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James Forsyth

Can this marriage of convenience work?

‘It is not the prize. It is a means to the prize.’ This is how one long-time political ally of David Cameron described the Tory leader’s entrance into Downing Street at the head of a coalition government. The deal with the Liberal Democrats which has put Cameron in Downing Street is, as this Cameron ally

Beyond Brown and Blair

Labour has to reinvent itself to fight the next general election, says Phil Collins. The leadership contenders must look to the party’s radical roots So, they were looking in the wrong place all along. For years now the Labour party has been seeking a steely assassin to deal with its unelectable leader. Finally, where James

A man of many parts

‘Heroin?’ I say to Simon Russell Beale. ‘Sorry?’ he says. ‘To relax after a show. To come down off the high. You take heroin?’ ‘Oh yes, yes,’ he says. ‘Yes… if only. Well, as you can probably tell from my shape I like my beer. I can’t imagine a performance without a pint or two

Requiem for a heavyweight

It’s a dirty business. When you’re on top, everyone wants something from you; when you’re not, well, as Billie Holiday says, ‘God bless the child that’s got his own.’ It is a business of sharp elbows, few loyalties, and one in which winning is all that matters. That’s how Rod Serling describes the boxing racket

The real political fight was Boulton v Campbell

Why can’t Alastair Campbell understand that proper journalists aren’t partisan and malevolent, asks Rod Liddle. Most of them just genuinely want to uncover the truth Who were you rooting for in the real political battle of the week, Adam Boulton of Sky News versus Alastair Campbell? It didn’t quite come to a ruck, which is

Is it all over for Sarko?

The French president’s chances of re-election look bleak. But the problem is not his politics, says Patrick Marnham, so much as his embarrassing personal life Gordon Brown is not the only European leader who is regarded as an electoral liability by his own party. With two years to go before France’s next presidential election Nicolas

Raise a glass to Alan Watkins

Ferdinand Mount mourns the passing of his friend and colleague — and a former Spectator columnist — whose wit, humour and clarity of expression remain unrivalled As Alan Watkins lay dying last Saturday, his younger grandson Harry recited to him the passage from Macbeth he had just learnt at school. It was an apt send-off