Ecstasy and the Agony that is Jacqui Smith

9 February 2009 23:21

So the government is going to reject advice that Ecstasy be reclassified as a Class B drug. No surprise there. Got to adopt a tough stance on these matters, you… Continue reading


We are not a number … We are a free man

9 February 2009 19:54

Portmeirion is a surreal place at the best of times. But it gets even stranger when you see Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCanns taking a stroll through this… Continue reading


France’s Sorry Decline

9 February 2009 19:04

Photo: Keystone/Getty Images Once upon a time Citroen produced the DS – driven here by Lord Hailsham -  as revolutionary and beautiful a car as anyone has produced in the… Continue reading


Obama Still Extremely, Inconveniently Popular

9 February 2009 16:59

Melanie may think that the United States made a monumental blunder when it elected Barack Obama, but right now, it must be said, the Americans themselves seem pretty happy with… Continue reading


51 All Out

9 February 2009 15:30

Apologies for the radio silence. I’m still struggling to comes to terms with England’s Jamaican debacle. Matters were scarcely improved by an ill-considered trip to Murrayfield yesterday. Back to the… Continue reading


Talent spotting

9 February 2009 13:25

I hope to bring on new talent through this blog, so here’s Tara Hamilton-Miller’s drawing of the panel on social entrepreneurship: From left to right: Robert Phillips CEO of Edelman,… Continue reading


A note from Portmeirion

9 February 2009 11:36

I’m posting from the We are Names not Numbers symposium in North Wales and wondering what the founder-builder of Portmeirion, Clough Williams-Ellis, would make of this discussion of individualism in… Continue reading


Towards a modern New Deal

8 February 2009 22:04

Good to see Will Hutton writing about Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration in today’s Observer. I am convinced that the government needs to start looking at some seriously imaginative work creation… Continue reading


The Opening Salvo

6 February 2009 22:57

What I am about to do makes me more nervous than any other piece of writing I have embarked on since my first forays into journalism in the late 1980s.… Continue reading


Dubious Proposition of the Day

6 February 2009 15:39

I have nothing to say on this ludicrous Jeremy Clarkson controversy, save to observe that this constant hoopla over whether BBC presenters have offended anyone is beyond wearisome. That said,… Continue reading


Special Relationship Fretting Special!

6 February 2009 13:28

Could there be anything more juvenile than Fleet Street’s unanimous view that Gordon Brown has been embarrassed by Tony Blair "beating" him to an audience with Barack Obama? Sure, it’s… Continue reading


Italian Jobs for British Workers

6 February 2009 12:25

I’m indebted to Justin at Chicken Yoghurt for alerting me to this article from La Repubblica: "PORTO VIRO (Rovigo) – ‘It’s a pity – È un peccato – I love… Continue reading


On not doing God

5 February 2009 19:09

From Tony Blair’s speech to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington this morning: I believe restoring religious faith to its rightful place, as the guide to our world and its… Continue reading


The sky is falling

5 February 2009 17:43

Good grief. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and House Speaker William J. Howell announced a deal Thursday morning to ban smoking in restaurants and bars in Virginia, a monumental decision in… Continue reading

1 Comment

School Choice Q&A

5 February 2009 14:55

Fraser’s report from Michael Gove’s education reform shindig today is a must-read. I agree with him that this is the key point Gove, Cameron and the Tories need to make:… Continue reading


Did Bush keep America safe?

5 February 2009 14:35

Commenting on this post, Juliana raises a talking point one hears quite often. "Bush was not perfect by a long chalk but he kept America safe for his two terms.… Continue reading


Is Obama A Failure? (Already!)

5 February 2009 12:26

It’s not been an error-free start for the new President has it? But, really, even for the internet age, some of the reaction to the stumbles is laughably over the… Continue reading


Whither Commerce?

5 February 2009 11:34

I spent five years in Washington and could not tell you what the Commerce Department really does. Now that i think of it, I doubt I could name any of… Continue reading


England vs West Indies

4 February 2009 23:22

Intriguing. Interesting. Fascinating. All words often used to spruce up slightly dull cricket. But the first days’ play in Kingston has been intriguing. And interesting. And good. A slow outfield… Continue reading


Quote for the Day

4 February 2009 19:58

"One cannot underestimate how widely admired Tom Daschle is in Washington for his integrity."—David Gergen, advisor to every President since Nebuchadnezzar and, er, the barometer of DC’s Conventional Wisdom. Of… Continue reading

1 Comment

The Federal Problem

4 February 2009 14:01

Conor Friedersdorf makes a point that is too often overlooked: Abraham Lincoln often commuted three miles on horseback so he could sleep on the grounds of a military hospital at… Continue reading


Back from the brink on trade

4 February 2009 0:06

At least that’s the message Obama seems to be sending to Democrats in Congress. In an interview with ABC News he was asked about the "Buy American" provisions in the… Continue reading


Davos Man Plays the Fool

3 February 2009 22:47

British tycoon Richard Branson participates among other people and actors in a ‘Refugee Run simulation’ during the World Economic Forum on January 30, 2009 in Davos. During this event, participants… Continue reading


Choice Matters: Education Division

3 February 2009 18:10

There are some policy ideas that one supports while recognising that they may come with costs, in some cases considerable costs (eg, drug legalisation, open borders, etc etc.) But I… Continue reading


The Day the Music Died

3 February 2009 17:04

Fifty years, then, since Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the "Big Bopper" died. Yet it could have been even worse: Waylon Jennings was supposed to be on that plane too:… Continue reading