The Democrats could do better than another Clinton
Published by The Independent (13th April, 2015)
Most recent articlesForget the politics of fear and loathing
Published by The Observer (12th April, 2015) The first time I met David Cameron, then a rising star of the Conservatives, I was left with two abiding impressions. First, that he was very affable, with a self-deprecation rare among front-rank politicians and a sunny spirit even when we discussed life as parents of profoundly disabled children. […]An election that symbolises change across a continent
Published by CapX (6th April, 2015) The message to his country is simple: ‘Don’t expect miracles.’ These are wise words from Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s septuagenarian new leader surveys his immense domain. For having won power, the former general presides over a nation – the most populous in Africa – that is beset with problems from […]There is nothing funny about Farage
Published by The Independent (6th April, 2015) For a moment, I thought it was shocking honesty from Nigel Farage. ‘I’m really very posh,’ he told the Sunday Times as he discussed his electoral strategy for South Thanet. ‘I think you’re filthy, common people and you should laugh at my comedy act.’ But reading it more […]Sturgeon spoke her mind – unlike the Labour leader
Published by The Daily Telegraph (3rd April, 2014) There were no real losers in last night’s leaders’ debate, which was surprisingly enjoyable despite looking at times like a strange and rather stilted ITV game show. What a contrast to 2010; I remember watching the first debate sitting alongside Steve Hilton in Tory HQ as Cleggmania took […]Why are the Tories not racing away with this election?
Published by The Daily Telegraph (1st April, 2015) George Osborne hit the campaign trail in Hove yesterday, posing for cheesy pictures as he made pizzas in a restaurant. Outside, a gaggle of journalists stood around chatting with his aides as blustery winds blew along the Sussex coast and the Chancellor bragged about his stewardship of the […]Campaign starts with two main parties trapped in comfort zones
Published by The Independent (30 March, 2015) The phoney war is over. Today, the general election campaign finally begins. David Cameron is expected to drive to Buckingham Palace and formally ask the Queen to dissolve parliament, even though the date of dissolution was confirmed four years ago with the act introducing fixed terms. Expect excited […]Plot to oust Speaker John Bercow just crude revenge
Published by The Guardian (26th March, 2015) John Bercow does not find it difficult to give offence, which is never the most endearing trait in a politician and especially one who bangs on about the importance of ‘interpersonal skills.’ He is prone to pomposity, his florid oratory can sound oleaginous and his carefully crafted interventions […]Why is Green Belt so sacrosanct?
Published by The Independent (23rd March, 2015) It’s official: Britain has a housing crisis and everyone agrees that something must be done. Just look at last week’s rally in London to highlight the national shortage of affordable homes, which saw speakers from across the political spectrum join forces to lambast the lack of new properties. Nigel Farage, Caroline Lucas […]They gave Robert Aids – and then they killed his relatives
Published by The Mail on Sunday (22nd March, 2015) In 1983, Robert Mackie asked his doctor about reports of haemophiliacs developing a mysterious new disease called AIDS that was killing its victims within a couple of years. They told him not to worry. So the coachbuilder returned to his wife and carried on with his […]The biggest disaster in NHS history
Published by The Mail on Sunday (22nd March, 2015) The Government will apologise this week for what has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the National Health Service – the infection of thousands of patients with deadly diseases through use of contaminated blood products. Following the personal intervention of David Cameron, […]Immigration as a vote-winner?
Published by The Independent (16th March, 2015) Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh grew up in a Conservative family. Her father was the first Asian councillor elected in Scotland and as a child she used to deliver leaflets for the Tories. She joined the party at the age of 16, ran a branch of its youth wing in Edinburgh […]Michael Gove is right: The Tories need to detoxify their brand
Published by The Guardian (14th March, 2015) Chief whips tend not to make waves in politics. They are meant to be masters of backroom deals, loyal party operators picked for their ability to push through government policies by any means necessary. Not for nothing did Michael Dobbs choose a chief whip for the sinister central […]This foreign aid law is an expensive stunt
Published by The Daily Telegraph (11th March, 2015) So there we are. Our esteemed politicians have passed perhaps the stupidest piece of legislation since the dangerous dogs act of 1991. They have this week enshrined their own delusions in law by determining that regardless of events at home or abroad, 0.7 per cent of Britain’s […]Was it wrong to support the overthrow of Gaddafi?
Published by The Independent (9th March, 2015) There are few historic sites more wondrous than the ruins of Leptis Magna, a Roman city once home to 80,000 people, preserved by Mediterranean sands. It has forests of marble columns, intricate mosaics, imposing triumphal arches, temples, theatres and an amphitheatre which was dug out beside the sea. Walking […]‘Brain-fading’ adventures in Green Land
Published by The Mail on Sunday (8th March, 2015) The Greens like to do things differently. One of their deputy leaders had just blown a few billion pounds more from their wish-list budget when the chairwoman – who could hardly be seen in her green jumper against the vast green background – announced an ‘attunement’. […]Europe’s defence wanes as the Putin threat grows
Published by The Wall Street Journal (4th March, 2015) The chill of a new Cold War is descending over Europe. In Ukraine, ripped apart by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adventurism, a shaky cease-fire holds but there are growing fears of a new onslaught on the key port city Mariupol. In Estonia, one of the increasingly nervous […]An end to patronage and the salvation of politics
Published by The Independent (2nd March, 2015) As the fat cats emerged blinking in the spotlight, they were forced to confess corporate guilt over helping wealthy clients cream off money belonging to the state. Yes, we are ashamed and suffering ‘horrible’ reputational damage, said the HSBC chairman, while the chief executive admitted his own arrangements […]A continent trashed by treasure seekers
Published by The Observer (1st March, 2015) The Looting Machine: Warlords, tycoons, smugglers and the systematic theft of Africa’s wealth by Tom Burgis (William Collins) Augustin Katumba Mwanke was a young banker in South Africa when persuaded to return home to help rebuild the Democratic Republic of Congo by the new government of Laurent Kabila. A […]Gunned down in a gangster state
Published by The Mail on Sunday (1st March, 2015) Boris Nemtsov knew he might one day be silenced. Now the shocking picture of his body prostrate in the shadow of the Kremlin stands as a chilling symbol of Vladimir Putin’s gangster style of presidency. It is almost irrelevant whether Putin personally ordered the killing or […]Is she just too green for the job?
Published by The Daily Mail (25th February, 2015) As the General Election looms, Natalie Bennett has become a regular on TV news shows, pontificating about why Britain needs ‘a peaceful political revolution’. And her message has found a ready audience, especially among young voters alienated by what they see as the abject failures of politicians […]