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The simple and shocking secret to the working class vote

22 September 2014 21:37
Fabian Society's New Year Conference

How does Labour win back the working class voters who’ve abandoned it? This question, part of the soul searching the party fell into when it lost the 2010 election, has… Continue reading


Why is Labour’s Shadow Cabinet saying so little?

22 September 2014 19:01

Normally the default response in the Labour party to a rough couple of weeks is to blame the Shadow Cabinet. They’re not pulling together, they’re thinking about their own future… Continue reading


Chuka Umunna: the last disciple of New Labour’s third way

22 September 2014 15:50
Blair's heir? (Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

Chuka Umunna is the last disciple of the third way standing. At a Times fringe earlier, he was full of praise for centre-left European reformers such as the Italian PM Matteo… Continue reading


Why the Tories can’t really criticise Rachel Reeves on debt

22 September 2014 15:35

Rachel Reeves’ interview on BBC Daily Politics may have been excruciating at times (below), but was it really the ‘car crash’ that the Tories are today claiming? Matthew Hancock is… Continue reading


Len McCluskey: Ed Balls’s long speech was good in parts

22 September 2014 14:46

One thing that made Ed Balls’ speech to conference look a little less impressive was the barnstormer of an address from Len McCluskey to the hall shortly before. Delegates loved… Continue reading


After a flat speech from Ed Balls, what is Labour conference holding its breath for?

22 September 2014 13:43
Day Two - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

One of the curious traditions of Labour conference is that directly after the Shadow Chancellor’s speech, hard copies of his wise words are sold outside the conference hall. Any fiscally… Continue reading


Ed Balls’ speech on balancing the books – full text and audio

22 September 2014 13:27
Image: Getty

Twenty years ago, starting at this Labour conference, we together took the historic step of reforming our party’s constitution. The result is on the back of our membership cards today.… Continue reading


Miliband aide: Labour has never addressed the way the economy works

22 September 2014 12:02
Ed Miliband, Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

What’s Ed Miliband’s vision for the economy? We’ll get the public version of that vision in a short while when Ed Balls gives his speech to the Labour conference, but… Continue reading


The Scottish Church showed little statesmanship or common sense during the referendum

22 September 2014 11:25
Iona Abbey

A few hours after the final result of the Scottish referendum was announced, I visited the cemetery at Cille Bharra on the Outer Hebridean island of Barra. It’s the burial… Continue reading


Ed Balls: English votes plan is ‘most un-prime ministerial’ thing Cameron has done

22 September 2014 9:04
Day One - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Ed Balls wanted to spend his Today programme interview talking about his plans to cut the deficit by limiting child benefit increases to 1 per cent and cutting ministerial pay… Continue reading


Ed Balls to freeze child benefit and dock ministerial pay

21 September 2014 22:00
Labour Party Conference Focuses On Economy

Ed Balls, so used to dodging elephant traps laid by George Osborne, is going to lay a few of his own tomorrow when he gives his speech to the Labour… Continue reading


Where Labour and The Spectator agree on social mobility

21 September 2014 19:33
Gloria De Piero addresses delegates on the first day of the Labour Party conference. Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

The Labour Party conference has got off to a very promising start, with The Spectator being complimented from the stage and applauded in the hall. ‘Here’s a publication you don’t hear… Continue reading


Labour conference: The new politics, according to Hilary Benn

21 September 2014 18:14

Judging by the reaction in the conference hall, Hilary Benn’s speech was the best of this afternoon’s session. Several people gave him a standing ovation. His task was rather easier… Continue reading


Tristram Hunt sweet talks party faithful with newsless Labour conference speech

21 September 2014 17:28

Tristram Hunt’s speech to the Labour conference was short and sweet. It was laden with sweeteners for party delegates, which is as things should be at these events, but perhaps… Continue reading


Spectator competition: poets’ selfies (plus: liven up something mundane with a dose of magic realism)

21 September 2014 15:09

The latest challenge, to compose a poet’s elegy for him or herself, took you down a path trod by poor Chidiock Tichborne. He wrote his own elegy, the poignant ‘Tichborne’s… Continue reading


Westminster leaders must now prove they can keep their promises

21 September 2014 13:57
(Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

The Westminster party leaders have disagreed with much Alex Salmond has said recently. But it’s pretty difficult to fault the assessment of the aftermath of the referendum that he gave… Continue reading


Will the English welsh on the Scots?

21 September 2014 12:02
Broken promises? (Photo: Getty)

A few days ago Cameron, Clegg and Miliband made a ‘vow’ to Scottish voters – if they rejected separation, far more powers would be transferred to the Edinburgh parliament. Gordon… Continue reading


Miliband confronted by the English Question

21 September 2014 10:30
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

Ed Miliband wouldn’t have wanted to spend his big, pre-conference interview talking about English votes for English law but that’s what he had to do on Marr this morning. Miliband… Continue reading


Audio: Scottish teenagers on why the independence battle is just getting started

20 September 2014 17:51
The vote-wielding 16-year-olds of Nairn Academy. Back row: Ruaraidh Swaison, Brandon Scott, Rebecca Liddle and Ainslie Greer. Front row:  Eilidh Innes, Amy Winfield and Leonie Matthews

Will there be another Scottish independence referendum? I went back to my hometown, Nairn, yesterday to gauge the mood after the ‘no’ win. Highland Region split 53/47 for ‘no’, tighter than I… Continue reading


Have the Scottish Tories been detoxified?

20 September 2014 12:15
Prime Minister David Cameron Meets Newly Appointed Leader Of The Conservatives In Scotland Ruth Davidson

The referendum campaign was a mixed experience for the Scottish Tories. On the one hand, it was a reminder of how much they are still hated in Scotland: End Tory… Continue reading


In praise of Alex Salmond

19 September 2014 19:38
Image: Getty

Alex Salmond has proved himself the most effective party leader in Europe, let alone Britain. He has just run a terrifyingly effective campaign, perhaps the best I will ever witness.… Continue reading


Miliband’s carnival of constitutional tinkering

19 September 2014 18:01

There is a certain irony in the fact that Miliband is protecting his party’s Scottish advantage by accusing the Prime Minister of allowing ‘this moment to be used for narrow… Continue reading


Podcast special: Alex Salmond’s resignation

19 September 2014 17:54
Alex Salmond leaves the press conference where he announced his resignation. Picture: Getty

Was Alex Salmond’s resignation a surprise? And what should the SNP do now that it has lost the referendum that it fought for over so many years? In a View… Continue reading


Breaking: Alex Salmond resigns

19 September 2014 16:09
Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 16.10.27

In the past few minutes, Alex Salmond has told a press conference that he is resigning as leader of the SNP and will stand down as First Minister. listen to… Continue reading


Indyref: Will Westminster really change?

19 September 2014 12:40
The Final Day Of Campaigning For The Scottish Referendum Ahead Of Tomorrow's Historic Vote

Lord Ashcroft’s post-referendum Scotland poll gives politicians claiming they’ve ‘heard’ voters a number of clues if in reality they’re still a bit confused. It suggests that those last few days… Continue reading