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James Forsyth

Politicsrss

Shadow International Development Secretary Jim Murphy Photo: Getty

Scotland needs Jim Murphy (even if he doesn’t want to go back there)

1 November 2014

There should, by rights, have been a stampede of candidates to replace Johann Lamont as the leader of the Scottish Labour party. With the new powers promised to Holyrood, the… Read more

Party-Logos

Ukip's logo is quite successful – in communicating a spirit of gung-ho crapness

11 October 2014

Now that the conference season is over, we can compare not just the party policies, but their logos too. Last week’s Tory conference taught us the patriotic adaptation of their… Read more

Bill Kristol

America's sofa samurai are at it again

11 October 2014

The time-honoured saying that England’s great battles have been won on the playing fields of Eton is a lot of hooey. Blücher was the real winner against Napoleon at Waterloo,… Read more

Comforting domesticity: Alan Johnson with his stepdaughter Natalie and daughter Emma

Boy, can Alan Johnson write

27 September 2014
Please, Mister Postman: A Memoir Alan Johnson

Bantam Press, pp.327, £16.99, ISBN: 9780593073414

Alan Johnson’s first volume of memoirs, This Boy, is still in the bestsellers’ list, but the Stakhanovite postman has made a second delivery, timed impeccably for the party conference season.… Read more

US-POLITICS-OBAMA-CORRESPONDENTS

Is America headed for tyranny? It is when the other side's in charge...

23 August 2014
The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America F.H. Buckley

Encounter Books, pp.424, £18.99, ISBN: 9781594037191

For the last 50 years Americans have been decrying the increase of presidential power whenever the party they oppose is in office.  Republicans hated to see Kennedy and Clinton throwing… Read more

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Photo: Getty)

26 July 2014

Give the women a chance Sir: Melissa Kite’s article about the reshuffle seems downright unfair (‘A misogynistic reshuffle’, 19 July). Whatever David Cameron’s motives may be, the women he has promoted… Read more

Nixon

Richard Nixon – comeback kid

26 July 2014
The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority Patrick J. Buchanan

The Crown Publishing Group, pp.392, £22.50, ISBN: 9780553418637

Winston Churchill once said of politics that it’s ‘almost as exciting as war and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics — many… Read more

Malcolm Rifkind (left) Photo: AFP/Getty

The truth about being a politician’s child

31 May 2014

It was a Friday morning in 1992, Britain had just had an election, and I was on an ice rink. No special reason. You’re in Edinburgh, you’re a posh teenager,… Read more

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Is full employment just another of George Osborne’s political stunts?

5 April 2014

‘Full employment’ usually means the lowest achievable rate of unemployment — somewhere south of 5 per cent compared with 7.2 per cent today, or to put it in numbers, fewer than… Read more

Roy-Jenkins

Was Roy Jenkins the greatest prime minister we never had?

29 March 2014
Roy Jenkins John Campbell

Cape, pp.818, £30, ISBN: 9780224087506

In any list of the-best-prime-ministers-we never-had, the name of Roy Jenkins is likely to be prominent. He was intelligent, moderate, courteous, thoughtful: he was exactly the sort of man whom… Read more

CENTRAFRICA-UNREST

Witnesses in the heart of darkness

29 March 2014
Congo: The Epic History of a People David Van Reybrouck

Fourth Estate, pp.639, £25, ISBN: 9780007562909

When presented with a 639-page doorstopper which includes 82 pages of closely-written sources, notes and index, most of us feel a bit like a patient about to swallow a strong… Read more

A dreadful warning: a fisherman paddles through a tide of toxic waste on the Yamuna river, against a backdrop of smog and high-rise construction

Lawlessness, corruption, poverty and pollution: the city where we're all headed

15 March 2014
Capital: A Portrait of 21st-century Delhi Rana Dasgupta

Canongate, pp.457, £25, ISBN: 9780859860026

Rana Dasgupta, who was born and brought up in Britain, moved to Delhi at the end of 2000, principally to pursue a love affair and to write his first novel.… Read more

Most people are conservative with a small ‘c’ when it comes to the subject of death (Photo: Getty)

