Time for a General Election?

  • 29 Mar 2019

There’s a very interesting received wisdom around Westminster that a General Election is unlikely. What would it solve? Mrs May has said she is leaving. What would the manifestos be? Ah, finger tapping the nose, you can’t because of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, and MPs would...

Cameron and Clegg’s idiotic reforms to parliament are making this crisis worse

  • 22 Mar 2019

Everyone at Westminster is very cross and very tired. Senses of proportion and perspective have been jettisoned in favour of shouting, abuse, apocalyptic warnings about the state of democracy and the end of Parliamentary government as we know it. Meanwhile, outside of the SW1 ...

Lambeth Conference 2020 – does anyone care?

  • 22 Mar 2019

Since becoming the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in 2013 Justin Welby has been all action and decision. He has needed to be. From his two immediate predecessors he inherited a church that was in perilous organisational disarray and numerical decline. George Carey’s incompeten...

Parliament is doing its job and it is a magnificent sight

  • 17 Mar 2019

As we stagger out of another week of Brexit drama, and before we stumble into the next one, let’s take a step back, take a deep breath and consider the scene. First and foremost we need to establish some sense of perspective. Our lives, liberties and safety are not at stake...

A new Elizabethan Settlement is needed

  • 12 Mar 2019

Four Hundred and Sixty years ago this year the Elizabethan Settlement was born in “The Revolution 0f 1559”. Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne of a country riven by political and religious division. The divisions split the great political families and divided every hamle...

No deal Brexit is a myth

  • 26 Feb 2019

Brexit is consuming Westminster politics. The big parties are fracturing in ways that were unforeseen. The gulf between government and business has never been wider. The time until the UK’s official departure from the EU can now be counted in days. Still, no settled position c...

Social Media - the good side

  • 17 Feb 2019

This weekend my household suffered a minor catastrophe. On route by train to visiting a grandmother in Scotland one of my children lost their suitcase. It contained the usual essentials for such a visit - toothbrush, pyjamas, a book and a much loved teddy bear. In the scale of...

Putting Britain back together after the Brexit crisis will not be easy

  • 22 Jan 2019

As each day passes a new snippet of detail, via an interview with a former aide or a passing comment by an old colleague, sheds more light on how David Cameron came to call and subsequently lose the Brexit Referendum. What is emerging is not a picture of political confidence a...

We need to sort out the UK’s productivity problem once and for all

  • 10 Jan 2019

The latest set of productivity figures show once again the UK lagging lethargically behind comparable countries. Latest figures show the weakest results for two years – and we did not start from a high point. Productivity – how much we produce a thing for a certain cost com...

From the Gracchi to Nero – H.H. Scullard’s enduring classic

  • 9 Jan 2019

2019 is a significant year for events and anniversaries. It is 80 years since the Battle of the Atlantic (the longest continuous battle of World War Two) began, 75 years since D Day, 50 years of CASD (continuous at sea nuclear deterrent), Brexit - to name a few. Alongside thes...