Category: “Economy

Flood damage is a cruel metaphor for Tory failure to see that cuts have consequences. It is defining Britain

Posted on 30 December 2015 | 2:12pm

Here is a piece I have done this morning for International Business Times. I sometimes think David Cameron lives his life as his own Action Man doll, dressing himself up according to the various demeanours he wishes to display. For Parliament it is the classic dark blue suit, white shirt and (always, as if he […]

Five thousand words or so on how today’s challenges for leaders are tougher than 1997, and lots of other stuff. Happy Christmas

Posted on 20 December 2015 | 1:12pm

I’ve not done a big blog for a while, so as I penned this speech for a conference in France today, and I saw it was getting close to the 5,000 word mark, I thought ‘why not? Get it up there.’ The conference is in Montpellier in southern France and they asked me to reflect […]

Fantastic backing for #Equality4MentalHealth campaign. Please add your support here to help end historic injustice

Posted on 2 November 2015 | 7:11am

Around the time of Charles Kennedy’s death I spent a lot of time talking to his Lib Dem colleague, Norman Lamb. I didn’t know him very well but had always felt, when he was a health minister, that he and Nick Clegg got mental health on the coalition agenda in a way that would not […]

Charles Kennedy would have loved both the debate and the outcome of last night’s Europe vote

Posted on 26 September 2015 | 1:09pm

Charles Kennedy would have enjoyed last night’s debate on Europe at the Glasgow University Union where he honed his own great debating skills. The debate, set to become an annual event, was in his memory, and the result – overwhelming support for continuing membership of the EU – would no doubt have pleased him. The place […]

VW could become a far bigger crisis for Merkel than Pig-Gate or Coke-Gate are for Cameron

Posted on 23 September 2015 | 2:09pm

I am not really a car person but I drive a Volkswagen. It is a strong brand. It says reliable. It says German. Which emphasises reliable. And, translated, it means People’s Car, which is kind of nice. That brand has taken many years to build, the reputation decades to cement. Now all of that is […]

Why I think Miliband will become PM, why he deserves to, and why that is best for Britain

Posted on 7 May 2015 | 9:05am

Elections are among the days politicians and activists both love the most and hate the most. Love because the whole country at least has a sense that this is the most important thing happening anywhere today, and because right up to 10pm you can win another argument and win over another waverer and get them […]

Cameron-Crosby panic stations as their ‘strategy’ fails to click. Old campaign for new times

Posted on 9 April 2015 | 9:04am

When Michael Howard led the Conservatives – happy days – his campaign strategist was a man named Lynton Crosby. You may have heard of him. He is the highly paid Australian consultant who has told all at Tory HQ, and has been telling them for months, that if they just keep banging on about how great the […]

Time for Labour to regain initiative on the politics of the economy amid Osborne’s failures and flailings

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 12:12pm

Alan Johnson is my next interviewee for GQ, out later this week. Yesterday the magazine’s spin doctors (they’re everywhere you know) put out a few selected quotes and some of the papers have focused on Alan saying Ed Miliband had asked him if he fancied a return to the front bench. Answer, no, though he […]

Whatever the final result, the whole of UK politics has to wake up to some powerful lessons of Scotland

Posted on 18 September 2014 | 9:09pm

Whether it is YES or NO, one thing is certain – UK politics has changed forever as a result of this referendum. I will rephrase that – if UK politics does not change, does not wake up to some of the lessons of recent weeks and months, it means it has a death wish. The first […]

Cameron’s religious ramblings: if this is leadership God help us

Posted on 18 April 2014 | 7:04am

Not that long ago David Cameron was comparing his religious faith to a fuzzy radio signal in the Chiltern Hills. Now it is The Big Thing. It seems to be the driver of his life and his politics and he is suggesting Christianity should be a bigger driver of the country’s life and politics too. […]