Wild Times

18 May 2009 23:19

It’s all getting very strange, isn’t it? Now that Esther Rantzen has thrown her hat into the ring, anything is possible. Among the twitterati everyone and his dog is discussing… Continue reading


Michael Martin Seals His Fate – And Not In A Good Way

18 May 2009 16:16

James is correct: that was a shambolic performance from the Speaker, hiding behind the skirt of parliamentary procedure to deny a debate that any parliamentarian in possession of even an… Continue reading


Choosing Between the Lesser of Two Evils?

18 May 2009 14:20

Good grief. If I lived in, say, Luton South perhaps the only thing that could persuade me to vote for Margaret Moran would be the appalling thought of replacing her… Continue reading


Billionaire Actually Sweetie Shop Owner…

17 May 2009 11:40

I’m sure that there’s a Deep and Significant Meaning to this that helps explain something about the Irish economic landscape these past dozen years. It’s like an episode from An… Continue reading

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Waylon Jennings & Sunday Morning Country

17 May 2009 11:11

A slight disruption to the schedule this week postponed Saturday Morning Country by 24 hours. But not to worry, here’s the great Waylon Jennings in barnstorming form to make up… Continue reading


Cameron in the Fair City

15 May 2009 17:41

David Cameron’s speech to the Scottish Tory conferene was, I thought, workmanlike rather than inspired.The troops enjoyed it even if they were not necessarily enraptured by it. Interestingly he spent… Continue reading


Easy Populism

15 May 2009 13:51

In her speech yesterday Annabel Goldie decried the cheap and easy populism that she, rightly, described as the SNP’s approach to government. Fair enough. A shame, therefore, that she resorted… Continue reading


Three Weeks to Save the Labour Party

15 May 2009 8:05

It was an honour to write the Spectator politics column this week. You can find my thoughts on the collaspe of Labour morale here.


Tory Defence Policy

14 May 2009 15:21

What is Britain’s role in the world? And what resources will be devoted to sustaining it? These questions, germane for more than 40 years anyway, have an extra urgency in… Continue reading


The Caledonian Campaign Next Year

14 May 2009 12:07

In a risky break from blogging orthodoxy, I’m actually attending a political event today (and tomorrow!) and have travelled north to Perth for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party’s annual… Continue reading


The Inevitability of Gradualness

13 May 2009 23:49

I have been reading Marcia Williams’s 1972 memoir of her time with Harold Wilson, Inside Number 10 (no don’t ask why) and come to the chapter with the wonderful title… Continue reading


When is Victory Really Defeat? In the Drug War, Silly.

13 May 2009 0:54

There was a crazy puff piece for the Endless War on Drugs on the BBC News tonight in which the reporter, Mark Easton, was handed a story by the Serious… Continue reading


New GOP Argument: Torturing People is Sign of Stength

13 May 2009 0:39

Is this the oddest argument in favour of torture yet? Karl Rove says that failing to torture prisoners only encourages al-Qaeda. Taking, for example, the memoranda about the enhanced interrogation… Continue reading


A Nation of Numismatists

12 May 2009 18:32

Well, sort of. There’s a serious shortage of coins in Argentina at the moment, possibly because they’re worth more, as commodities prices rise, when they’re melted down and resold. Or… Continue reading


Parliament of Chancers

12 May 2009 18:12

Like Bagehot I think this one of most entertaining – and revealing – reactions to the revelations of the Great Expenses Swindle of 2009: The latest batch of expenses details… Continue reading

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Expenses Backlash Extra! Guilty Party Named!

12 May 2009 15:22

The problem with being a newspaper columnist is that you have to keep finding new stuff to say. New is more important than better, you understand. So when everyone is… Continue reading


Geert Wilders is Still a Bigot and Still No Kind of Hero

12 May 2009 1:14

Way back in February I suggested that Geert Wilders should have been allowed to show his wee film Fitna in Britain and that it was a mistake to deny him… Continue reading


The Sky Has Fallen In

11 May 2009 23:38

We blithely say that politicians are despised even more than journalists. But those who work closely with MPs generally end up thinking they are a pretty decent lot. The revelations… Continue reading


A Parliament of Thieves

11 May 2009 1:35

Like any sensible person I’ve been thoroughly amused and appalled by the scandal of MPs expenses. Appalled because the extent of MPs’ avarice is sufficient to shock even an iron-souled… Continue reading


What Next?

9 May 2009 8:29

The real question for Labour now is how the party will rebuild itself. This has important democratic implications: we have witnessed how an over-mighty government can operate without the scrutiny… Continue reading


Townes van Zandt: Saturday Morning Country

9 May 2009 0:35

First we had Dolly Parton and then last week we featured Emmylou Harris singing Pancho & Lefty so this Saturday it makes sense to put Townes van Zandt in the… Continue reading


Life Imitates The Wire (Again)

8 May 2009 16:09

You’ll recall that this is what Carver did when he was trying to persuade the hoppers to move to Hamsterdam: Two Baltimore detectives have been suspended as authorities explore allegations… Continue reading

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Monarchies vs Republics and the Importance of Cynicism

8 May 2009 3:12

Christopher Caldwell’s* diary in the latest edition of the print magazine is good fun and I look forward to reading his new book. This part was especially entertaining: For many… Continue reading


The Unbearable But Continuing Ghastliness of Dick Cheney

8 May 2009 1:57

Dick Cheney is quite a piece of work. I confess that back in 2000 I thought Bush did well in choosing Cheney to be his Vice-President. After all, the neophyte… Continue reading


Irish Army Told They May Only Play Tiddlywinks

8 May 2009 0:57

I’m not* one to mock the Irish armed forces and there’s no gainsaying the fact that Irish troops have done their bit in various peacekeeping operations around the world. But… Continue reading