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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


Iraq edges away from the brink

14 June 2007 12:20

The fact that the violence in Iraq has not reached the point of no return after yesterday’s bombing of the mosque at Samara is reassuring. John Burns, the New York… Continue reading

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What should the Cabinet get the PM?

14 June 2007 10:24

The Times reports today that the Cabinet has held a whip round for leaving presents for Blair and Prescott and that they’ve got £1,600 to spend on the two of… Continue reading


Understanding Gaza

14 June 2007 8:08

The descent of the Palestinian territories into hideous internecine conflict makes an understanding of the complex dynamics of the region all the more imperative and Clemmie’s interview with a senior… Continue reading

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A guide to Iraq for US GIs

13 June 2007 19:34

A few years ago, bookshops started selling the hand book that American GIs were given before coming to Britain during World War Two. With hindsight, it made for amusing reading—it… Continue reading


Where will Gordon go first?

13 June 2007 18:35

Benedict Brogan’s always excellent blog has an interesting post on the question of what Brown’s first foreign trip as leader will be. As Brogan notes, if Brown goes to Paris… Continue reading


A friendly mistake

13 June 2007 13:01

“We’ve gone on holiday by mistake”. So says Richard E Grant’s unforgettable character in Withnail & I. The other day I was trying to get on to Facebook to list… Continue reading


The Tony n’ Dave show, catch it while you can

13 June 2007 12:45

A few thoughts from the penultimate Cameron v Blair show. The Prime Minister has a new phrase, “the end of waiting as we know it,” which doesn’t mean waiting has… Continue reading

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