The Week Ahead

The Conservative masterstroke

David Talbot  |  18 February 2013

The Conservatives cannot believe their luck. They failed to win the last general election; their oft-repeated pledge that the deficit would be eradicated will be missed; and austerity will be extended until 2018 at the least. The economy teeters on the brink of an unprecedented triple-dip recession. They have become entangled in a dark web …

0 Comments Read more

A midterm review of Labour

David Talbot  |  9 January 2013

At the midway point in parliament, the coalition renewed their vows. Gone was the bonhomie displayed in the sun-drenched Downing Street rose farden in May 2010, and instead a cold, formal, wood-panelled room was chosen as the suitable backdrop. The midterm review, rather generously self-marked by the government, nonetheless highlighted the sheer ambition of the …

1 Comment Read more

Green and pleasant land?

David Talbot  |  29 November 2012

Amid the endless, breathless commentary from a visibly scared media ahead of publication of the Leveson report, one other story caught my eye as a strolled through the papers. ‘Swaths of green belt land sacrificed’ thundered the Telegraph in an article, at the first instance, that may only appeal to the paper’s self-interested, sharp-elbowed contingent …

1 Comment Read more

Time for reform

David Talbot  |  28 November 2012

It is somewhat ironic that the coverage of the Leveson report yet further affirms why the press must be reformed. The Sunday papers were awash with a visibly scared press prejudging the outcome of the report and warning of the end of free speech as we know it. From the Sun comparing the impending reforms, …

1 Comment Read more

The people have whispered (barely)

David Talbot  |  19 November 2012

Last Thursday some 37 million people had the right to vote in the first ever police and crime commissioner elections. Not that you would have known it in the weeks and days preceding the vote. With a derisory turnout barely nudging fifteen per cent, the people have spoken – but with barely a whisper. Congratulations, …

1 Comment Read more

What to watch out for

David Talbot  |  13 November 2012

Parliament may only be sitting for two days this week, with our MPs due on recess from tomorrow until next Monday, but despite the short working week there has already been plenty of blood spilt in the political amphitheatre – with the prospect of plenty more bloodletting in the week ahead. To review the week …

4 Comments Read more

Parliament back in its usual groove

David Talbot  |  29 October 2012

With the excitement of a fevered conference season now over, business as usual returns to the House of Commons. Amid the grand visions offered to us by all party leaders, actual legislation continues to work its way through Westminster’s many corridors this week on a diverse range of agendas; from nuclear waste disposal to a …

0 Comments Read more

This week: Cameron’s challenge

David Talbot  |  8 October 2012

The Tory faithful meet in Birmingham firmly in the midst of midterm blues. For many a Labour activist, the disconsolate feeling that now envelops the Conservative ranks will be all too familiar from the sorry end to our time in government. A discredited prime minister, dire polls, a resurgent opposition and revolting backbenches – some …

0 Comments Read more

The original Labour moderniser

David Talbot  |  20 August 2012

Hugh Gaitskell was the original Labour party moderniser. Sadly, he is rarely credited as such. In fact, he is rarely credited at all. For an entity that has often viewed itself as a crusading, near-religious, movement, the party has deified other party greats – none more so than Aneurin Bevan, the founding father of the …

1 Comment Read more

Project Blueprint

David Talbot  |  23 July 2012

Michael Ashcroft’s mission began on 2 May 1997. Labour’s landslide victory left his beloved party bereft after 18 years in government. Listless, policy-less, mostly leaderless – thus began the Conservatives convoluted attempts to regain high office. Lord Ashcroft, with his millions, would play an instrumental role. When no one would dare look at the Tories, …

6 Comments Read more