A Night at the Oscars

23 February 2009 17:24

Oscar commentary is outsourced to the always-splendid Peter Suderman: The half-calculated, half-panicked seesawing between self-important Art and anxious populism means that the Oscars aren’t really an indicator of quality anymore,… Continue reading


Don’t Mention the Legacy!

23 February 2009 11:12

As the Cabinet meets in Southampton today there is one issue that will be strictly off the agenda: the Brown legacy. I have it on very good authority that Gordon… Continue reading


The Faultline At The Heart of the Government

23 February 2009 8:28

Francis Elliott’s story in The Times this morning is well-sourced and identifies the dangerous faultline that runs through the Labour Party right up to the Cabinet. Francis reports that Lord… Continue reading


No Scottish Referendum?

22 February 2009 20:42

It’s not been a great couple of weeks for Alex Salmond, has it? First there was the budget hullabaloo, then the SNP was compelled to abandon (at least for the… Continue reading


Bloody Students: The Next Generation

22 February 2009 13:50

I’ve been teaching the politics specialism at City University’s journalism course and I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much fun it has been. I was warned before I started that my student… Continue reading


Here’s the Latest From Your Neo-Con Socialist

22 February 2009 12:30

I was always shocked by the level of vitriol among New Statesman and Guardian readers when a writer stepped away from the comfort zone of received wisdom and cuddly "I’m… Continue reading


Anyone Feel Sorry for Tessa Jowell?

22 February 2009 7:19

I have already been teased by the readers of this blog for suggesting that it was possible to feel sympathy for Tessa Jowell and her family over the conviction of… Continue reading


A Very British Diarist

22 February 2009 2:04

Chris Mullin is a good egg and, what’s more has a pawky sense of humour. So I imagine his diaries, serialised in the Mail on Sunday this week, will be… Continue reading


Gordon Brown, Lawrence Oates and Polly Toynbee

21 February 2009 1:19

Polly Toynbee is always worth reading. Her latest column is no exception. For all that one might disagree with her, indeed even be infuriated by her, there’s always something useful… Continue reading


Ecstasy vs Peanuts

21 February 2009 0:50

Here’s a question for you: Imagine you are seated at a table with two bowls in front of you. One contains peanuts, the other tablets of the illegal recreational drug… Continue reading


Obama and Israel

20 February 2009 20:41

Melanie Phillips makes a pretty remarkable claim at the end of this post: The fact is that Israel faces the nightmare scenario that it now stands alone — and against… Continue reading


The Doctor is Out

20 February 2009 17:08

The Economist’s Democracy in America blog raises a good point: whatever happened to Howard Dean? That is, why does the former chairman of the DNC receive so little credit for… Continue reading

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The Irresistible Rise of the Liberal Democrats

20 February 2009 17:05

If there is one message Labour and Conservative politicians should take into the next election it is never to underestimate the Liberal Democrats. They always do better than you expect… Continue reading


Shumble and Corker in Spain

20 February 2009 15:28

Mind you, it’s not just the Irish police who are confused by foreign languages. A reader emails this piece of Fleet Street entertainment: That reminds me of XXX’s story chasing… Continue reading


Annals of Policing

20 February 2009 13:57

Not much gets past the Garda Siochana… HE WAS one of Ireland’s most reckless drivers, a serial offender who crossed the country wantonly piling up dozens of speeding fines and… Continue reading


Hillaryland takes on the world

20 February 2009 13:37

Mike Crowley has a characteristically interesting piece on Hillary Clinton’s State Department, asking the question: "Huge expectations, big egos, turf wars: Is Clinton’s State Department just like her campaign?" Even… Continue reading


Lessons from a great Antiguan Drama

20 February 2009 1:21

Test match cricket is something else, isn’t it? Patrick Kidd has a splendid line making the point that test cricket is terrific because it is "a game in which it… Continue reading


The Adrian Mole Generation Should Step up to the Plate

20 February 2009 0:12

It’s perhaps a step too far to mix a reference from a popular work of 1980s satirical fiction with a phrase borrowed from baseball in the headline of this piece, but… Continue reading


Credit Crunch Consequences

19 February 2009 21:37

I admit it, I didn’t anticipate this one: Shark Attacks Drop; Expert Cites Ailing Economy. [Thanks to reader JT]

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The Davis Agenda

19 February 2009 19:55

I suspect Peter is right and that David Davis’s remarks about "the Davis agenda" will raise a few eyebrows. But I find them encouraging. There’s an obvious upside to Davis… Continue reading


Blue Dog Democrats and RINOs

19 February 2009 17:15

Ezra Klein asks why the Democratic party doesn’t treat "unreliable" Democrats quite as badly* as the GOP hunts down "Republicans in Name Only" such as Arlen Specter.  There are few… Continue reading


World Gone Mad: French Division

19 February 2009 16:18

Things you never thought you would see: the French government advising against wine consumption… In the midst of the winter gloom, President Sarkozy’s administration  has chosen this moment to tell its… Continue reading

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Stanford Calamity? Only for Antigua, not for cricket

19 February 2009 14:28

There’s some good stuff in Michael Henderson’s column on the so-called Stanford debacle* today, even if he indulges himself with a rather rosy,soft-focus view of cricket’s past. The ideal of… Continue reading

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Headline of the Day

18 February 2009 20:07

It’s a rather terrible story, but this AP headline is a keeper: Berserk chimp heard during frantic 911 call as owner pounded him with a shovel. It wasn’t the chimp… Continue reading


The Politico Future

18 February 2009 18:24

At the New Republic, Gabe Sherman has a fun piece about the rise and rise of Politico, DC’s in-house paper for political intrigue and gossip. There’s plenty to consider: Politico… Continue reading