Reforming the Lords?

27 January 2009 13:54

The downside to this latest outbreak of "Labour Sleaze" is that we’re going to hear an awful lot of talk about "reforming" the House of Lords. (Will anyone be brave… Continue reading


So. Farewell then, Bill Kristol

26 January 2009 23:07

Tough news for neoconservatism. From today there’ll be no more Bill Kristol columns in the New York Times. One could react to this news in a number of ways. Here,… Continue reading


The Lorettonian Curse

26 January 2009 18:56

Now that I think about it, Simon Heffer’s broadside against Caledonia-dire-and-rotten, missed one obvious target. Sure, Alastair Darling is a much-ridiculed, much-villified Chancellor of the Exchequer but so too was… Continue reading


Have Scots Ruined Britain?

26 January 2009 16:27

Under the headline "Scots have brought Britain to its knees" Simon "John Wilkes" Heffer began his Telegraph column on Saturday like this: As Scots the world over prepare to celebrate… Continue reading


Cannabis Confusion

26 January 2009 15:48

There’s something cheering about today’s announcement that the government has decided to ignore its own experts and reclassify Cannabis as a Class B, rather than a Class C drug. Not… Continue reading

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Where there’s a web there’s a predator…

25 January 2009 22:18

Or not. Are your kids safe online? A recent report about this sensitive subject is stirring up controversy. The study, released by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society,… Continue reading


In Defence of Lobbying

25 January 2009 20:05

If it’s easy to pick on politicians, it’s easier still to pick on lobbyists. This is true on either side of the Atlantic. As Peter says, today’s allegations in the… Continue reading


Oh Caroline!

25 January 2009 18:10

A very entertaining piece on Caroline Kennedy’s "run" for the vacant Senate seat in New York by Larissa MacFarquhar in this week’s New Yorker. There are moments at which one… Continue reading

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Still the Dismal Science

24 January 2009 22:22

Preach it, Brother Wilkinson: When I see Delong more or less indiscriminately trashing everyone at Chicago, or Krugman trashing Barro, etc., what doesn’t arise in my mind is a sense that… Continue reading


The Era of Regulation Never Ended

24 January 2009 20:50

For reasons I don’t entirely understand the impression that the present regrettable economic circumstances have been caused by a hands-off, laissez-faire approach to regulation seems to be widely held. This… Continue reading

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Blagojevich: Entertainer of the Year

23 January 2009 22:28

Can we agree that Rod Blagojevich is making a great run at the title Entertainer of the Year. Here’s the disgraced governor of Illinois protesting his innocence (again!) today: I… Continue reading


Knife Crime Hysteria?

23 January 2009 19:56

There’s an old newspaper adage that "If it bleeds, it leads" that helps explain the current obsession with knife crime. But there’s another old truth that it would be useful… Continue reading


If Obama is Othello, who plays Iago?

23 January 2009 16:16

Good grief. From the Guardian’s theatre blog: Shortly before the inauguration of Barack Obama, I received a press release from the RSC with the subject line: "Obama: Is he an… Continue reading


Progressive libertarians!

23 January 2009 13:21

That’s not, of course, a contradiction in terms. (Which may be why I’m less spooked than some by the idea of "Progressive conservatism") Another way of putting this is, as… Continue reading


Kennedy Poppycock

23 January 2009 12:50

Anne Kornblut, normally a reliable reporter, was given a turkey by her editors yesterday. Here’s how she begins her WaPo story on Caroline Kennedy’s (mercifully) brief Senate bid: With her… Continue reading


In Praise of Mahmut Aygun

22 January 2009 22:55

How did I miss this tragic news? The man who invented the donor [sic!] kebab has died. Mahmut Aygun, was suffering from cancer and died in Berlin at the age… Continue reading


Kidney Markets

22 January 2009 20:41

Markets all-around: Across Asia, the going rate for a kidney is usually agreed in the backstreet surgery of some unscrupulous doctor but in Singapore the government will soon be setting… Continue reading


A Change to Believe In

22 January 2009 19:51

Not a bad start for the new President: "For a long time now there has been too much secrecy in this city," Obama said. "The old rules said that if… Continue reading


Chirac’s Poodle

22 January 2009 19:31

Sure it’s only January, but there’s already an obvious contender for the prized title of Headline of the Year: Former French President Chirac hospitalised after mauling by his clinically depressed… Continue reading


Cameron the Radical?

22 January 2009 18:47

Apparently the new issue of Prospect carries a piece by Philip Blond of Demos in which He calls on Cameron to lead a massive redistribution of power and wealth, to… Continue reading


Obamamania Reaches the Borders

22 January 2009 17:58

Seriously. You cannot escape Mr Obama. The splash in this week’s edition of The Southern Reporter, out today, is headlined "Hope and fear as Parker and Moore welcome Obama". That’s… Continue reading

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Expenses: Brown Gets out of Gaol

21 January 2009 13:22

Disappointing to see that the government has retreated from its plans to exempt the disclosure of MPs expenses from being ocvered by the Freedom of Information Act. Yes, yes, everyone… Continue reading


Gut Instinct

21 January 2009 12:54

Mark McKinnon, Bush’s advertising man who left the McCain campaign because he didn’t want to work against Obama, reports from the plane taking the Bushes back to Texas yesterday: And… Continue reading


Bush’s Limited Idea of Compassionate Conservatism

21 January 2009 12:34

George W Bush has earned praise for the manner in which he has left office: dignified and quiet. Fair enough. And at least unlike his predecessor he didn’t cry tears… Continue reading


Everyone Needs an Obama

21 January 2009 11:12

I also enjoyed the Alice Miles article Peter links to at the mother-blog, not least because I’ve never bought the notion that Gordon Brown was anything other than a long-term… Continue reading