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Full text: Tristram Hunt’s speech to the Spectator schools conference

3 April 2014 11:42
Tristram Hunt. Illustration: Ian Tovey.

listen to ‘Tristram Hunt's speech + Q&A at Spectator's schools conference’ on Audioboo Free Schools, For-profit Schools and the Swedish Slide Thank you. It is, as ever, a great pleasure to… Continue reading


Why Tristram Hunt is wrong about free schools

3 April 2014 10:09
Tristram Hunt at the Spectator schools conference this morning.

‘I’ve come to exorcise you lot,’ said Tristram Hunt cheerfully, as he turned up to deliver the keynote speech in The Spectator’s schools conference today. He had come to explain… Continue reading


The Scottish Tories have a chance to make themselves relevant at last. Will they be bold enough to take it?

3 April 2014 10:02
Scotland Prepares For The Independence Vote

Like everyone else, I’ve often been mean about the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party. I recall suggesting they were the worst, most useless political party in the world. Fushionless and… Continue reading


The major parties don’t get UKIP, and neither does the BBC

3 April 2014 9:35

So, in the second debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg the UKIP leader won by 69% to 31%, according to the post-debate polls. That, you would think, should be… Continue reading


Podcast: Adapting to climate change, monogamy in gay marriage and new forms of electioneering

3 April 2014 8:41
IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri launching his report this week. Photo: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Is the world finally realising it has to adapt to, rather than halt, climate change? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Matt Ridley discusses this week’s Spectator cover on… Continue reading


Polls show Farage as the victor of the EU debate

2 April 2014 20:41

Tonight’s Clegg Farage debate on Britain’s membership of the EU was far more combative than last week’s. Nick Clegg came out swinging from the start. In a sign of how… Continue reading


Lib Dem manifesto horsetrading begins

2 April 2014 18:09
David Laws will be working out the key themes and messages for the Lib Dem manifesto over the next few days. Picture: GETTY

After Tim Farron set out a new position for the Lib Dems on the ‘bedroom tax’ this morning, Labour wants to try to humiliate the party by staging a vote… Continue reading


Live: Nick Clegg vs Nigel Farage debate – round two

2 April 2014 18:08
David Dimbleby, Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg this evening. Photo: BBC.

This is a live blog for tonight’s debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, kicking off at 7pm. We’ll be adding in audio from the debate below. This page will… Continue reading


PMQs sketch: An old-fashioned punch-up between Cameron and Miliband

2 April 2014 17:09

Cameron, the king of the mood swings, was on typical form today. He veers between calmness and rage with alarming rapidity. The pattern is always the same. He deals reasonably… Continue reading


The minimum wage is broken – here’s how to fix it

2 April 2014 14:34
Image: Getty

While welcoming George Osborne’s emphasis this week on raising employment, I have some caveats about his target – to have the highest employment rate in the G7. This isn’t hugely… Continue reading


PMQs: Meet ‘the dunce of Downing Street’ and the ‘muppets’

2 April 2014 13:34
Balls and Miliband in their muppet guise?

The increasingly personal bickering between Cameron and Miliband went on today for most of the session. After a bad tempered set of formal exchanges—with Miliband branding Cameron ‘the dunce of Downing… Continue reading


PMQs: What the Labour manifesto really said about Royal Mail

2 April 2014 13:11
Image: Getty

Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron accused Ed Miliband of ignoring his own party’s manifesto on the Royal Mail. He said: ‘He said just then, Mr Speaker, it’s a… Continue reading


Nick vs Nigel: Clegg gets a little help from Farage’s mate Vlad

2 April 2014 8:37
FILES - This pool picture provided 03 Se

Nick Clegg ‘lost’ last week’s LBC debate with Nigel Farage, not for want of trying to sound reasonable or appear at ease and polished, but because there are simply fewer… Continue reading


Lutfur Rahman and Tower Hamlets — an example of why elected mayors don’t work?

1 April 2014 18:43
Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Photo: PA.

Is Eric Pickles about to send government troops into Tower Hamlets? Last night’s Panorama examined Lutfur Rahman, the borough’s independent directly elected mayor, who is accused (amongst other things) of… Continue reading


Why not fine those who waste the NHS’s resources?

1 April 2014 16:07
Image: Getty

What do I want from the budget, I was asked. So I had a think. One plea was for no more pasty taxes, which I argued distracted from the more… Continue reading


Len McCluskey: Unite could start donating to other parties

1 April 2014 15:28
Image: Getty

Len McCluskey spoke to the press gallery lunch on April Fools’ Day. It would have been more fitting had the Unite leader not been such an impressive, witty, and thorough… Continue reading


Index on Censorship is thriving and defending free speech around the world

Demonstration Outside Houses Of Parliament As MPs Debate Lobbying Bill

Index on Censorship defends free speech and debate for all – so we defend Nick Cohen’s right to write a blog highly critical of Index. The problem is, however, that… Continue reading


People’s front against HS2 to unite

1 April 2014 13:02

Watch out for an increase in hostilities from anti-HS2 campaigners in the next few weeks. One of the more concerted backbench campaigners against the new route is planning to strengthen… Continue reading


We should mourn the passing of Nuts magazine. Yes, seriously

1 April 2014 12:41

If I had a fourteen-year-old son, I’d be pretty disturbed by the news that Nuts magazine might fold. Fortunately, I don’t, and in all likelihood, I won’t have a fourteen-old-son… Continue reading


Michael Gove is right — the Conservatives are the party of social justice

1 April 2014 12:00

Yesterday, George Osborne dedicated himself the mission of ‘full employment’. Today, Michael Gove has given a speech declaring that the Conservatives are the ‘party of social justice’. This is not… Continue reading


Tory fingers point at Michael Fallon over Royal Mail debacle

1 April 2014 11:59
Michael Fallon (second right) at the launch of Royal Mail Plc last year. (Image: Royal Mail Group/Getty Images)

It’s not just Vince Cable who is getting it in the neck today for the scathing report into the sell-off of the Royal Mail. Michael Fallon is copping his share… Continue reading


The Conservatives’ moral mission: jobs, jobs, jobs

1 April 2014 10:56
Image: Getty

Remember Labour’s defining mission: ‘education, education, education’? Yesterday we had the Conservative equivalent ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’. In what some might see as an important day in the development of the… Continue reading


Enough complacency. Enough bitching. The No camp needs to fight to save the Union

1 April 2014 10:14
No campaigner and object of Lib Dem bitching Alistair Darling. Image: Getty

Look up complacency in the dictionary and the chances are you will find a picture of a Scottish unionist next to it. For months – no, make that years – politicians… Continue reading


New NHS boss warns that health service is facing its biggest challenge

1 April 2014 8:50

Simon Stevens is giving us the first glimpse of what he wants to do as the new chief executive of the NHS today. In a speech in Newcastle, he will… Continue reading


Esther McVey shows that the Tories are aggressively on message

31 March 2014 17:23
Esther McVey. Image: Getty

Work and Pensions Questions in the Commons has long been a battle between the two main parties for the moral high ground, but today Esther McVey, who appeared even more… Continue reading