Category: “Politics

Superb guest blog from a REAL Apprentice

Posted on 7 June 2013 | 3:06pm

I am delighted to post a blog by a young man from Burnley, Matt Seel, who is doing an apprenticeship with the town’s council. He and his fellow apprentices are also taking part in the national competition, the Brathay Apprenticeship Challenge. One of the many elements is to get celebrity endorsement, and to my eternal shame […]

The Right’s politicisation of Margaret Thatcher’s death, part two

Posted on 11 April 2013 | 1:04pm

As I said yesterday, I spent Monday driving down from Scotland, listening to hour upon hour of coverage about Mrs Thatcher’s death. When the news was announced that David Cameron was cutting short his meetings with European leaders to return to London, I thought ‘why?’ The answer is perhaps becoming clearer. What would he, as […]

MPs must surely (if respectfully) DEBATE the Thatcher legacy today, not merely pay tribute

Posted on 10 April 2013 | 7:04am

If there is one thing Margaret Thatcher liked it was a good argument; and if there was one place where she felt those arguments should be held, it was in the House of Commons. So whilst it is right and proper that MPs pay genuine respect to her strengths and achievements in Parliament today, and […]

Lessons for Labour in fascinating Axelrod account of Obama election win

Posted on 15 March 2013 | 11:03am

I suppose political strategists are likely to be more interested in interviews with political strategists than most people, but anyone with an interest in politics, campaigns and the next election should read the interview below. It is with political strategist David Axelrod, a key member of the team for both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns; conducted […]

Why manifestos matter, even if nobody reads them (and should we call them something different?)

Posted on 13 February 2013 | 12:02pm

Below is a piece published by Portland and Labour List yesterday. Among the responses I saw was one suggesting that the problem with manifestos is the word manifesto. It does seem remarkable that so few people are interested enough to read the programmes for government being put forward by parties who could form the government. […]

If only Cameron was as bright and principled as Norman Fowler … Leveson burial chapter 324

Posted on 9 February 2013 | 1:02pm

You know how hard I find it to be overly nice about Tories, but I must salute the indefatigable Norman Fowler for his attempt to make sure the government does not wriggle out of doing the right thing on press regulation. While David Cameron has acted only when he has had no choice, and at […]

Cameron’s speech timetabling shambles underlines his DNA problem – all tactics no strategy

Posted on 15 January 2013 | 5:01pm

Here is a piece I have done for The Guardian today. I sometimes wish we had patented “The Grid”, the scheduling tool New Labour developed in opposition and subsequently used in government to seek to bring order and strategy to a mass of often seemingly unrelated activities. These days, most major organisations and businesses have […]

What did the Romans ever do for us (EU section)?

Posted on 12 January 2013 | 10:01am

As David Cameron seemingly spends another weekend deciding whether, where and when to make his much vaunted speech on Europe … as the rest of us ponder the remarkable failure of leadership that has got him into a mess of his own making … as Ed Miliband rightly signals no truck with the idea of […]

Lincoln film, not to mention TB’s first 2.5 years compared with Cameron’s, reminds what a pygmological government we have

Posted on 10 January 2013 | 8:01am

I was lucky enough to go last night to a preview of Lincoln, the new film about America’s greatest President. Immediate thoughts – Daniel Day Lewis nailed on for an Oscar, great decision by Spielberg to focus on a relatively short period of his political life, climaxing with the vote to abolish slavery, pleased it […]

Slowly re-emerging from novel-writing hibernation to see a government that is there for the taking

Posted on 9 January 2013 | 9:01am

It’s flattering I suppose when people notice … that I have not been blogging much. It is becoming a new year tradition, like stomach upsets, broken resolutions, sacked football managers and tiny FA Cup crowds. A year ago it was because I was going through a bad bout of depression. This year it was because […]