One of the oddest ideas in UK politics is that Labour chose ‘the wrong brother’. Surely the very idea that we had to choose between two sons of the same grandee and, oh, by the way, the Labour leadership was really the birthright of the eldest in any case, is absurd at every level. The.. read more →

Some Scottish Labour back-room boys are punting the idea that in the event of a Labour minority government the SNP will be stuck because that party is already committed to blocking the Tories. This idea is so hollow and frankly daft that it’s disappointing to see it repeated today without any interrogation by normally-thoughtful columnists like.. read more →

29 Apr 2015
April 29, 2015

Scotland’s one-party state


A poll today says the SNP might win every Scottish seat at the UK elections. I find the oddest thing about it all the attempts by commentators to place that rampant nationalism into the context of regular arguments about public policy. The Iraq War, for example, had no effect at all on the Scottish vote.. read more →

Here’s one way of getting ahead. Although, technically, that guy’s getting everything but a head, right? A more conventional way of getting ahead, at least as far as politics is concerned, is by getting more votes than other folk. That’s a rubbish link, I know, but this is just a blogpost and not something intended.. read more →

Those Ashcroft figures!  And there’s more to come. Yet while amazing to see in print, they didn’t truly surprise anyone at all. Although it’s certainly striking how, contrary to the usual daft and pointless polls by the Daily Record, the well-funded and serious polling efforts by the now very credible Tory peer Lord Ashcroft have.. read more →

03 Feb 2015
February 3, 2015

Chilcot Report bollocks


Some Labour opponents would like to see the Chilcot Report published before the election because they think it’ll harm Labour. Labour also says it wants the report published but knows it won’t be. Chilcot says he’s not ready to publish. It’s quite obvious that the delay is not due to Tony Blair or any other politician.. read more →

20 Sep 2014
September 20, 2014

A lie won’t fly


Scots voted No, in the end, on a ‘vow’ of greater devolution. Every Scot I have spoken to understands that the promised transfer of power can only take place if the books are balanced and Scots no longer legislate on England-only matters; this is manifestly part of the deal. If the UK government, Tory or.. read more →

31 May 2014
May 31, 2014

Making sense of ? hic : (


Politicians, the media and folk who lobby for this product or that cause often accuse each other of misleading the public. And of course it’s true that most people with an angle present  information in a way that helps their case, or cause. People expect that, though, and are pretty good at filtering. If they’re.. read more →

The meeja don’t seem sure what to make of Nigel Evans’ acquittal this week – I presume the ‘Westminster gay predator’ stuff was good to go so they just cracked on with it anyway. Last night, Channel 4 News managed to run a whole piece on the subject of how MPs’ staff don’t have meaningful.. read more →

09 Apr 2014
April 9, 2014

Official oversight of MPs’ work

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Maria Miller’s departure today raises the interesting question of whether the UK will now see, in effect, officials given full powers to ‘oversee’ the work of MPs. This seems to be the general run of argument in the press. The chair of the parliamentary expenses body (IPSA) Sir Ian Kennedy, argued last week that MPs.. read more →