John Bercow: Garden Gnome or Trendy Vicar? Or Both?

7 July 2009 13:35

Via Tom Harris, I see that the new Speaker is contemplating "modernising" the House of Commons by dropping the convention that MPs refer to one another as the "Honourable Member"… Continue reading


How to Cut Spending and Frame the Argument

7 July 2009 11:25

A characteristically interesting column from Rachel Sylvester in The Times today, in which she describes how the Tories are looking to how the Liberal Party in Canada managed to slash… Continue reading


Ed Balls and Tribune

6 July 2009 23:42

Ed Balls has just started on Twitter and he’s already an avid user. I have always found Ed perfectly charming, but then, unlike Fraser, he has never bawled me out… Continue reading


Circumnavigating Manhattan For the First Time

6 July 2009 22:21

A lovely, gentle, mildly nostalgic piece in the New York Times by Gay Talese, recounting his maiden trip aboard one of the tourist cruisers that sail around Manhattan. It’s as… Continue reading

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Primaries Are Not the Answer

6 July 2009 16:10

James makes a droll case for Labour holding an open, national, primary to select the party’s next leader. As I say, it’s an entertaining notion, though it’s not clear that… Continue reading


Sarah Palin’s Resignation Still Makes No Sense

6 July 2009 14:32

Never let it be said that Fred Barnes can’t take the long view. While he concurs, with regret, that Sarah Palin has dashed her chances of winning the Republican nomination… Continue reading


The King of Tennis

6 July 2009 0:18

  Until that extraordinary fifth set this afternoon’s contest between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick had only occasionally flirted with greatness. It was always tense and often gripping but that… Continue reading


Yvonne Ridley and Press TV

4 July 2009 21:32

I thought my old friend Yvonne Ridley was just taking the money from the clerical fascists as a presenter at Iranian state channel Press TV. I didn’t realise she had… Continue reading


Sarah Palin Resigns! Madness!

3 July 2009 23:09

Perhaps it’s appropriate that Sarah Palin concluded her incoherent, rambling, puzzling resignation statement by quoting General Douglas MacArthur’s absurd line that "We are not retreating. We are advancing in another… Continue reading


Midget Wrestlers Murdered by Fake Hookers

3 July 2009 15:37

I defy you to find a better story today. Sad, obviously for the tiny wrestlers and their fans, but pure, unadulterated, newspaper gold for everyone else. We need more details… Continue reading


Maziar Bahari and Press TV

3 July 2009 12:15

The latest outrage committed by the Iranian state broadcaster Press TV is its coverage of the arrest of film maker and journalist Maziar Bahari. Maziar, a Canadian-Iranian, was arrested on June… Continue reading


Today vs Yesterday: Tour de France Special Edition

3 July 2009 1:57

The Tour de France begins tomorrow and it will not surprise long-time readers that my main concern is that Lance Armstrong does not win it again. Like any sensible enthusiast… Continue reading


A Few Simple Questions for Alan Johnson

3 July 2009 0:21

Home Secretary, is "identity theft" unknown in countries that already have identity cards? If it isn’t, then how will Britain’s ID cards solve that problem? (A problem that is, in… Continue reading


What is Middle-Class Elitism? And What’s Wrong With It?

2 July 2009 23:30

The Guardian is a great* newspaper but also an uncommonly infuriating rag. Take, for instance, this paragraph in what was an otherwise unobjectionable article about Elizabeth David: Now I should… Continue reading


Debating in Iraq

2 July 2009 18:08

The university debating circuit isn’t quite what it once was. Once upon a time it was, if not a closed shop, a cosy cartel organised by Scottish, Irish and English… Continue reading


The Washington Post’s Humbug: Business as Usual in DC

2 July 2009 14:58

Perhaps because hypocrisy and mendacity are such open and prominent features of the British press, no-one is terribly surprised when newspapers live down to everyone’s expectations. Newspapers behaving badly is… Continue reading

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Iranian propaganda and terror

2 July 2009 14:57

I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk about the Iranian state channel Press TV on Newsnight last night (see footage below). Nick Ferrari has resigned as a presenter… Continue reading


If Philip Morris is a paedophile, what are his happy customers?

2 July 2009 12:10

From – where else? – the Guardian: No national administration would allow paedophiles a say in setting child welfare policies. So why should the views of Big Tobacco on issues… Continue reading


Labour’s Definition of Progress Will Kill Us All

2 July 2009 11:44

Thanks to David Maddox for this gem. During a debate on BBC Scotland last night, marking a decade of devolution, Iain Gray, leader of the Labour party at Holyrood, boasted… Continue reading


Pimp My Ride: Amish Style

2 July 2009 11:15

Actually, this is rather a touching, sad story about the Amish and the impact first rising prosperity and then, of all things, a run on an Amish bank in Indiana.… Continue reading

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The 7/7 Conspiracy Theories Debunked

1 July 2009 19:57

Last night’s edition of BBC2′s The Conspiracy Files was a fine piece of television. It examined the conspiracy theories surrounding the bombings of July 7 2005 and if you haven’t… Continue reading


O Canada!

1 July 2009 15:06

It’s Canada’s birthday today as well! I dare say that there must be unpleasant Canadians but every Canuck I’ve ever met has been lovely. Granted, most of them no longer… Continue reading


Ten Years of Devolution

1 July 2009 5:45

This is a day for anniversaries: my 35th and the Scottish Parliament’s 10th. The latter is, I concede, the more significant milestone. Once upon a time George Robertson, then Shadow… Continue reading


If Only Obama Were Like Coolidge…

1 July 2009 2:01

David Brooks makes a number of excellent points in his latest column. No surprise there. There’s plenty to dislike, from a policy point of view, about the bills the Democratic… Continue reading


One Iranian Policy We Should Welcome. And Copy.

1 July 2009 0:07

Andrew Sullivan is soliciting examples of what one might term The Iran Behind the Headlines. Here’s one I blogged about last year. As Alex Tabarrok put it at the time:… Continue reading