Labour’s Regular (as opposed to XXL) majority is a good thing. Almost everyone agrees (except the Labour leadership and their whips, I suppose) that a Supersized majority of over 150 seats weakens Parliament and produces nasty democratic anomalies – bad laws like the hunting ban, control orders and ID cards, for instance. Almost everyone also… Continue reading Now shut up…
Max Hastings thinks so and, on the face of it, the skewed voting system makes a revival look almost impossible, even for a party in good health. For an ageing party in electoral disarray, about to embark on yet another messy leadership contest and without a coherent policy platform, a real Commons majority must look… Continue reading Are the Tories history?
Michael Howard is a slick political vandal disguised as a toff. When the histories are written this campaign will be remembered for his cynical ‘mainstreaming’ of a particularly ugly xenophobia. For short-term political gain he ‘normalised’ the language of the casual racist. Terms like ‘swamped’, ‘over-run’ and ‘out of control’ are now quite acceptable even… Continue reading Howard’s miserable legacy
Your activity for the afternoon: try to use this tiny picture of my invitation to tonight’s BBC election night party to create a duplicate good enough to get you into the party (of course, you’ll also need to copy the shiny bits on the other side too). If you get in, approach me and say:… Continue reading What I’m going to be doing this evening
The tension is unbearable. People (like Brian Walden in his Radio 4 essay) are saying that this is a dull campaign but I disagree. Could it be less dull? Blair’s Nixon moment will affect the outcome not at all (hardly anyone knows who the Attorney General is, let alone what his contribution to the conduct… Continue reading Oh God…
The prevailing mood of high cynicism makes it hard for me to say this but I have to say that this is a lively, fascinating, scrappy and wide-open election campaign. It’s exciting (tell me Sedgemore and the Oona and George Show and
Nice to see Howard’s disreputable move into immigration and asylum come back and bite him but his campaign is still flatlining (I do like that phrase) and his team rebelling so, let’s face it, we’re going to see more of this ugly stuff in the next week or two. After all, if the Tories’ share… Continue reading Howard returns to type
Really. I am. Labour’s campaign is good. On stage yesterday, at the manifesto launch, the front bench was awesome – handing off and harmonising like The Beach Boys. Brown’s seething resentment is impressively under control – and I mean really under control (did they drug him?). There’s a seriousness and professionalism on show that’s reassuring.… Continue reading I’m impressed (and relieved)