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Brown misses an opportuntiy

24 January 2008 21:21

A quick check on the health of a party is whether there is more talent on the back benches than the front bench. Labour are close to that tipping point… Continue reading


The strange conversion (and eventual downfall) of a cabinet minister

24 January 2008 17:36

Call it incompetence, if you like – it may turn out to be criminality – but Peter Hain’s clearly underperformed as a Cabinet minister.  After his resignation today, blogs, newspapers… Continue reading


Join us on the campaign trail

24 January 2008 16:52

Columbia, South Carolina As the 2008 presidential primaries enter their decisive phase, we’ve launched a new blog to keep you up to date with all the latest developments. “Americano” will… Continue reading

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James Purnell is the new Work and Pensions Secretary

24 January 2008 16:30

For the three hours after Hain resigned, several names flew – none James Purnell. But thinking about it, his appointment makes sense. Aged 37 he will add zest to Brown’s… Continue reading


Who will step into the breach at the DWP?

24 January 2008 15:23

The last thing Gordon Brown can afford is to dither over the reshuffle. I hear he will, indeed, name a new Work and Pensions Secretary today – so the story… Continue reading


Peter Hain resigns

24 January 2008 13:24

Peter Hain has resigned as the donations made to his deputy leader campaign have been referred to the police.   There’s no doubting that this will be extremely damaging for the Government.  Whether or not… Continue reading


Boos, wine and tax cuts at the Channel 4 political awards

24 January 2008 10:45

I was at the Channel Four political awards last night, where the strangest thing happened. Their main award – (most inspiring political figure of the last decade) – was given to… Continue reading


Ken’s personal fiefdom

24 January 2008 9:12

If you missed the Today programme’s interview with Ken Livingstone, make sure you tune in when it’s available on Listen Again – some quite startling revelations were made. When asked… Continue reading


What to do about Iran?

23 January 2008 16:59

Last night, The Spectator and Intelligence Squared hosted a debate on whether it would be better to bomb Iran than let it develop nuclear weapons. The speakers for the motion… Continue reading


Posthumous glory

23 January 2008 16:53

At the risk of trivialising a tragic death, I have been musing over Heath Ledger’s now-posthumous performance as the Joker (see my earlier post as well as this article detailing the potential… Continue reading


Unknown pleasures of the post-punk scene

23 January 2008 14:52

As this is the last week of my thirties, I feel entitled to indulge in a spot of pop culture nostalgia (or more than usual, at any rate). In tomorrow’s… Continue reading


Dogged resistance from Brown over Northern Rock

23 January 2008 13:33

In India, Brown was full of beans – boasting at one stage that he’d outlasted Dame Kelly Holmes who had to retire to her hotel. He should have saved his… Continue reading


Will a downturn help or hinder Brown?

23 January 2008 12:59

Although they look at it from different angles, I think that James Forsyth and Daniel Finkelstein have both identified one of the most interesting political questions of 2008 – will… Continue reading


While avoiding one trap, Mr Cameron might fall into another

23 January 2008 11:07

David Cameron is understandably eager not to allow Gordon Brown to present the Tories as slash n’ burn merchants intent on starving schools and hospitals of funding. However, unfair it… Continue reading


Heath Ledger RIP

23 January 2008 9:13

“Why so serious?” say the teaser posters for the forthcoming Batman movie, The Dark Knight. This slogan acquired a bleak subtext last night when 28-year-old Heath Ledger – who plays the… Continue reading


Brown’s slow-burn politics

23 January 2008 8:59

The news that ID cards will be delayed until 2012 perfectly characterises the Government’s modus operandi: namely, the politics of delay. Many of Brown’s policy approaches have a very long… Continue reading


What to do about Iran?

23 January 2008 1:17

Last night, The Spectator and Intelligence Squared hosted a debate on whether it would be better to bomb Iran than let it develop nuclear weapons. The speakers for the motion… Continue reading


Bay State Blues

22 January 2008 19:53

I have just returned from Massachusetts, where I cast my vote in an absentee ballot for Super Tuesday. This wildly wide-open presidential race is like mainlining for political junkies, and… Continue reading


Intelligence Squared debate: Its better to bomb Iran than risk Iran getting the bomb

22 January 2008 18:29

The Spectator / Intelligence Sqared debate "Its better to bomb Iran than risk Iran getting the bomb" begins at 18:45 tonight. Speakers include: Reuel Marc Gerecht, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Bruno Tertrais,… Continue reading

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Will the Brits have a date with Oscar?

22 January 2008 17:00

After its victory at the Golden Globes – and its strong showing in the Bafta nominations – I suspected that the British film Atonement would be a shoo-in for the… Continue reading


The crash is a symptom not a cause (now let’s start worrying about the cause)

22 January 2008 14:13

How worried should we be about the market crash? Turmoil continued in Asia today, but in Europe’s bourses there’s more stabilisation (largely down to US interest rate cuts). But do those… Continue reading

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More worrying signs

22 January 2008 13:47

The Federal Reserve cut rates by 0.75 points even before the markets opened in New York in what looks worryingly like a panic move. (At the very least, it will… Continue reading


Brown no longer gets the benefit of the doubt

22 January 2008 11:47

If you had told most people in the Westminster Village a year ago that the economy would hit choppy waters, then most people would have thought that this would actually… Continue reading


The verdict is in

22 January 2008 10:14

A must-read this morning is Anatole Kaletsky’s damning assessment of the yesterday’s developments in the Northern Rock saga. Kaletsky is one of the most respected economic commentators in the world… Continue reading


Must see TV

22 January 2008 8:32

Some of the best journalism never appears in print and we had two stunning examples last night.  Ross Kemp’s journey with 1 Royal Anglian as they prepared for and entered… Continue reading