Owen Paterson: try listening to the Father of the House

  • 4 Nov 2021

Wednesday 3 November 2021 is likely to go down in the history of this parliament as the most difficult day to have been a Conservative MP. This is not a column about the rights or wrongs of Owen Paterson’s work commitments or the report that has been made about his conduct. He...

Unmasking Our Leaders review – inside the mind of Britain’s best documentary titan

  • 9 Oct 2021

Unmasking Our Political Leaders: Confessions of a Political Documentary-Maker by Michael Cockerell (Biteback, £20). There are some reporters whose writing or broadcasts catch the essence of their subject. Richard and David Dimbleby fronting the BBC General Election coverage...

Boris’s Autumn Reshuffle

  • 17 Sep 2021

For a while now it has been clear that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has been frustrated by the continuing impact of the virus. His whole political agenda and the nation’s finances have been bent out of shape in the effort to contain and combat it. Barely two years have p...

The US and the UK can’t afford to fall out

  • 27 Aug 2021

On hearing the news the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbour on 7 December, 1941, Winston Churchill noted later how appalled he had been before adding that, however, that night he had “slept the sleep of the saved and thankful.” He knew the United States would now enter the War...

Foreign policy: Britain must focus on soft power and diplomacy

  • 17 Aug 2021

The world is beginning to accommodate itself to the return of Taliban government in Afghanistan. It is a sobering moment for those who value democracy and freedom, and a chastening one for those who believe in western military intervention in support of those values. After ...

Britain Alone review – a flawed insight into post-War Britain

  • 14 Aug 2021

Britain Alone by Philip Stephens (Faber & Faber), £18.29 Philip Stephens, the distinguished Financial Times columnist, surveys Britain’s recent history from Suez to Brexit in his new book Britain Alone, an account of the country navigating the post-World War era.  Th...

RNLI sees off Farage

  • 30 Jul 2021

If you are basking in the sun on the beach, sheltering from the rain by the seaside or strolling along by the side of a great river you can be confident of one thing, if you find yourself in difficulty the RNLI – Royal National Lifeboat Institution – will come and help. Whoeve...

Are Boris’s critics too grand to stand?

  • 25 May 2021

If you go and visit Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory a rather sorry sight will greet you. The great ship stands proudly in her dry-dock but is currently without her towering masts. She is a shadow of her former self as she undergoes a stem to stern renovation. Boris Johnson’s opp...

Review: Greater: Britain After The Storm by Penny Mordaunt and Chris Lewis (Biteback), £20

  • 25 May 2021

It is rare for a serving senior Minister to publish a book while in office, and what a book it is. Before you even reach the first chapter, there is a veritable Becher’s Brook of bedazzling “names” saying how wonderful it is – Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, Elton John, Richard Cur...

Review: Stop Bloody Bossing Me About: How We Need To Stop Being Told What To Do by Quentin Letts

  • 14 May 2021

The words Quentin and Letts strike terror equally into the hearts of Parliamentary performers and members of the theatrical community. In his reviews of political performances and sketches of West End productions, this keen observer of those foolish enough to push themselves c...