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Talking Brown

6 November 2007 12:12

Poor Liz. After ten years of being used to regurgitating Blairite language in the Queen’s Speech, she now has the Brownite argot to contend with. “My government will meet the… Continue reading


Is the monarchy safe for good now?

6 November 2007 11:36

It has long been a joke in Westminster that you don’t need to put your finger in the wind to see which way it is blowing, you just watch Jack… Continue reading


Mbeki still in denial

6 November 2007 8:56

Perhaps the most depressing story in the papers today is the one about how Thabo Mbeki remains an “AIDS dissident.” The Guardian reports how Mark Gevisser, a biographer of Mbeki,… Continue reading


Labour ahead in new poll

5 November 2007 23:07

A Populus poll for tomorrow’s Times has Labour on 37, the Tories on 36 and the Lib Dems on 16. The Lib Dems are the big gainers, up four, while… Continue reading


Bonfire Night Drinks

5 November 2007 17:06

I love Bonfire Night, with its promise of bangers in the sky, and on the plate.  There’s just something about that evocative smell of cordite; the taste of charred sausages… Continue reading


The view from the frontline

5 November 2007 15:00

The speech by Jonathan Evans, the Director General of MI5, to the Society of Editor’s conference is well worth reading in full. Iraq and the dodgy dossiers mean that it… Continue reading


Now the Saudis claim they warned the US about 9/11

5 November 2007 11:58

Following on from King Abdullah’s claim that the British were warned about 7/7, Prince Bandar—formerly the Saudi ambassador to the US who is extremely close to the Bush family—has said… Continue reading


Musharraf prepares to postpone poll

5 November 2007 8:18

The Guardian reports this morning that neither David Miliband nor Condi Rice can get General Musharraf to return their calls. This suggests that Musharraf might be preparing to renege on… Continue reading


How Obama views the world

4 November 2007 22:31

This essay on Barack Obama’s foreign policy is well worth reading for an insight into the candidate’s thinking and his growing frustration with Hillary Clinton. One quote stood out to… Continue reading


The Great Iraq Debate

4 November 2007 21:16

On December 11th, the Spectator is hosting with Intelligence Squared a debate on the future of Iraq at Central Hall in Westminster. The speakers include Liz Cheney, Tony Benn, Sir… Continue reading


Tory candidate in immigration row resigns

4 November 2007 17:48

Nigel Hastilow, the Tory candidate who said Enoch was right, has resigned rather than an issue an apology for his remarks. The speed with which he has gone has minimised… Continue reading


The danger in Pakistan

4 November 2007 11:54

Pakistan’s constitutional crisis is the biggest problem the world has faced since 9/11. It is not alarmist to suggest that there is a possibility that a nuclear power could either end up… Continue reading


The government’s immigration numbers are wrong again

4 November 2007 11:26

The immigration statistics saga takes another turn today, as the News of the World produces figures showing that immigrants from the 25 EU countries account for just 32% of the… Continue reading


Crisis in Pakistan

3 November 2007 18:08

The news that General Musharraf has imposed emergency rule, effectively martial law, in Pakistan is extremely worrying. Musharraf has done this despite a full court press from the West and… Continue reading


The Times on ‘The Petraeus Curve’

3 November 2007 11:58

Today’s editorial in The Times on the improvements in Iraq is well worth reading in full. The key point is that the political debate about Iraq on both sides of… Continue reading


Obama trumps Hillary’s victim card

2 November 2007 17:13

Hillary Clinton has used her gender brilliantly in the Democratic primaries to date and her campaign has been quick to depict Tuesday night’s debate, which was Hillary’s worst moment of… Continue reading


Stand up for Heather and Hillary

2 November 2007 15:53

This has been the week of unanimous public lynching of famous wives. Am I the only person in the world who has found them unsettling? The first victim was Hillary… Continue reading


Jamie Oliver’s next challenge

2 November 2007 12:50

In The Guardian today, Alexander Chancellor reflects on how though more and more pheasants are being bred and shot the public won’t eat them, meaning that most of the birds… Continue reading


50 years of squandered chances

2 November 2007 10:43

The only flaw in Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World is the line “I see babies crying/I watch them grow/they’ll learn much more/than I’ll ever know.” Education, it turned out, did not… Continue reading


Pressure grows on Sir Ian Blair

2 November 2007 8:50

The press this morning are almost unanimous in calling for Sir Ian Blair to resign. While we should not forget that the Met was operating under incredible pressure that day… Continue reading


Edmund Tracey RIP

1 November 2007 22:35

Memorial services. Difficult to get right but potentially celebratory, contemplative, comforting and spiritually sustaining. Earlier today, St Paul’s Covent Garden saw a gathering that was all of those things, in… Continue reading


Why I wish the Vatican would denounce Elizabeth

1 November 2007 17:37

‘Rome condemns Queen Elizabeth again – this time over film of her reign’, says The Times headline today.  If only… The story is altogether less exciting. Franco Cardini, who holds… Continue reading


Would Labour have won if an election had been held today?

1 November 2007 15:38

Today, as the Tories are eager to remind us, would have been election day if Gordon hadn’t lost his nerve. What would have happened will be a great parlour game… Continue reading

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The surge cuts civilian deaths in Iraq in half

1 November 2007 12:59

The military success of the surge in Iraq continues to astound. In October the number of civilian deaths was less than half of what it was in January, when the… Continue reading


Deserved applause

1 November 2007 10:21

Has there been enough about Wagner in the Spec lately? Well, just one tiny snippet more. Last night at the Royal Opera House saw what was possibly John Tomlinson’s farewell… Continue reading