the general election: I have decided not to… Continue reading


A brief history of biker gangs at war – Islamofascist Iraq edition

15 October 2014 8:21

America and Britain are still fumbling for policies to deal with nationals joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In Holland, meanwhile, authorities faced a more cheering task: sorting… Continue reading


How the Greens are spooking Labour and the Lib Dems

15 October 2014 8:00
Green party leader Natalie Bennett. Picture: PA

Being excluded from the TV debates has been the best thing that could possibly happen to the Greens, it seems. Already over 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for… Continue reading


I vow to thee, my Scotland, a small number of earthly things

14 October 2014 19:42
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Politics is a funny old game. I could have sworn the Yes campaign lost the Battle for Scotland in pretty decisive fashion last month. Scotland voted to remain a part… Continue reading


Tory MPs promised ‘big bang’ announcement on EU migration

14 October 2014 19:22
Image: Getty

The Tories will announce a big new policy on freedom of movement in the European Union, David Cameron told his MPs tonight. At a meeting of the Parliamentary party, the… Continue reading


The debate over English votes for English laws heats up

14 October 2014 15:36
John Denham (Photo: Getty)

As the Commons debate on devolution gets underway, the three parties have set out their positions on English votes for English laws. The Tories are adamant that this principle needs… Continue reading


Add to Miliband’s worries: Can Ukip go after Labour in Scotland?

14 October 2014 15:32

Scottish Ukip MEP David Coburn has been shouting off, as his way, about his party’s prospects north of the border in 2015. Mr Coburn is a curious character – and… Continue reading


This Catholic ‘earthquake’ on homosexuality is splitting the Church

14 October 2014 14:38
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This tweet about the Vatican Synod on the Family has appeared in my timeline and it speaks volumes about the chaos the debates are generating: Cardinal Wilfred Napier, Archbishop of Durban,… Continue reading


Cameron shoots himself in the foot on the rural vote

14 October 2014 13:33
Image: Getty

Police this week were granted the authority to carry out random, unannounced checks at the home of anyone who has a gun licence. Why? They claim that shooters may be… Continue reading


Why is it ok to publish Brooks Newmark’s naked selfies but not Jennifer Lawrence’s?

14 October 2014 11:04

Revenge porn is about to become a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years in prison. As the Guardian reports, ‘there has been mounting political pressure to outlaw the… Continue reading


Bored bores boring – critics love the Dull Men’s calendar

14 October 2014 10:33
An 'English conversation', circa 1800, by Martinet (Image: Hulton Archive/Getty)

The Telegraph has a nice photo gallery featuring the specimens of the 2015 Dull Men of Great Britain calendar, which our own Dot Wordsworth plans to give her husband for Christmas:… Continue reading


Fatuous phrase of the week

14 October 2014 9:20

Every day, without fail, some celebrity or public figure will be quoted spouting a meaningless or disingenuous off-the-cuff cliché, to either big himself up or excuse some misdemeanour. Or simply… Continue reading


The shadow of EVEL will still hover over the Commons

14 October 2014 8:59
William Hague today conceded that EVEL is not linked to devo-more. Picture: Getty

Alex Salmond was on Today this morning, muttering darkly about a new betrayal of Scottish voters from Westminster leaders. He was looking ahead to this afternoon’s debate on Scotland, where… Continue reading


Nigel Farage admits Ukip’s leftward drift would hobble Tory pact

13 October 2014 18:06
A man wearing a mask of Nigel Farage dangles a puppet representing David Cameron (Photo: Leon Neal, AFP)

The Tories may have watched Douglas Carswell’s re-entry into the House of Commons in silence, but he seems to be getting a reasonably warm reception from his old colleagues behind… Continue reading


Recognising a Palestinian ‘state’ in Parliament is not only pointless, it’s dangerous

13 October 2014 17:36
Ramallah, August 2014 (Photo: Abbas Momani, AFP)

Today in Parliament, MPs are voting on a backbench motion (supported by a one-line whip from the Labour party) proposing that Britain recognises Palestine as a state. The motion attempts push a… Continue reading


‘Earthquake’ in Rome as Vatican synod talks about homosexuality and divorce

13 October 2014 16:49
Vatican Family

The Synod on the Family in Rome today caused an ‘earthquake’ – the word is being used on Catholic blogs everywhere – when it appeared to tweak the Church’s line on homosexuality and… Continue reading