UK politics

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Inside the Milibunker: the last days of Ed

16 May 2015

Ed Miliband was writing his victory speech on election night when the nation’s broadcasters announced the exit poll. He remained convinced — as he had been all along — that… Read more

Jim Messina (Photo: Getty)

How did the polls get it so wrong? Jim Messina knows

16 May 2015

Not all the pollsters got it wrong. On the morning of the election, a set of strikingly accurate predictions was slapped on David Cameron’s desk. They had been compiled by… Read more

Ed Miliband Launches Labour Party Election Manifesto

The two Labour tribes preparing to go to war

16 May 2015

The Labour party is in a worse position today than after its defeat in 1992. Then, the electorate sent Labour a clear and simple message: move to the centre, don’t… Read more

SNP Launch Their Manifesto In Edinburgh

The year that Scotland learned to hate

9 May 2015

You get bad losers in politics and bad winners, too, but it’s surely a rare business to get a bad winner who didn’t actually win. Yet this, since they lost… Read more

Spitting Image started in 1984 and ran for over 14 years (Photo:Getty)

Satire is dying because satirists are too successful

9 May 2015

I appeared on Radio 4 a couple of weeks ago to discuss the age-old question of whether political satire is dead. I don’t think it is, but it has lost… Read more

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The DUP’s Nigel Dodds may soon be propping up the Tories. What does he want?

25 April 2015

Nigel Dodds, the Democratic Unionist Party leader at Westminster, is reflecting drolly on his party’s recent popularity: ‘I certainly think that the last year or two has been remarkable in… Read more

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Left-wing populism is on the rise - and may take Ed Miliband to No10

18 April 2015

A spectre is haunting Europe — and knocking on the door of Downing Street. It has installed a president in France and a mayor in New York. It is causing… Read more

Why do politicians go potty for ‘passion’?

18 April 2015

‘I long for spontaneous passion but I will never get it with my husband because I think he has Asperger syndrome,’ wrote a reader of the Sun to Deidre last… Read more

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Sam Waley-Cohen’s Grand National notebook

11 April 2015

‘How’s your shoulder?’ someone asked recently, and it was only then I realised, for the first time in a while, that my shoulder felt good again. In last year’s Grand… Read more

Can you see it?

How to make Ukip supporters love green policies

14 March 2015

Few people know this, but hidden within the FedEx logo, between the E and the x, there is a small white arrow, pointing to the right. I feel slightly guilty… Read more

Millaband

Hold your nose and bet on Team Ed

7 March 2015

Political betting is serious business these days. About £10 million’s worth of bets were placed on the 2010 election; this year the sum is expected to surpass £40 million. It can’t be… Read more

Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw Photo: Getty

The real problem with our MPs: they’re obsessed with the super-rich

28 February 2015

Had the public been asked, before Monday morning, to identify two MPs who stood for honesty and decency, the names Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind would have been prominent… Read more

Prime Minister David Cameron Visits Manchester

How Labour’s 50p tax trick has ended up helping George Osborne

28 February 2015

Last week’s public borrowing and tax-receipt figures, headlined ‘Chancellor hails biggest monthly surplus in seven years’, received considerably less attention than the employment and wage-growth numbers a week earlier, underlining… Read more

Sir James Goldsmith

Zac Goldsmith: How my dad saved Britain

28 February 2015

In recent weeks Ed Balls has been offering a new reason to vote Labour: it was his party, he says, that saved Britain from joining the euro. Now, the shadow… Read more

Sir Malcolm Rifkind resigns Photo: Getty

If you think Britain’s corrupt now, watch what happens if we ban second jobs for MPs

28 February 2015

Last year, I had an exchange with Hugo Rifkind on Twitter in which I bet him dinner at Clarke’s that his father would stand down before the next election. My… Read more

Liberal Democrats Canvas Before May's General Election

Why the Lib Dems aren’t scared of this election (and why they should be)

21 February 2015

One of the most remarkable features of this parliament has been the sangfroid of the Liberal Democrats. Nothing seems to shake them. The mood of the two main parties is… Read more

WRACS Celebrate

VE day anniversary: why politics will take second place the day after the election

21 February 2015

Breakfast is under way on 8 May 2015, and the party leaders have already started haggling. The possibility of a loveless Labour/SNP ‘anti-austerity’ pact has sent the markets tumbling. With… Read more

Dodginess from Tacitus to Ed Miliband

21 February 2015

‘I hate Jammie Dodgers,’ said my husband staring disdainfully at a biscuit kindly tucked into his coffee saucer at an after-church gathering. I’m glad only I heard. But the fact… Read more

David Cameron and Barack Obama at last years NATO summit Photo: Getty

In this election, won't someone please weaponise defence?

14 February 2015

Britain is forfeiting its position on the world stage. With no national debate, we are surrendering our claim to be a major player in international affairs and undermining the Atlantic… Read more

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Lord Green must answer for HSBC’s sins – but maybe it was always too big to manage

14 February 2015

Stephen Green — the former trade minister Lord Green of Hurstpier-point, who became this week’s political punchbag— was always a rather Olympian, out-of-the-ordinary figure at HSBC. This was a bank… Read more

Steve McFadden

EastEnders wanted to show Thatcher’s Britain. These days it would make Maggie proud

14 February 2015

Albert Square full of Thatcherites? You ’avin a larf? No, it’s true. EastEnders, conceived 30 years ago partly as a means of enraging the Conservative party, has blossomed into a… Read more

SNP Party leader Nicola Sturgeon Photo: Getty

How Labour lost Scotland (and could lose the Union)

7 February 2015

Just four months ago Scotland was the scene of great cross-party co-operation — unprecedented in peace-time politics. Gordon Brown was offering advice on David Cameron’s speeches, Douglas Alexander and the… Read more

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To reform the NHS, use the politics of envy

7 February 2015

‘Let’s make the rich pay more.’ Does that sound so right-wing? To me it has a positively socialist ring. It should appeal to egalitarians: to those who call themselves socially… Read more

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How Alex Brooker made political interviews interesting again

7 February 2015

The other night on Channel 4, I watched the best political interview I’ve seen all year. It was with Nick Clegg, and conducted by a guy called Alex Brooker. And… Read more

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Why cheap oil could mean a Labour victory

7 February 2015

BP’s profits are down, and the oil giant is slashing up to $6 billion out of its investment plan for the year. At Shell, the cut could amount to $15… Read more