James Forsyth

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Politics: Euroscepticism isn’t just for Tories any more

13 August 2011

When Ed Balls lists the greatest accomplishments of his career, he does so with a wonderful lack of modesty. He may have been a mere Treasury adviser when Labour came… Read more

Politics: An economy killed with kindness

6 August 2011

About ten thousand years ago, man learned to control fire. That was one of the most important events in pre-history: a crucial part of the transition from a humanoid past… Read more

Politics: Ed Miliband has given himself a chance to be heard, but he won’t take it

30 July 2011

After the carnival barking of the phone-hacking saga, the long break beckons for Parliament. For the party leaders, though, there will be little rest. Against the advice of their entourages,… Read more

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Politics: The people Cameron should be shmoozing

23 July 2011

David Cameron has just passed through his first full-blown crisis as Prime Minister. He may have been a bit-part player in this Murdoch drama, but he has remarked to those… Read more

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Bookends: Scourge of New Labour

9 July 2011

Like all politicians, Bob Marshall-Andrews is fond of quoting himself, and Off Message (Profile Books, £16.99) includes a generous selection of his speeches and articles on such topics as Tony… Read more

Politics: ‘Best in Europe’ is no longer good enough

2 July 2011

If there’s one phrase that infuriates Tory radicals more than any other, it’s ‘We’re the best in Europe at …’. If there’s one phrase that infuriates Tory radicals more than… Read more

Politics: What Miliband has learnt from Thatcher

18 June 2011

Ed Miliband could be excused for indulging in some comfort television. Ed Miliband could be excused for indulging in some comfort television. He has returned from honeymoon to find himself… Read more

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Politics: Don’t let Europe’s crisis go to waste

11 June 2011

Europe has reached a crucial crossroads, from which there is no return. Europe has reached a crucial crossroads, from which there is no return. Soon, either the eurozone countries will… Read more

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Politics: If Greece falls, Britain will suffer

28 May 2011

When George Osborne delivered his first budget, Greece made the perfect backdrop. The television news channels had split screens: on the left side, the new Chancellor making the case for… Read more

How do we get to Denmark?

21 May 2011
The Origins of Political Order Francis Fukuyama

Profile Books, pp.558, 25

Francis Fukuyama is rare amongst scholars in being unafraid to ask large questions. He first achieved fame, if not notoriety, by his thesis that, with the collapse of communism, we… Read more

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Politics: Cameron in chains

21 May 2011

When Conservative leaders come to address the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, they are required to stand outside Committee Room 14 of the House of Commons until the rest of… Read more

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Politics: Lib Doom

14 May 2011

When politicians start complaining about the media, you know that they’re in trouble. When politicians start complaining about the media, you know that they’re in trouble. This weekend, a Liberal… Read more

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Politics: The rose garden romance is well and truly over

7 May 2011

A little under a year ago, David Cameron held a party at Downing Street to thank all of those who had helped the Tory general election campaign. A little under… Read more

Go out and govern New South Wales

23 April 2011
Running the Show: Governors of the British Empire Stephanie Williams

Viking, pp.493, 20

‘In the mists and damp of the Scottish Highlands, 61-year-old Sir Bartle Frere was writing a letter. ‘In the mists and damp of the Scottish Highlands, 61-year-old Sir Bartle Frere… Read more

Politics: This referendum will destroy a party leader. But which one?

23 April 2011

The next general election may seem a long way away. The next general election may seem a long way away. But for all three parties, the run-up to the local… Read more

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Politics: Just tiffs – or is the coalition headed for divorce?

16 April 2011

When one half of a couple threatens to walk out if he doesn’t get his way and the other responds by threatening to call in the lawyers, it’s obvious that… Read more

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Politics: Time for Cameron to do some pruning

9 April 2011

When spring arrives in England, the Prime Minister likes to roll up his sleeves and do a spot of gardening at his constituency home. When spring arrives in England, the… Read more

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Politics: The Lib Dems are sensing that it’s time to get hostile

2 April 2011

There are few things that irritate an MP in the chamber of the House of Commons more than the sight of all the journalists in the press gallery walking out… Read more

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Politics: Can Osborne make Britain right again?

26 March 2011

George Osborne is using his budgets not only to get the economy moving but to make Britain a centre-right country once more. George Osborne is using his budgets not only… Read more

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Politics: Is Cameron having a Jimmy Carter moment?

12 March 2011

The government is struggling to retain its reputation for competence. The government is struggling to retain its reputation for competence. Ministerial ineptitude has become a dangerously large part of the… Read more

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Politics: Cameron is good in a crisis – but bad at avoiding them

5 March 2011

David Cameron was two years old when Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi seized power in Libya. David Cameron was two years old when Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi seized power in Libya. Forty-one years… Read more

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Politics: Europe poisons the lot of the minister

26 February 2011

Have the Tories rediscovered the Right instincts? If power without responsibility has been the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages, then the lot of a government minister can seem… Read more

Politics: Cameron is betting it all on BS

19 February 2011

Those who hoped they had heard the last of ‘the big society’ should look away now. Those who hoped they had heard the last of ‘the big society’ should look… Read more

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Tibet should not despair

12 February 2011
Tragedy In Crimson Tim Johnson

Perseus, pp.320, 18.99

Surely no political process in the modern world is more shrouded in mystery than the way the Chinese select a new supreme leader — except perhaps the occult divination practised… Read more

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Politics: Does Cameron actually oppose AV? He should

12 February 2011

Referendums are a very un-British device. Referendums are a very un-British device. They are, as Clement Attlee said, ‘alien to all our traditions’ of parliamentary democracy. Yet in 12 weeks’… Read more