The SNP, Cricket and Soft Unionism

14 July 2009 10:16

There were at least a dozen people on my flight from Edinburgh to Cardiff last week who were clearly heading to Wales to watch the test match. This was not… Continue reading


The 3% Solution & the Case for More, Not Fewer, Foreign Workers

13 July 2009 17:47

So the Tories have announced their new international development policy. Apparently it’s going to be "results-based" and fit for a "post-bureaucratic age" (this latter being, mind you, the kind of… Continue reading


Looking for Laku in Nicaragua

13 July 2009 16:10

More evidence emerges to support the notion that Scoop is really a work of non-fiction. This time it’s in the form of this report in the Washington Post: For months,… Continue reading

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69 Balls

13 July 2009 15:01

Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar of England walk off after securing the draw in the 1st Ashes Test Match between England and Australia at Sophia Gardens. Photo: Hamish Blair/Getty Images.… Continue reading


Ashes Hiatus

9 July 2009 22:47

So, yes, little blogging. Blame a combination of Ashes cricket and an infestation of family… Hiatus will continue as I shall be at the cricket in Cardiff on Friday. Talk… Continue reading


Iran Solidarity

8 July 2009 21:16

David T over at Harry’s Place blog has drawn my attention to this post from "habibi". I’m happy to endorse the message. "This Thursday is the tenth anniversary of the… Continue reading

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Michael Jackson’s Final Freak Show

7 July 2009 15:12

The Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes has the right attitude to today’s media-overload as at least 16 networks compete to see who can provide the most gruesome coverage of the… Continue reading


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