by Anoosh Chakelian / 13 Feb 2013 12:46
Oh, Ed. He had so much to work with this morning. The government’s planned social care changes are already being criticised. The workfare scheme is, well, illegal. And it turns out all our cows are horses. But clearly the Labour leader’s advisers this morning had seen one too many pun trotted out over the horsemeat scandal, or at least eaten a bit too much equine lasagne (Ed Balls’ new recipe?), and decided to
by Peter Snow / 13 Feb 2013 09:36
Many Labour hearts fluttered with excitement on Valentine’s Day fifty years ago. The party had elected its first classless leader. It wasn’t long before people were telling the opinion pollsters that the chirpy, pipe-smoking Harold Wilson was making the prime minister Harold Macmillan look like an Edwardian fuddy-duddy.
I can remember the stir that Wilson caused at his first party conference: he promised a Britain “forged in the white heat” of a new
by Jasmine Pal / 11 Feb 2013 12:35
The smash hit play Coalition fresh from its Edinburgh run, travels to the Pleasance Theatre in Islington, London, documenting the final days of Lib Dem leader Matt Cooper.
The fast-paced political comedy takes place in 2015 leaving the coalition a few months to govern before the next general election. The relationship between the Conservative prime minister and his Lib Dem deputy is far from functional, as issues of an economic slump further add
by Sadie Smith / 11 Feb 2013 09:42
Last week a tiny minority of the country was variously quoting Leviticus, shouting “bigot!” at each other, or tweeting that it was “Literally crying at Jane McOily MP’s speech. So proud to be Labour and in favour of equal marriage”. Some had a punt at bizarrely claiming that this was all a massive conspiracy against that most maligned minority: white, straight men. Meanwhile the Online Wimmin Mob declared the whole thing was
07 Feb 2013 10:40
Last night saw the inaugural Paddy Power and Total Politics Political Book Awards take place at the BFI IMAX in London. Several hundred figures from the world of politics came to sip champagne, gossip about David Cameron’s relationship with his party, and, most importantly, applaud the award winners. In the audience were numerous MPs, Lords and other luminaries including Jemima Khan, Dan Snow and Ian McEwan. The first award of the evening, for Political
by Sadie Smith / 06 Feb 2013 10:27
If a Great Political Guidebook of our time existed – and the reason it doesn’t is largely so the public continue to labour under the misapprehension that certain lobby correspondents actually know what they’re talking about – the term NIMBY would occupy an inauspicious location within it.
Sandwiched somewhere between climate change deniers, Adam Boulton, and not too far from a chapter on ‘Constituents Who Write To MPs About Squirrel Poo’, the section
05 Feb 2013 10:30
Ben Duckworth: Would you support the introduction of a marriage tax allowance if it provides a comfort to those MPs in your party who, thus far, have been horrified by the idea of introducing gay marriage?
Helen Grant: I think the government will bring forward proposals to recognise marriage in the tax system at some point in the future. So, at the appropriate time, I think that may well happen. The priority is to
by Emma Burnell / 01 Feb 2013 11:01
EB: How did LGBT Labour feel about the government consultation on equal marriage?
JA: There was a whole process around equal marriage – partly driven by the Lib Dems who wanted to say “We’re going to do equal marriage, we’re going to get it through nice and easy and Labour funked it in government”. This led to quite a lot of irritation about there being a consultation with an attitude of “why not
by Fern Tomlinson / 28 Jan 2013 10:39
Think of British politics in the early 1980s and you’d probably conjure up images of the Falklands War, right-to-buy, and Labour lurching to the left. The Bermondsey by-election of February 1983, once seen as a watershed in British politics, has all but slipped into obscurity.
Yet it remains the largest by-election swing in British political history – a violent and nasty campaign that was dominated by homophobia, not policies. As Labour prepared to
by Lewis Baston / 28 Jan 2013 09:21
The Bradford West by-election of March 2012, in which George Galloway gained a previously reliable Labour seat in a landslide, was one of the most surprising by-elections of the last few decades. But for all its singular nature it illuminates some general truths about the state of politics.
Mainstream political parties have themselves to blame for their humiliation by Respect in Bradford West. Over the long term, the local Labour and Conservative
by Ben Duckworth / 24 Jan 2013 15:59
It should always serve as a warning sign of complacency when we think we know the order in which things will play out. Yesterday’s speech by David Cameron made clear his plans for renegotiation followed by a 2017 In-Out referendum. While we can all argue about whether this is a fantastic move or a huge strategic mistake, it superficially looked like Europe was an issue the Prime Minister could now file under Non-Urgent. The
by Alex MacDonald / 23 Jan 2013 14:57
Today the prime minister made his case for the future of Britain’s position in Europe: change, or Britain will leave. The PM spoke of five key reforms that he wanted to see inside the supranational body, which were: competitiveness, flexibility, reciprocal power flow between member states and the EU, democratic accountability, and fairness.
What we do now know is Miliband’s position on the European referendum. The leader of the opposition said: “My position