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The Downing Street divide

19 June 2007 8:54

This front page story in The Guardian about the Blair Brown relationship is essential reading for anyone who thinks that the whole Blair Brown feud is something got up and… Continue reading

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No laughing matter

18 June 2007 19:13

I must admit that I disagree with Matt about Bernard Manning. The man was a deeply unpleasant bully and while others who ‘say the unsayable’—Borat, for instance—are actually ridiculing racism,… Continue reading


Why we laughed

18 June 2007 17:46

The death of Bernard Manning marks the end of an era in comedy and will force liberals once again to wrestle with the question: why was a man who ought… Continue reading

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Why the Tories picked Tooting

18 June 2007 16:35

I’ve now learnt why today’s event was held in Tooting. First, my former home is now considered a bellwether target seat, and second the candidate in question – Mark Clarke –… Continue reading


The shame of Abu Ghraib

18 June 2007 16:23

This New Yorker piece by Sy Hersh on the Pentagon’s indifference to the investigation into the Ahu Graib torture scandal makes for depressing reading, although the general in charge of it does… Continue reading


Citizen Cameron

18 June 2007 14:25

Why Tooting Broadway? Of all the places in London, why would David Cameron choose this decaying corner of South London to launch his new agenda? It is in the public… Continue reading


Throwing the baby out with the bath water

18 June 2007 12:15

It seems that as part of the Cameroon mid-course correction, they’ll no longer be talking about being the heir to Blair. I think this is a big mistake, but I… Continue reading


The dangers of doing policy in public

18 June 2007 10:26

David Cameron’s rebalancing speech is getting strong reviews from Conservative Home, The Telegraph and Iain Dale. The speech is certainly more conciliatory towards his party than much of what Cameron… Continue reading

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Cameron’s new pitch

18 June 2007 8:26

A big day for David Cameron. His speech on what divides the Conservatives from Gordon Brown is billed in the Telegraph as the speech of his leadership. Their political correspondent… Continue reading


Campaign Literature

17 June 2007 22:44

This essay by the US political commentator Michael Barone does a cracking job of explaining why 2008 presidential politics is so dynamic compared to the predictable politics of polarization that have dominated the… Continue reading


An interesting day out

17 June 2007 18:29

Back from Interesting 2007, a daylong festival of creativity in the Web 2.0 world at the Conway Hall in Red Lion Square, and organised by the peerless Russell Davies (check… Continue reading


The pro-European case against a Constitution

17 June 2007 12:23

Denis Macshane, Blair’s former Europe minister, has an interesting piece in the Observer making the pro-European case against a grand constitutional-style treaty. He argues that Europe is working as it… Continue reading


Real Progress

17 June 2007 10:17

When you hear the word "progressive" mentioned in Westminster, it is normally a Labour MP (like Douglas Alexander) preparing the ground for coalition with the Liberal Democrats. I’ve never understood… Continue reading


A special failure

17 June 2007 10:06

With only ten days to go, the great mystery of the Blair era remains the PM’s failure to push Bush harder – or at all – on post-war reconstruction in… Continue reading


Blair for president of Europe?

16 June 2007 17:14

The FT has a story today about how Nicolas Sarkozy is touting one A. Blair as a possible president of Europe. I actually think this is distinctly unhelpful for the… Continue reading

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A novel knighthood

16 June 2007 9:10

Salman Rushdie’s knighthood is bound to be criticised in some quarters, but, in its way, it is a historic moment, a collective rite of recognition for an author who paid… Continue reading


How will Harry Potter end?

15 June 2007 19:24

Slate has a fun, little piece up on a possible ending to the final Harry Potter story. I expect we’ll see a lot more of these before the book comes… Continue reading


Don’t throw the Iraqis to the wolves

15 June 2007 18:44

In the whole debate over Iraq, this number struck me as important: 77% of Americans think that it is likely they’ll be all out civil war in Iraq if US… Continue reading


Translating the Merkel Memo

15 June 2007 15:53

The indispensable OpenEurope has just done a guide to the leaked Merkel memo which appears in The Times today. So it’s official: this is a stitch up. The German presidency… Continue reading


Johnson is the man to beat

15 June 2007 15:34

Having finally caught up with the Labour deputy leadership Question Time, I think that the bookies have it right: Alan Johnson must be the favourite. He was head and shoulders… Continue reading


The delights of summer opera

15 June 2007 10:51

Garsington Opera on a warm, damp Thursday evening. I’ve been chairing a pre-performance talk on La donna del lago between the conductor David Parry and Rossini scholar Philip Gossett, and… Continue reading

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How will the violence in Gaza end?

15 June 2007 10:37

It is hard to see anything good coming out of this brutal civil war in Gaza right now. But Martin Indyk, US ambassador to Israel under Bill Clinton, sketches out… Continue reading


Contemporary Labour, nice

15 June 2007 8:47

For some time, New Labour has been looking for a fresh-sounding name for the post-Blair era. I have heard "New New Labour" (too daft), "Neo-Labour" (too close to "neo-con"), "New… Continue reading


I fear the violence will get worse, much worse

14 June 2007 18:50

Mostly I am feeling too depressed about what’s happening in Gaza to even find words to comment on it. Civil war has been looming for so long, and yet I… Continue reading


This should cheer the Blairs up

14 June 2007 16:06

If the Blairs are rather down about leaving Downing Street, they should consider this: Bill Clinton raked in more than $10 million from his various speaking engagements last year. Tony… Continue reading