Cameron brings some clarity to the table

13 February 2010 18:27

Maybe it’s just a slow Saturday, but the Conservatives’ latest WebCameron video (see below) strikes me as one of the most effective yet. The pitch is straightforward: make an appeal… Continue reading


A ceasefire in the VAT war?

13 February 2010 11:15

Has another dividing line faded into the sand?  It sure looks like it, going off this Times report on how both Labour and the Tories are considering hiking VAT to… Continue reading


Cameron attacks tax-happy Brown

10 February 2010 9:06

A strident interview from David Cameron in today’s Express, in which he touches on everything from inheritance tax to not, never, ever joining the Euro. It’s this passage that jumped… Continue reading


The Tories’ new attack poster is Brownite politics at its worst

9 February 2010 19:04

The Tories are keen to hammer the government over the £20,000 "death tax" story which appeared in the Guardian this morning.  And, to that end, they’ve produced the attack poster… Continue reading


Labour’s policy is a hostage to their internal struggles

17 January 2010 17:14

So Gordon is selling himself as a champion of the middle classes.  There is, as various commentators have pointed out, more than a little bit of hyposcrisy about that.  But… Continue reading


The Latest Great Irish Storyteller?

11 January 2010 12:37

Who can we add to the roster of Great Irish Writers? Why none other than our old chum Patrick Bartholomew Ahern. It seems that Bertie’s autobiography (sadly not titled Dig… Continue reading


Balls’s election strategy is a hostage to Osborne’s pen

28 December 2009 10:30

Make a note, CoffeeHousers: Labour won’t be fighting a class war against the Tories, after all.  That’s what Ed Balls tells us in this morning’s Times – so it must… Continue reading


The choice facing the Tories

3 December 2009 9:05

If you’d like a step-by-step preview of Labour’s next election campaign, then do read Alastair Campbell’s latest blog post.  All of Brown’s attacks from PMQs are in there, and then… Continue reading


The New Class War

2 December 2009 23:45

James argues, quite correctly in my view, that it is now clear that Gordon Brown is preparing to run a campaign arguing that, as Brother Forsyth puts it, "a Cameron… Continue reading


What if the Lib Dems are right?

1 December 2009 1:38

James is right to say that the Lib Dems’ commitment to increase the tax-free personal allowance to £10,000 trumps any obvious campaigning soundbite the Tories can offer. Isn’t that a… Continue reading


A taxing issue for CCHQ

29 November 2009 17:14

That Zac Goldsmith has non-dom status is an embarrassment to the Tories. Given the anti-politics mood in the country, the whiff of hypocrisy is extremely dangerous to any political party… Continue reading


Labour’s latest dividing line

26 September 2009 17:36

Today’s papers give us an idea of what Labour’s new dividing line with the Tories is going to be. Labour will find money for eye-catching but not too costly initiatives such… Continue reading


Clarke tries to get a left hook through Brown’s defences

10 September 2009 18:08

Charles Clarke has sounded off so often during the Brown premiership that it is tempting not to pay too much attention when he does. But his latest broadside is interesting… Continue reading


Playing the war game

9 September 2009 15:18

Over at ConservativeHome, Tim Montgomerie has written about a ‘war game’ that Portland PR held yesterday. The idea was to explore the various challenges that would face the next government.… Continue reading


Will Polly Toynbee have to eat a rack of hats?

8 September 2009 14:31

In today’s Guardian, Polly Toynbee sets out a shopping list of policies by which Labour could "set national politics alight"; everything from personal carbon trading to bringing back media ownership… Continue reading


The Tories’ tax question

29 August 2009 13:22

So should the Tories announce tax rises ahead of the next election?  According to Andrew Grice in today’s Independent, they’re certainly thinking about it: "There is a growing recognition among… Continue reading


Brown faces another backbench revolt  

28 August 2009 9:05

Despite protesting to the contrary, it turns out the government have been cutting all along. The Times reports that, buried in the small print of the budget, there is a… Continue reading


Why I remain unconvinced about the Tories’ tax break for married couples

15 July 2009 12:46

Ok, Fraser – I’m not going to let this tax ‘n’ marriage debate rumble on interminably, but I do want the final word!  First, I appreciate your response – it… Continue reading


Why marriage should be recognised in the tax system

15 July 2009 10:57

Cameron has been fairly bold in entering the debate on marriage, because we don’t like do that debate in Britain. Not really – it’s private, and we Brits don’t like… Continue reading


Love and marriage?

15 July 2009 9:06

Ok, I must admit I’m quite wary of Tory plans to encourage marriage via a £20-a-week tax break for married couples.  Not because I don’t think marriage is a positive… Continue reading


Darling speaks his mind

11 July 2009 13:37

You’ve got to hand it to Alistair Darling: he really does seem to be making the most of his post-reshuffle security.  His interview with the Telegraph’s Ben Brogan today is… Continue reading


A rebellion stirs

7 July 2009 9:02

So, what does today hold in store for Gordon Brown?  Howabout another 10p tax rebellion marshalled, as always, by Frank Field?  A bunch of around 30 Labour rebels have prepared… Continue reading


Brown’s U-turns analysed

3 July 2009 18:28

Steve Richards’ column in today’s Independent – analysing Brown’s u-turns on the Post Office, 42 days and the abolition of 10p tax rate – is superb. As Steve notes, all… Continue reading


45p is Not the Problem; 40p is the Problem

23 March 2009 17:47

I think James and Danny Finkelstein are correct. Political considerations trump the need to satisfy the Conservative party’s right-wing. And that means that, regrettably, George Osbourne is probably right not… Continue reading