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The fictions have begun…

12 March 2008 11:58

The Prime Minister’s Spokesman has just given the lobby a briefing – and repeating what Darling briefed the Cabinet. I hope Chancellor started his presentation with the words “once upon… Continue reading

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What’s the right response to boredom?

12 March 2008 11:19

The spin ahead of the Budget is that it is going to be really quite dull, a chance for Darling to remind us of his ability to bore us all… Continue reading


Middle-class squeeze

12 March 2008 11:02

As Howard Reed put it earlier, public finances are so tight that the there won’t be many winners from today’s Budget.  And all early signs indicate that the winners will… Continue reading


Is the roof coming down?

12 March 2008 10:17

Is this an omen? Those who were watching the live Sky News at 8.50am may have heard scaffolding coming crashing down above the entrance of 12 Downing Street. Needless to… Continue reading


Budget 2008: Will the Budget winners come from the top or the bottom?

12 March 2008 8:50

Alistair Darling’s first budget is an opportunity to re-establish his and the Government’s credibility after a turbulent few months. It will also be an opportunity to define his own agenda… Continue reading


Lest we forget

12 March 2008 8:38

Lest we forget: in the midst of today’s Budget-mania, pause and consider that the Lisbon Treaty, a sweeping package of reforms to our relationship with the EU, cleared the Commons… Continue reading


The Clinton Obama fight turns ugly

11 March 2008 21:25

Over on Americano, a look back at a particularly vicious set of back and forths between the Clinton and Obama camps and a look forward to tonight’s primary returns in Mississippi.… Continue reading


US CentCom Commander resigns

11 March 2008 20:36

Admiral William Fallon has resigned as CentCom commander over a magazine profile–that he cooperated with–that pitted him against the White House’s hawkish Iran rhetoric. In a statement, Fallon said: "Recent… Continue reading

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Budget 2008: Combating child poverty & helping the environment

11 March 2008 19:13

Devising this year’s Budget can’t have been easy for the Government. On the one hand, a slowdown seems likely over the next year or so. Two intertwined factors — tightening… Continue reading


Budget 2008: Live coverage

11 March 2008 18:23

Tune into Coffee House tomorrow for live coverage of Alistair Darling’s Budget speech from 12:30pm.  Throughout the day, we’ll have anaylsis from Matthew d’Ancona, Fraser Neslon, Martin Vander Weyer and several guest… Continue reading


Budget 2008: What to expect

11 March 2008 17:47

The Guardian’s politics blog has a great post outlining all the the latest "speculation, leaks and educated guesses" on tomorrow’s Budget.  So far the most striking predictions are: 1) £5 billion… Continue reading


An unfashionable view

11 March 2008 16:44

MPs will soon have to show receipts for all expenses claims over £25.  After the Conway scandal, surely that’s a good thing?  I think so.  Yet the press release sent out by Martyn… Continue reading


Spitzer’s done

11 March 2008 15:26

Eliot Spitzer’s political career is over. The New York Governor might not have resigned yet but it is impossible to see how he can recover from the revelation that he… Continue reading


Devolving responsibility 

11 March 2008 15:24

Three Line Whip are reporting that Paul Murphy, the current Welsh Secretary, is being lined up by Gordon Brown for a new Cabinet position - the Secretary of State for the UK’s devolved regions: Wales,… Continue reading


Laying down the law

11 March 2008 14:52

What is going on over school admissions? Last week, Jim Knight, the schools minister, urged disappointed parents to make greater use of the hopelessly bureaucratic appeals system. Today, he and… Continue reading


A gulf in opinion

11 March 2008 13:22

A profile of Admiral William Fallon, the head of US Central Command, in Esquire is bound to make waves as it claims that, “well-placed observers now say that it will… Continue reading


A poll conundrum

11 March 2008 13:08

The latest Times / Populus poll places the Tories on 37 percent (down 3 on last month); Labour on 34 percent (up 3); and the Lib Dems on 19 percent (up… Continue reading


Backing the big-earners

11 March 2008 12:01

I said yesterday that it’d be a good idea for the Government to use tomorrow’s Budget as a peace offering to the business world.  After Northern Wreck and the non-dom taxation row, bridges need rebuilding. The… Continue reading


Controlling the classroom

11 March 2008 10:57

A friend is on the board of an independent school, and has been attending more than the usual amount of meetings recently. They are discussing whether the burden of government… Continue reading


Swearing allegiance

11 March 2008 8:51

Lord Goldsmith will today release his review into British citizenship and social cohesion. One of his ideas: that all school-leavers take part in ceremonies to swear allegiance to the Queen.… Continue reading


Budget 2008: Taxing issues

10 March 2008 18:29

The discussion around Alistair Darling’s first Budget is likely to be dominated by immediate worries, such as non-dom taxation, capital gains tax, the rising budget deficit, Northern Rock, and the… Continue reading


Hammond puts his foot in it

10 March 2008 17:09

Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has just finished a pre-Budget lobby briefing, which I suspect will end in some troublesome headlines for him tomorrow for two reasons.  First,… Continue reading


You’d be mad to miss it

10 March 2008 16:20

If you haven’t seen Mad Men—the drama set in a Madison Avenue advertising agency in 1960—already, I’d thoroughly recommend watching it. (You can catch up on the first episode here.)… Continue reading


Storm Watch UK

10 March 2008 15:56

Trearddur, North Wales


Oil-and-water politics

10 March 2008 14:00

In an article for the FT, Gordon Brown makes his strongest commitment yet to public service reform.  As he puts it: "…there can be no backtracking on reform, no go-slow,… Continue reading