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James Forsyth

Making Labour work

[audioplayer src=”http://rss.acast.com/viewfrom22/thelastdaysofmiliband/media.mp3″ title=”Dan Hodges and Andrew Harrop discuss the final days of Miliband” startat=34] Listen [/audioplayer]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 say you’ll put taxes up and select a more prime

How the polls got it so wrong

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 Jim Messina and Lynton Crosby, the strategists who had been running a campaign derided as dull and repetitive. But, as their research showed, it was

Miliband’s downfall

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 he was destined for No.10. In his defence, most people in Westminster thought the same. But within his ranks, a rebellion had already broken out.

Away from the herd

 Erbil, Iraq The Kurds here are fighting Isis — everyone knows that. Most of us are at least peripherally aware that the brave Peshmerga (Kurdish militia) have proved an effective force against the Islamists, and we cheer them on. What we don’t realise is that as they battle the world’s latest bogeyman, the Kurds are

Servants of the super-rich

‘Let me tell you about the very rich,’ said F. Scott Fitzgerald. ‘They are different from you and me.’ Indeed they are. They can afford to live in London. Just how different became clear when The Spear’s 500 — ‘the essential guide to the top private client advisers’ — landed at the office. (We assume Spear’s

Dead expensive

They say that death and taxes are the only two certainties in life. But there seems to be a third, linked to death and as painful as taxes. It’s the astronomical cost of organising a funeral. My partner’s father died recently, and for the honour of a bog-standard cremation in a far from fashionable part

Demob unhappy

After all the carousing and flag-waving that followed VE day in 1945, millions of young men fortunate enough not to be still fighting the Japanese faced a problem. Having spent five or six years in uniform, they needed jobs. For those who lacked explicit civilian skills, which meant most, it was hard to persuade employers

Notes on...


I am compiling a list of the best black puddings. It began in Spain when I encountered my first morcilla de Burgos, a rich, spiced black sausage bulked up with rice. I was smitten. No black pudding could compete with this, I thought. But then I moved to Cumbria and in the flat hinterland of