Geert Wilders is Still a Bigot and Still No Kind of Hero

12 May 2009 1:14

Way back in February I suggested that Geert Wilders should have been allowed to show his wee film Fitna in Britain and that it was a mistake to deny him… Continue reading


The Sky Has Fallen In

11 May 2009 23:38

We blithely say that politicians are despised even more than journalists. But those who work closely with MPs generally end up thinking they are a pretty decent lot. The revelations… Continue reading


A Parliament of Thieves

11 May 2009 1:35

Like any sensible person I’ve been thoroughly amused and appalled by the scandal of MPs expenses. Appalled because the extent of MPs’ avarice is sufficient to shock even an iron-souled… Continue reading


What Next?

9 May 2009 8:29

The real question for Labour now is how the party will rebuild itself. This has important democratic implications: we have witnessed how an over-mighty government can operate without the scrutiny… Continue reading


Townes van Zandt: Saturday Morning Country

9 May 2009 0:35

First we had Dolly Parton and then last week we featured Emmylou Harris singing Pancho & Lefty so this Saturday it makes sense to put Townes van Zandt in the… Continue reading


Life Imitates The Wire (Again)

8 May 2009 16:09

You’ll recall that this is what Carver did when he was trying to persuade the hoppers to move to Hamsterdam: Two Baltimore detectives have been suspended as authorities explore allegations… Continue reading

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Monarchies vs Republics and the Importance of Cynicism

8 May 2009 3:12

Christopher Caldwell’s* diary in the latest edition of the print magazine is good fun and I look forward to reading his new book. This part was especially entertaining: For many… Continue reading


The Unbearable But Continuing Ghastliness of Dick Cheney

8 May 2009 1:57

Dick Cheney is quite a piece of work. I confess that back in 2000 I thought Bush did well in choosing Cheney to be his Vice-President. After all, the neophyte… Continue reading


Irish Army Told They May Only Play Tiddlywinks

8 May 2009 0:57

I’m not* one to mock the Irish armed forces and there’s no gainsaying the fact that Irish troops have done their bit in various peacekeeping operations around the world. But… Continue reading


The Real Significance of the Telegraph Story

7 May 2009 23:24

So tomorrow’s Telegraph has the full gruesome details of parliamentary expenses. This is terribly embarrassing for the Cabinet and would have been no more than that in different times. But… Continue reading


How Cameron can turn "Tory cuts" to his advantage…

7 May 2009 17:08

An interesting exchange between Danny Finkelstein and Andrew Cooper, director of Populus in which Mr Cooper addresses public attitudes towards cuts in public spending: In principle, then, there seems to… Continue reading


Towards a Republican Recovery

7 May 2009 15:35

Reihan Salam offers some tough love to the GOP: In a Pew survey conducted shortly after the 2008 election, an impressive 38 percent of the electorate identified themselves as conservatives,… Continue reading


Graeme Swann Takes the New Ball

7 May 2009 14:35

Shamefully, I’ve not kept a sufficiently close eye on the cricket today. It’s early May and it doesn’t feel right for there to be a test match on so soon.… Continue reading


Visca Barca!

7 May 2009 13:52

Jim Henley had a great post a while back naming names and shaming those people who blog too much. As Jim rightly put it, these days you need to be… Continue reading


The Royal Navy vs the SNP

6 May 2009 23:38

Alex Salmond may argue that Scotland is "two thirds" of the way towards independence (though even if Salmond is correct that doesn’t mean independence is necessarily imminent) but the Royal… Continue reading


David Cameron and the People’s Post Office

6 May 2009 15:48

If the Tory leader is as canny a political operator as I think he is then he should adopt Compass’s idea of setting up the Post Office as a not-for-profit… Continue reading


Poverty: Grim but Authentic!

6 May 2009 14:03

There is, as you might expect, some good stuff in Christopher Caldwell’s Weekly Standard piece on the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger. But it also contains some strange… Continue reading


Smoking To Recovery

6 May 2009 13:21

Good and bad news from China: A Chinese county has rescinded a rule urging its government workers to smoke more in order to boost tax income. The authorities in Gong’an… Continue reading

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The Ultimate New Labour Insult

5 May 2009 20:52

Mental illness has always taken up a lot of space in the lexicon of New Labour,  I have always thought Alistair Campbell’s own brush with the black dog had something to do… Continue reading


Krapp’s Last Sale

5 May 2009 20:05

From John Banville’s TNR review of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1929-40: In London, Beckett considered a number of possible day jobs, toying with the notion of becoming an airline… Continue reading


The Party of Trammeled Freedom

5 May 2009 19:39

Like James, I thought there’s some interesting stuff in David Brooks’ column today. On the other hand there’s also a fair quantity of stuff with which one might take some… Continue reading


Harriet Harman Disappoints Again

4 May 2009 13:53

Say it ain’t so, Harriet! Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has denied a report she would fight for the party leadership, as speculation grows over Gordon Brown’s position. She insisted… Continue reading


Holy Gordon’s Prayer

4 May 2009 1:22

There’s a telling line in this story from the Mail which (if true!) gets to the heart of Gordon Brown’s sense of himself. Apparently he was unhappy with the line… Continue reading


Hazel Takes the Reins

3 May 2009 11:43

Hazel Blears knows exactly what she’s doing by intervening in print during the Labour Party’s darkest spring. Think of it the other way around. Ministers know that when the Prime Minister… Continue reading


Swine Flu Panic

2 May 2009 14:27

The latest news should obviously have you feeling Very, Very Afraid: Mexico has revised down the suspected death toll from swine flu from 176 to 101, indicating that the outbreak… Continue reading