Death brings out everyone’s inner Mary Whitehouse

15 March 2014

Shortly after Bob Crow’s death was announced on Tuesday, Nigel Farage sent the following tweet: ‘Sad at the death of Bob Crow. I liked him and he also realised working-class… Read more

Boris Johnson Supports Shelter'S Overcrowding Children Campaign - London

Why Boris is wrong to say that the children of jihadis should be taken into care

8 March 2014

Do your children have a bleak and nihilistic view of the world? It’s hard to tell, really, when they spend 30 per cent of the day blamming away at those… Read more

Church_heath_1mar

I’m scared to admit to being a Tory in today’s C of E

1 March 2014

I am training for ordained ministry at a Church of England theological college. I am a trainee vicar, if you will. I am also a Conservative, which puts me in… Read more

A supporter of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi holds his portrait during a demonstration in Cairo, November 2013

From Nasser to Mubarak — Egypt's modern pharaohs and their phoney myths

25 January 2014
Soldiers, Spies and Statesmen: Egypt’s Road to Revolt Hazem Kandil

Verso, pp.263, £12.99, ISBN: 978178168142

Reporting Egypt’s revolution three years ago, I had a sense of history not so much repeating itself as discharging sparks which seemed eerily familiar. Smoke was billowing into my hotel… Read more

Lord Mountbatten discloses Britain's partition plan for India Photo: Getty

Hope for one of the most turbulent, traumatised regions in the world

25 January 2014
Midnight’s Descendants John Keay

William Collins, pp.347, £25, ISBN: 978007326576

John Keay’s excellent new book on the modern history of South Asia plunges the reader head first into some wildly swirling currents. Here are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, not to mention… Read more

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sits with her new Cabinet Photo: Getty

The 'semi-detached' member of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet

18 January 2014
Semi-Detached John Biffen

Biteback, pp.468, £30, ISBN: 9781849542395

John Biffen was mentally ill. This is the outstanding revelation of Semi-Detached, a memoir which has been assembled from his diaries and from the autobiographical writings which he completed before… Read more

President Theodore Roosevelt Photo: Getty

Why is Doris Kearns Goodwin raking up old muck?

14 December 2013
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism Doris Kearns Goodwin

Penguin, pp.928, £20, ISBN: 9780670921003

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Era are well-worn subjects for both professional and amateur historians, so it’s pertinent to ask why Doris Kearns Goodwin devoted so many words —and her… Read more

Test launch of Minuteman II ICBM at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California,  18 August 1965

When we dropped the Bomb by mistake

14 December 2013
Command and Control Eric Schlosser

Allen Lane, pp.532, £25, ISBN: 9781846141485

In January 1976 New York’s late-lamented National Lampoon produced a bicentennial calendar as a contribution to the general rejoicing. For every day of that year a selection of disastrous news… Read more

16 November 2013

Rod rage Sir: Like most cyclists, who also own a car and pay road tax, I enjoy a pedal along the lanes where I act with consideration for other road… Read more

(Photo: Getty)

Hugo Rifkind: Yes, I'm apathetic about politics. But isn't Russell Brand?

9 November 2013

Since I was a child, pretty much everybody I have ever met has asked me if I want to be a politician. The answer has always been no. Once, at… Read more

Xi Jinping (Photo: Getty)

Does Xi Jinping really want reform? If so, he would unravel China

9 November 2013

It is now 35 years since Deng Xiaoping gained mastery of China and launched a process that changed the world. The diminutive, chain-smoking ‘paramount leader’ adopted market economics to make… Read more

(Image: Getty)

Guido Fawkes to Damian McBride: Who's spinning now?

5 October 2013
Power Trip Damian McBride

Biteback, pp.320, £20, ISBN: 9781849545969

When Gordon Brown eventually became aware that his Downing Street was about to be engulfed in the Smeargate scandal, he called Damian McBride to try to get to the bottom… Read more

In it together? Matthew d'Ancona's book on the coalition is a huge letdown, says Peter Oborne

5 October 2013
In It Together Matthew d’Ancona

Penguin, pp.432, £25, ISBN: 9780670919932

There are two ways of being a political journalist. One is to stay on the outside and try to avoid being compromised by too much contact with politicians. This approach… Read more