Tag Archives: Politics

The demise of Boris Johnson – the Quintin Hogg of our times – shows that the age of Balliol superiority is now over

The spectacular collapse of Boris Johnson’s Prime Ministerial hopes earlier today have a striking historical parallel. Boris is not – and never has been – the Donald Trump or Winston Churchill of contemporary British politics, or even the Falstaff or … Continue reading

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How working the night shift alongside European migrants made me more determined to vote to stay in the EU, not less

For two months in the run-up to Christmas 2015 I worked the night shift at a Royal Mail sorting office in Peterborough. Media commentators are often quick to appoint themselves as experts on the labour market, but most have never … Continue reading

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A month on, Sadiq Khan’s victory in London no longer looks mould-breaking. In fact it’s a welcome return to politics as usual

A month on, how mould-breaking does Sadiq Khan’s election as mayor of London feel? Yes, it was a historic moment: the first time that a Muslim was elected as mayor of a western capital city. The message it sends to … Continue reading

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Inside the planning committee: it’s not enough to say it’s all fair and impartial. You have to show it is, too

What goes on at Town hall planning committees these days? In theory it works like this. A committee of about a dozen councillors, politically balanced to match the composition of the council as a whole, assesses planning applications based on … Continue reading

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Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader may be frightening indeed. But Corbyn as Party Martyr would be even worse

I like Jeremy Corbyn. I met him once on a dark railway platform in Blackpool, catching a train back to London towards the end of a Labour conference in the early noughties, and we got talking. Although I was a … Continue reading

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Jeremy Hutchinson’s life tells us why civil liberties matter – and how Labour was largely to blame for their erosion

Just occasionally, you meet someone with a life story so extraordinary that you pinch yourself as you hear it. Jeremy Hutchinson – one of Britain’s leading criminal barristers throughout the 1960s and 1970s, former chairman of the Tate Gallery, former … Continue reading

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Greenwich Peninsula: how a council own-goal took the heat off greedy developers, and the Tories who let them get away with it

Hats off to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for its new exposé of what’s been going on at the Greenwich Peninsula: a billionaire developer reducing levels of affordable housing from 35% to just 21%, and the local council’s attempts to … Continue reading

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Another reason why Labour’s 35% strategy was so wrong: the mysterious disappearance of the three-way marginal

A lot’s been said in the two weeks since the election about the folly of Labour’s 35% strategy – the theory that cobbling together its core vote plus a few ex-Lib Dems to reach a 35% vote share would be … Continue reading

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A storm in a teacup: the Guardian misses the point about Charles’ black spider memos

Dear Minister, Thank you so much for joining me at the inaugural symposium of my Global Bear Preservation Initiative at Clarence House recently. I know that I will be lampooned by so-called “modernisers” as a inexcusable old stick-in-the mud, but … Continue reading

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Complacent, patronising and stuck in the past: Labour’s 2015 campaign was doomed from the start

A few days before the election I committed what some may consider to be an act of treachery. Without telling anyone I logged on to a gambling website and put £5 on the Tories winning an outright majority. I did … Continue reading

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