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UK politics

Why ‘respect’ is the last thing we should want from politicians

29 November 2014

‘Respect!’ cried my husband, drop-kicking a cushion with a picture of the Queen Mother holding a pint of beer on it (a present from Veronica) across the drawing-room. I might… Read more

Keynote Speech By New Leader Of The SNP Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland's political earthquake – and what it will do to Westminster

22 November 2014

‘She sold out the Hydro arena faster than Kylie Minogue,’ said one awestruck unionist of Nicola Sturgeon this week. Scotland’s new first minister has come into office on a tide… Read more

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What Angela Merkel really wants (it's not good news for Dave)

8 November 2014

Angela Merkel is misunderstood. Last winter, when Russia moved to annex Crimea after the overthrow of Ukraine’s government, American officials put it about that the German Chancellor had described Russia’s… Read more

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Deal with the debt, George Osborne? You’ve hardly started

25 October 2014

George Osborne has declared victory over Ed Balls, the IMF and all the others who warned that his austerity measures would throw Britain back into recession. But his triumphalism obscures… Read more

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It’s not just Ukip that’s changing Cameron’s mind about immigration

25 October 2014

It is easy to mock David Cameron on immigration. Under pressure from the public and from Ukip, he’s having to hot-foot it to a tougher position on the free movement… Read more

Prime Minister David Cameron Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Conservative Party Conference

How Cameron could make the EU a winning issue (and why he won’t)

25 October 2014

Imagine if David Cameron actually meant it. Imagine if he really did follow through with his implied threat to campaign for Brexit in the absence of better terms from Brussels.… Read more

?Explore the Home Counties?, LNER poster, 1936.

Escape from Omnishambleshire: the case for the old county boundaries

25 October 2014

Just over 35 years ago, in August 1979, Christopher Booker wrote a cri de coeur in The Spectator calling for the return of England’s ancient counties and the repeal of… Read more

Russell Brand addresses an anti-austerity rally in Parliament Square Photo: Getty

Russell Brand and Nigel Farage remind me of myself five years ago

25 October 2014

I’m often asked by other free school proposers what lessons I’ve learnt over the past five years. Any pearls of wisdom I can pass on so they don’t make the… Read more

UK Independence Party Wins Its First Seat In Parliament

Ukip is in the middle of the most cynical political repositioning ever

18 October 2014

I think I’ve cracked it. If you want to springboard your minor political party into the mainstream and take British politics by storm, then all you need to do is… Read more

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Brighton has become an object lesson in why it is a disaster to vote Green

18 October 2014

I have just moved back to Brighton, and I am happy to report that it remains as shambolic as ever. The estate agent said before opening the door to a… Read more

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Who are Ukip’s new voters? The kind of people who decide elections

11 October 2014

An opinion poll to be published next week will reveal that Labour leader Ed Miliband is slightly less popular with the public than the vibrant Islamic State commander ‘Jihadi John’… Read more

Money Lending Firm Wonga Report Profits Of Over £1m Per Week

Yes, Wonga lent at shocking rates – but it was customers who lied

11 October 2014

‘Payday Lady is not trading at this time,’ says her website, sounding a little like La Dame aux camélias. Indeed (since I could not find her anywhere) the message may indicate… Read more

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Why my friends love the idea of a nasty, stupid mansion tax

4 October 2014

I see all the flaws with a mansion tax, I really do. And yet some little piece of me, some tribal chip within my soul, rejoices at the thought of… Read more

BRITAIN-POLITICS-CONSERVATIVES

Why the real winner from George Osborne’s ‘Google tax’ could be Nigel Farage

4 October 2014

George Osborne’s promise to crack down on multinational companies’ avoidance of UK taxes by the use of impenetrable devices such as the ‘Double Irish’ and the ‘Dutch Sandwich’ certainly has… Read more

BRITAIN-POLITICS-CONSERVATIVES

What Nigel Farage really wants

4 October 2014

I initially thought Nigel Farage had made a mistake in unveiling Mark Reckless on the final day of his party conference. Wouldn’t it have been more disruptive to announce the… Read more

6 September 2014

Advice for Cameron Sir: David Cameron once saved my life from a school of Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish, so now’s the time for me to save his political life… Read more

Second Television Debate Between Alex Salmond And Alistair Darling

The surprise winners from the referendum? Scotland. Politics. Big ideas are back at last

6 September 2014

Let us take a trip to America in 1976. The unelected incumbent president, Gerald Ford, is being challenged for the Republican party’s nomination by Ronald Reagan — and does not… Read more

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It costs £34,000 to become an MP. No wonder they expect higher pay

16 August 2014

Mark Simmonds has been in politics long enough to know not to expect much sympathy from his constituents. He resigned as a Foreign Office minister this week because his £89,435… Read more

Former British Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds Photo: AP/Getty

Mark Simmonds was just saying what a lot of MPs think

16 August 2014

I feel some sympathy for Mark Simmonds, the Conservative MP who’s resigned as a minister and is stepping down at the end of this Parliament because he can’t support his… Read more

The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Sorry, but trains can’t really replace welfare lines

9 August 2014

George Osborne proposed an attractive idea this week: that spending on state benefits should be diverted into new infrastructure in the North. His conceit was that while welfare spending produces… Read more

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Boris is back – and he has George Osborne in his sights

9 August 2014

So Boris has made his great leap. The blond king over the water has revealed his plans to cross the river, return to Parliament and assume what he believes is… Read more

Metropolitan Police Passing Out Parade

Seat-shopping with Boris Johnson

9 August 2014

Boris Johnson is to stand as an MP in 2015 — but where? In the next few weeks, his secret parliamentary campaign team (and there is one) expects him to… Read more

Downing Street Prepares For Cabinet Reshuffle

Parliament's next crisis: a dangerous shortage of middle-aged men

26 July 2014

The House of Commons is off for the summer. But few MPs and ministers expect to make it through to September without the House being recalled because of the grim… Read more

Job swap: Oliver Letwin and Lady Stowell

The Trojan Horse affair proves Michael Gove right – and MI5 wrong

26 July 2014

Peter Clarke’s powerful report on the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham schools is confirmation of the weakness of David Cameron in demoting Michael Gove. When Mr Gove appointed Mr Clarke… Read more

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My secret lust for right-wing women

19 July 2014

Not long ago I was out drinking with a group of friends and we started playing the If-You-Had-To game. The idea is to present players with two people they would… Read more