The GOP’s in a Hole; Only a Terrorist Attack Can Save It…

20 May 2009 19:18

In the course of defending Dick Cheney’s assault on the Obama administration, Bill Kristol has this to say: But of course an intelligent and knowledgeable advocate–even if he’s personally not… Continue reading


Fixing parliament: We Want 18th Century Men With 21st Century Ethics

20 May 2009 15:33

Danny Finkelstein’s column in the Times today is very interesting if, perhaps, also a little too neat. On the other hand, I kinda hope he’s right. Large centralised political parties… Continue reading

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Parliament Should be a Gentleman’s Club.

20 May 2009 11:42

Apparently the Prime Minister believes that parliament “cannot operate like some gentleman’s club where the members make up the rules and operate them among themselves”. But if so then that’s… Continue reading


Harry Reid: Pretend Stupid or Truly Stupid?

20 May 2009 11:30

The great thing about Washington is its variety. Sometimes it’s the Republicans who infuriate you and sometimes it’s the Democrats whose bone-headed nitwittery is singularly depressing. Today it’s Harry Reid’s… Continue reading


Reselect Democracy

20 May 2009 9:28

Hats of to Paul Evans of the Local Democracy blog who has come up with a brilliant idea for renewing our political culture: Reselect Democracy. I am happy to endorse… Continue reading


A Collective Sigh of Relief

19 May 2009 23:54

Watching Newsnight tonight it felt like a dam had broken. Three MPs from the main parties having an open discussion about the future of politics post-Speaker Martin, Jeremy Paxman relaxed… Continue reading


The Absurdity of Energy Independence

19 May 2009 23:15

Of all the fatuous "debates" in Washington few can be as absurd or wearisome as the mantra, repeated by politicians of all parties, that it is time for the United… Continue reading


Burmese Groundhog Day

19 May 2009 19:36

For any number of obvious reasons Burma doesn’t receive as much attention as Cuba. One of those reasons, mind you, is that there aren’t too many simpletons forever making excuses… Continue reading

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Ken Loach’s Bullying Ghastliness

19 May 2009 13:47

This is normally Melanie’s territory and it is disgraceful. The chain of events seems to be this: 1. The Edinburgh International Film Festival invites Israeli film-maker Tali Shalom-Ezer to show… Continue reading


Lessons for 2012 from 1992

19 May 2009 13:15

John Huntsman’s decision to accept Obama’s invitation to serve as the US Ambassador to Beijing is, as James suggested, interesting given the recent rise in Huntsman stock. The advantages for… Continue reading

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Reviving Scottish Conservatism: A Lost Decade?

19 May 2009 13:01

A reader asks, not without reason, what I think of the Scottish Tories attempts at a makeover since their wipeout in 1997 and whether, given that I’m generally, broadly speaking,… Continue reading

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Back to the Twentieth Century

19 May 2009 12:55

Apologies for light posting: a power cut this morning cut one off from the outside world, returning us to the dark days of the twentieth century. It was most disconcerting.… Continue reading


Wild Times

18 May 2009 23:19

It’s all getting very strange, isn’t it? Now that Esther Rantzen has thrown her hat into the ring, anything is possible. Among the twitterati everyone and his dog is discussing… Continue reading


Michael Martin Seals His Fate – And Not In A Good Way

18 May 2009 16:16

James is correct: that was a shambolic performance from the Speaker, hiding behind the skirt of parliamentary procedure to deny a debate that any parliamentarian in possession of even an… Continue reading


Choosing Between the Lesser of Two Evils?

18 May 2009 14:20

Good grief. If I lived in, say, Luton South perhaps the only thing that could persuade me to vote for Margaret Moran would be the appalling thought of replacing her… Continue reading


Billionaire Actually Sweetie Shop Owner…

17 May 2009 11:40

I’m sure that there’s a Deep and Significant Meaning to this that helps explain something about the Irish economic landscape these past dozen years. It’s like an episode from An… Continue reading

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Waylon Jennings & Sunday Morning Country

17 May 2009 11:11

A slight disruption to the schedule this week postponed Saturday Morning Country by 24 hours. But not to worry, here’s the great Waylon Jennings in barnstorming form to make up… Continue reading


Cameron in the Fair City

15 May 2009 17:41

David Cameron’s speech to the Scottish Tory conferene was, I thought, workmanlike rather than inspired.The troops enjoyed it even if they were not necessarily enraptured by it. Interestingly he spent… Continue reading


Easy Populism

15 May 2009 13:51

In her speech yesterday Annabel Goldie decried the cheap and easy populism that she, rightly, described as the SNP’s approach to government. Fair enough. A shame, therefore, that she resorted… Continue reading


Three Weeks to Save the Labour Party

15 May 2009 8:05

It was an honour to write the Spectator politics column this week. You can find my thoughts on the collaspe of Labour morale here.


Tory Defence Policy

14 May 2009 15:21

What is Britain’s role in the world? And what resources will be devoted to sustaining it? These questions, germane for more than 40 years anyway, have an extra urgency in… Continue reading


The Caledonian Campaign Next Year

14 May 2009 12:07

In a risky break from blogging orthodoxy, I’m actually attending a political event today (and tomorrow!) and have travelled north to Perth for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party’s annual… Continue reading


The Inevitability of Gradualness

13 May 2009 23:49

I have been reading Marcia Williams’s 1972 memoir of her time with Harold Wilson, Inside Number 10 (no don’t ask why) and come to the chapter with the wonderful title… Continue reading


When is Victory Really Defeat? In the Drug War, Silly.

13 May 2009 0:54

There was a crazy puff piece for the Endless War on Drugs on the BBC News tonight in which the reporter, Mark Easton, was handed a story by the Serious… Continue reading


New GOP Argument: Torturing People is Sign of Stength

13 May 2009 0:39

Is this the oddest argument in favour of torture yet? Karl Rove says that failing to torture prisoners only encourages al-Qaeda. Taking, for example, the memoranda about the enhanced interrogation… Continue reading