Tony Blair speaking at a meeting of The Strand Group at King's College London this morning. Photo: @JohnRentoul.

Tony Blair takes a dig at chillaxing Cameron

11 June 2015 12:17

Tony Blair popped into King’s College London this morning to discuss ‘how to run a government’ with his former adviser Michael Barber. Amongst other things, the former Prime Minister discussed David… Continue reading

Who will enter No.10 after 7 May 2015? Photo: Getty Images.

Numbers, not arguments about legitimacy, will decide who enters No.10 after May 7

28 April 2015 15:42

Lyndon Johnson’s first lesson of politics was to be able to count. It’s something that many of those commenting on the various post-election scenarios could do with remembering. Let’s start… Continue reading


Why George Osborne wants to be the new Tarzan

9 March 2015 17:37

There is a subtle ideological shift going on in the Tory party. At the top of the party, there is an increasing appetite for a modern form of industrial strategy.… Continue reading

A marijuana shop in Los Angeles. MPs today recommended that the government should consider decriminalising some drugs. Picture: Getty

Drugs Live drama: Channel 4 vs Home Office

19 February 2015 8:05

So far Channel 4′s Drugs Live series has examined the effects of ecstasy while next month’s installment will look into cannabis use. However, for those wondering which illicit substance will be next, the programme’s host… Continue reading

Education Secretary Michael Gove Speech On Education Reform

The Enigma Gove?

5 February 2015 18:30

Chief Whip Michael Gove has given his first keynote speech since being politically assassinated last summer. Plucked from the frontline of reform, the former Education Secretary concluded his speech to… Continue reading

Image: Getty

If government doesn’t work, whose fault is it?

9 September 2014 10:00

The apparently eternal battle between politicians and bureaucrats for control of the government machine has been better for TV comedy writers than for the governance of Britain. Ministers complain that… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Curious lack of support for Miller in Cabinet

8 April 2014 13:53

Senior 1922 Committee members are quite surprised by the suggestion that tomorrow’s end-of-term meeting with the Prime Minister represents the deadline for the Maria Miller problem to be resolved. But… Continue reading

German Greens' campaign poster: 'Germany is renewable'. Image: Getty

The German Greens might do so badly they end up getting in

20 September 2013 10:27

The German Green Party is having a torrid time. In an election campaign remarkable for static polls, come what may, the collapse of a third of the Green vote has been… Continue reading

The 'very influential' Sir Jeremy Heywood

Jeremy Heywood, just call him very influential

7 December 2012 19:43

The main topic of conversation in Whitehall today has been The Guardian’s profile of the Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood. One particular passage has raised some eyebrows in several ministerial… Continue reading

Clean Up Across London After A Third Night Of Rioting

The Conservative party has an empathy problem. Does it care about that? It should. - Spectator Blogs

3 September 2012 23:37

For people in the communication business politicians have an uncanny ability to confuse even their better intentions by resorting to clumsy, even stupid, language. Thus David Davis earlier today. When… Continue reading


Who funds think tanks?

21 June 2012 16:00

I was very interested to see the launch of the Who Funds You? website today. This is an intriguing new initiative to examine the transparency of think tanks. The tendency… Continue reading

The river Arc is in spate, on May 29, 20

The problem with government

21 June 2012 12:30

David Frum offers a useful caution politicians might heed. Amidst the stupidity and vanity of politics it’s occasionally worth remembering that government is an impossible business. It is much like… Continue reading

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Hodge’s new nemesis: Sir Jeremy Heywood

15 March 2012 16:33

Margaret Hodge subjected senior civil servants to a fierce ear-boxing this morning. She accused them of trying to avoid the scrutiny of her Public Accounts Committee, and declared the current… Continue reading


Size Matters: Dysfunctional Government Edition

8 February 2012 18:57

Via Andrew, Francis Fukuyama has a new gig at Stanford University running a Governance Project. Introducing it, he lobs a hand grenade at one aspect of American Exceptionalism:   I… Continue reading


Uncivil service

12 January 2012 18:38

Political cultures differ. In Iran, for example, hyperbole is expected in all political conversations. So slogans always call for ‘Death to the US’, and nothing less. In Britain, of course,… Continue reading


The Legend of the Patriotic Drinker

25 October 2011 13:04

This is one hell of a statistic: In Britain, taxes on all types of alcohol contributed 36 percent of national revenue in 1898-99, but they were also 19 percent in… Continue reading


Overreacting to Werritty

17 October 2011 11:34

The Werritty case has made everyone who believes that government is controlled by lobbyists and tycoons slaver. The Guardian screams that Ministers held more than 1,500 meetings with corporate representatives… Continue reading


Department of Homeland Absurdity

10 September 2011 13:37

A telling admission from Janet Napolitano, heid-bummer at the ludicrous (though founded for obvious, understandable reasons) Department of Homeland Security: “We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to… Continue reading


Cameron makes poor start on the long road back

8 July 2011 10:59

This was David Cameron’s most difficult press conference since becoming Tory leader. The Prime Minister refused to distance himself from Andy Coulson, a man he said was still his friend.… Continue reading


Treasury notes reveal Osborne’s position on euro bailouts

1 July 2011 17:23

There has been much talk about what George Osborne told Alistair Darling about the EU bailout mechanism during those days in May between the election and the coalition being formed.… Continue reading


Tax versus philanthropy 

25 June 2011 9:45

I was on the panel of Any Questions last night in Saltaire, the most beautiful town I’ve seen outside of the Highlands. Jonathan Dimbleby always warms everyone up with a… Continue reading


Britain makes new senior diplomatic appointments

24 June 2011 14:53

From the Number 10 website: The Prime Minister is pleased to confirm the following senior appointments: Sir Peter Ricketts, currently the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor, to become HM Ambassador… Continue reading


Britain’s other, bigger debt problem

31 May 2011 11:16

And what about the other sort of debt? We spend so much time harrumphing about the national debt that an important point is obscured: personal debt, the amount owed by… Continue reading


The Portuguese fallout

7 April 2011 10:50

How much are we in for? That is the question that springs most readily to mind after Portugal’s request for fiscal aid from the EU. And, sadly, the answer is… Continue reading


What were the SAS doing in the eastern desert?

8 March 2011 9:01

When the official files are opened in 30 years time, we will see what series of decisions led the government to send a helicopter-born SAS team into eastern Libya when… Continue reading