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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

1 Comment

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


Good council estate politics from Cameron

1 November 2007 9:08

Cameron again handled the immigration issue well today, and is linking it to welfare reform. Why do we have so many vacancies in Britain, asked Humphrys? Because of the perverse… Continue reading


The Tories and immigration

1 November 2007 8:48

David Cameron braved The Today Programme this morning to talk immigration. The interview exposed the openings that the Tories have given with their pledge to reduce the overall level of… Continue reading


Cameron talks tough with the Saudis

31 October 2007 18:32

Just in case anyone was wondering, the Tories would like to hint (ever so gently) that Cameron socked it to those hand amputators in his meeting with them today. Or,… Continue reading


Gordon Brown hasn’t learnt the lessons of the last ten years

31 October 2007 17:46

Gordon Brown has today handed a huge advantage to the Conservatives. His speech on education shows he has no ideas for it. There will be a five year plan to… Continue reading

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Too good to be true?

31 October 2007 15:52

The Guardian’s Backbencher column has a particularly delicious titbit this week: “Spotted at New College, Oxford, last weekend: Richard Dawkins, saying grace at dinner.” What’s next, Ian Paisley taking communion… Continue reading


A more immediate danger

31 October 2007 13:35

The Los Angeles Times has an absolute must-read today on the escalating tensions between US and Iranian forces in Iraq and how in the near term this is more likely… Continue reading


English is not enough

31 October 2007 11:53

Alan West, the retired Admiral (pictured left) drafted in by Gordon Brown to be security minister, has an interview in The Sun today. The two things that will make headlines are… Continue reading


Unmissable drama

31 October 2007 11:23

I was lucky enough to see Shadowlands at the Wyndham’s Theatre this week and, if you haven’t been, you really should.  William Nicholson’s play, originally a TV drama now best… Continue reading


Clegg’s idea would give the Lib Dems more of an identity

31 October 2007 8:22

Nick Clegg’s announcement that if ID cards are introduced he will simply refuse to register is smart politics. First, it prevents Chris Huhne from gaining a monopoly on eye-catching, activist-pleasing… Continue reading

1 Comment

No Ming, more zing for the Lib Dems

30 October 2007 22:42

Maybe the Lib Dems shouldn’t elect a new leader at all. In their current leaderless state, they have jumped 4 percent in the latest ICM poll to put them at… Continue reading


Listen Live: Can capitalism save the planet?

30 October 2007 18:33

Tonight, broadcasts the latest debate in the Spectator / Intelligence Squared series. From 6:45pm, listen to John Redwood, Nigel Lawson, Tim Harford, David Rieff, Eric Bettellheim and Frances Cairncross… Continue reading


The rewards of failure

30 October 2007 16:12

We’ve just posted a great piece by Martin Vander Weyer on the dangers to capitalism of the kind of huge pay-offs that the departing boss of Merrill Lynch is set… Continue reading


What values do we share with Saudi Arabia?

30 October 2007 13:49

First we had the Saudi King declaring that Britain had not done enough to tackle the threat of terrorism which may be true but considering Saudi Arabia’s continuing role in… Continue reading

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Gove skewers Gordon

30 October 2007 11:59

As I predicted yesterday, Michael Gove’s speech to the Bow Group this morning was a belter: as trenchant and subtle an analysis of Gordon Brown’s politics as any Tory politician… Continue reading


Who is right on immigration?

30 October 2007 10:31

Steve Richards, one of the unmissable voices of the centre-Left, has an interesting column in today’s Indy in which he takes issue with Fraser over immigration. If those on the… Continue reading


Do the government’s numbers tell the whole story?

30 October 2007 9:53

Have we had the full story about foreign workers? Peter Hain has admitted the figure of those arriving here since 1997 is 1.1 million, not 800,000, and Caroline Flint said… Continue reading