Category: “Politics

Practical lessons for Labour from Obama’s re-election – guest blog

Posted on 15 November 2012 | 6:11am

This blog comes courtesy of a friend of mine, Greg Nugent, who until recently was part of the London 2012 team under Seb Coe which helped deliver the best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever. It must be hard to know what to do next after an extraordinary experience like that, but Greg decided to get […]

As Entwistle falls on his sword, I wonder what Chris Patten’s next big Establishment job will be

Posted on 11 November 2012 | 9:11am

Chris Patten, the son of a jazzman, and a Catholic, is not a traditional Establishment figure. But one of the powers of our Establishment is its ability to allow in certain outsiders, provided they then follow the rules of the game. Baron Patten of Barnes, CH PC, former Tory MP and Cabinet minister, former Governor […]

Obama learns from Abraham Lincoln, as they all do. But there are lessons from Lyndon Johnson too

Posted on 7 November 2012 | 9:11am

By an accident of timing, I was reading the latest of Robert Caro’s vast books on Lyndon Johnson on a flight yesterday, and reached the point where President Kennedy was assassinated, and Johnson had to step up. It is one of those books that makes you want a flight to go on and on, because […]

Guardian editorial on Leveson gives far too much credence to Dacre-Murdoch vested interests protection plan

Posted on 2 November 2012 | 9:11am

I would not normally concern myself too much with the sleeping patterns of the editor of The Guardian, but judging by his editorial on the upcoming Leveson Report, I sense a lot of tossing and turning has been going on. Apologies for not providing a link, but I am having a technologically challenged morning, so […]

Hezza shows the new boys what a growth plan looks like

Posted on 31 October 2012 | 8:10am

As I predicted on Sunday, Michael Heseltine’s response to the silly briefing against him by Osborne and Co has been to crank up rather than wind down his interventionist ideas to get growth going. Still able to command attention when he wants, his report ranges far and wide, covering transport, energy, planning, regional development, skills, […]

Good to see Ed Miliband focusing on economic as well as social gains of changed attitudes to mental health

Posted on 29 October 2012 | 11:10am

Ed Miliband’s speech on mental health today is a significant – and good – moment in the campaign to improve understanding and treatment of mental illness in Britain. It is perhaps particulalry significant that this is his first major policy speech since he launched the theme of One Nation Labour at the party conference a […]

Heseltine comes up with sensible interventionist ideas to boost growth – so Osborne briefs against him

Posted on 28 October 2012 | 8:10am

Michael Heseltine will be sitting with a cup of coffee at his country pile, thinking about when to take a tour of his fabulous gardens, whilst flicking through the Sunday papers, a ritual through the many decades of his business and political career. It is likely to please him that he is in them, still […]

Clegg has quietly resigned from the lightning conductor role – which is to his advantage, but another problem for Cameron

Posted on 21 October 2012 | 9:10am

The reason we ended up with a coalition government is that the public did not want Labour back for a fourth term but they did not want the old Tory Party back either. So they chucked in the Lib Dems and said ‘you lot sort it out.’ Analysed coldly, David Cameron should have won the […]

Tommy Sheridan did the Better Together camp a favour – by exposing faultline in Salmond’s Rainbow Coalition

Posted on 19 October 2012 | 11:10am

I wonder if Tommy Sheridan ever gets fed up of being called a ‘firebrand Scottish politician’? Probably not, any more than the far more loathsome George Galloway tires of presenting himself as the victim of conspiracy theories, the latest of which is so tiresome I could not get beyond the first eight sentences of The […]

Still I can’t get Chris Mullin on Twitter, but I will, even as @vegetablegrower

Posted on 18 October 2012 | 10:10am

For the third time, I failed to persuade Chris Mullin, who would be brilliant if he embraced it, to join Twitter last night. As fellow diarists of the New Labour era, we seem to have become a fairly regular double act and this time he was interviewing me at Chatham House about the influence of […]