Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones is a historian and journalist

Can Boris Johnson’s Charles de Gaulle act pay off?

It is only a month since Boris Johnson gave up his dramatic attempt to regain the Premiership he reluctantly surrendered in July. Already he is making headlines once more.  In an interview with CNN a slimmed down and bubbly Boris caused a diplomatic rumpus by accusing France and Italy of going wobbly and claiming that

Just how low can our political class sink?

Observe, this dark weekend, a contrast. On Whitehall, the centre of British government, the Royal Family and leaders of our political class gather to pay solemn tribute at the Cenotaph to those who gave their lives for their country in the two world wars and other conflicts since. In a year that has witnessed the

Biden vs Trump is a contest in which we all lose

Overnight President Biden announced that he intends to run again for the White House in 2024 and beat Donald Trump in a rematch of their 2020 contest. This would be funny if it wasn’t a tragedy for both the US and the wider world. We thus have the prospect of a man who will be

The Biden elephant in the room

Let us face an unpleasant fact that many seem curiously reluctant to report or discuss. President Joe Biden appears to be suffering from severe and worsening cognitive decline which often makes his public appearances an embarrassing debacle.  As Americans cast their votes in the midterm elections which may well see Biden’s Democrats lose their slim

Why Sunak shouldn’t sack Suella Braverman

As Home Secretary Suella Braverman struggles to keep her job in the face of vicious attacks from the official opposition, her fate will be the first big political test for new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.  If Sunak bows to the almost hysterical shrieks for Braverman’s scalp she will be the fourth big beast brought down

The Tory wars haven’t gone away

Rishi Sunak told the Tories to ‘unite or die’ as he took office this week. Some of his party colleagues appear to be pursuing the latter option. It hasn’t taken long for Conservative MPs to resume the civil war that has brought the party to its current parlous and deeply divided state. First came an

Don’t bank on a better Boris

In the past century, only four British prime ministers have returned to 10 Downing Street after being ejected from office. As Boris Johnson attempts such a second coming only weeks after being ousted by his own MPs, the historical record suggests that if he returns from the political grave the resurrection won’t produce a miracle.

Is this the end of the Conservatives?

Nothing, not even the world’s oldest and most successful political party, lasts forever. So could the current crisis convulsing the Conservative party mean its extinction as a significant force in British life? Only three years ago simply posing this question would have seemed ridiculous. Back in December 2019, it was not the Tories who were

A brief history of Tory rebellion

One hundred years ago, on 19 October 1922, Conservative MPs gathered at the Carlton Club. There was only one subject on the agenda: whether the party should continue its coalition with Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s wing of the Liberal party, or fight the coming General Election on its own. Last night, by a savage

Rishi Sunak lost. Get over it

The WhatsApp message doing the rounds in Westminster yesterday was succinct: ‘Rishi PM. Hunt CX. Penny FS. And it’s a done deal’. Except that the only thing that’s ‘done’ is the Conservatives as a credible party of government. If there is indeed a stitch-up, one that sees the installation of the beaten leadership candidates as prime minister,

What the Queen’s funeral tells us about Britain

State funerals say a lot about the country in which they take place – and one of the things in which Britain still indisputably leads the world are the magnificent final farewells that we arrange for our leaders. How very different are some of the send offs seen in less fortunate lands. When Stalin died

A divided Tory party is destined to lose the next election

I think that I may be able to claim credit for being the first writer to question the once universal assumption that Rishi Sunak would be the next Prime Minister. Back in March, after the then-Chancellor’s disastrous Spring budget statement, in a piece for this site headlined ‘How Sunak Sunk Himself’ I pointed out the

Is Putin using a body double?

Ever since his invasion of Ukraine in February, the world’s media has been awash with rumours that Vladimir Putin is seriously – perhaps terminally – ill. There has been constant speculation that the Russian President has cancer, or Parkinson’s Disease, or both. Now Ukraine’s Head of Military Intelligence, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, has thrown another

Is the death penalty making a comeback?

It’s been a busy week for hangmen. In Japan, Tomohiro Kato, a 39-year-old man, was hanged at a Tokyo prison for killing seven people and injuring ten others in a 2008 murderous rampage in which he drove a truck into a crowd before stabbing several other random victims. Kato admitted his guilt and blamed his

Is Putin really in good health?

Soon after Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February a rash of stories appeared in the western media speculating that the Russian president was dying, or at least very seriously ill. The evidence offered was circumstantial but superficially compelling. This ranged from the absurdly long tables the dictator uses to keep his distance

Boris Johnson is irreplaceable

It has been less than a fortnight since Boris Johnson’s premiership exploded so spectacularly just three short years after his triumphant election victory, and he became the latest Tory PM to perish at the hands of his own party. Yet two weeks on, the people who brought him down are already wondering if they hit

Do Tory MPs still represent their members?

As the Tory party leadership race enters its next stage this weekend, one thing is becoming very clear: the two candidates that MPs will select for party members to vote on may not be the people that, if it was up to them, the grassroots members would pick themselves. The yawning gulf between Westminster and

Is Rishi too rich to rule?

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Caesar says of Gaius Longinus Cassius, the chief conspirator: ‘Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look: he thinks too much. Such men are dangerous’. None of the eight Tories fighting like ferrets in a sack to succeed our own fallen Caesar, Boris Johnson, looks leaner or hungrier than the former chancellor