Why New Labour will merge with the Lib Dems
The idea that the split between Labourism and Liberalism was some sort of tragedy that has led to a ‘needless century-long division of the progressive centre-left’ still gets the occasional outing from the odd Blairite columnist. Only this weekend, Martin Kettle was riffing on the theme in the pages of the Guardian. The piece was presumably timed to coincide with the Liberal Democrat conference taking place in
Who is Really to Blame for Northern Rock?
Robert Peston's reporting for the BBC of the whole Northern Rock saga has had a "blame Mervyn" undertone to it. Today he basically peddles one of the two Treasury favoured spin lines;
Cherie could be the last straw for Brown
It's just been announced that Cherie Blair is cashing in - and fast - with a rushed autobiography due out next spring. All around me colleagues are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect. "All that scouse venom about Gordon and everyone else - hurrah!" one says.
The Andrew Mayer Tasering incident
I think the use of the Taser was excessive and grossly insensitive given the circumstances. On the latter point; the University police, if they had an interest in public order, should at the very least have considered how the act would have been interpreted, both immediately and in the following days. It was also OTT of them to initially detain Meyer for 'inciting a riot'. However, it needs to be pointed out that Andrew Meyer was 'drive stunned'. This does not amount to a full deployment of a Taser as most people understand it.
Party Conferences are a farce
The Labour leadership are submitting a proposal to further emasculate the Party Conference because there is a danger that people may disagree with their policies, and that would show disunity in the full glare of publicity. Heaven forbid, we wouldn't want to be seen to do that, would we? Far better to tamely accept the policies handed down to us by our Leaders with ne'er a word of dissent. Policies will instead be rubber stamped behind closed doors at so-called 'Policy Forums'.
Trust in politics is endangered by Brown's broken referendum promise, says Hague
William Hague will address the Centre for Policy Studies at lunchtime today. He will warn that Gordon Brown's failure to grant a referendum on the EU treaty is a breach of trust that is dangerous for faith in the whole political system:
Does 1992 still haunt Labour and Brown?
Even the exit polls taken on the day itself seemed to indicate that the Tory days were over. The TV results specials appeared to have been set up on the assumption that a Labour victory looked likely. But by the time all the votes had been counted John Major was returned with an overall majority after the Tories secured a margin of nearly 8% of the overall national vote.
David Cameron and the latest opinion poll
I am not a fan of David Cameron, as every reader of this blog would know, but even so, I feel a measure of sympathy for the man who has been revealed by the latest ICM poll to be the least popular party leader. For you see, David Cameron set much store by his image. He was the one who would, in that horrible expression, ‘decontaminate the Tory brand’. David Cameron was to be the saviour of the Conservative Party, the one who would make us seem like a decent party for whom normal people could vote without shame.
Gordon Brown's clunking fist stops conference resolutions.
Gordon Brown was accused yesterday of "control freakery". It seems that a large number of motions submitted to the Labour party conference have been ruled out of order. Of 120 contemporary resolutions submitted by constituency parties and unions, 96 were ruled out of order by the Conference Arrangements Committee. They include motions on
I received an email from easyJet today and I think it sums up the current situation of how air travel is taxed pretty well:
Will no 2007 general election be Ming’s resignation “peg”?
The resolute way Ming has been attacking Brown for not going to the polls immediately provides a powerful argument. He’s not going early - Ming will be able to say - it’s Brown’s fault for failing to go to the country when he should have done.
Liberal Democrat selections don’t normally generate a buzz of excitement, but yesterday afternoon’s hustings for the
Private schools and the price of privilege
I wrote the piece below for the Guardian's CiF. It has enraged many readers which makes me think that it must have hit a very raw nerve!
Election Fever Straws In The Wind
I still think the odds are against, but there's no doubt that the volume is being pumped on an early election following the healthy lead for Gordon Brown in the latest Guardian opinion poll. Journalists close to the Brown spin machine are this morning reporting secret cabinet consultations yesterday with a decision in the next few days. Certainly the politicians are taking their positions for the election gavotte.