A neglected part of the work of MPs is Public Bill Committees, where new laws are scrutinised in detail. Here we get a look at the inner workings not just of Bills but of ministers and their shadows.
I spent many happy hours researching the rise of Tony Blair through his work on Standing Committees, as [...]
I have written a “very sneery” column for The Independent on Sunday about James Brokenshire’s speech to Demos, according to David Goodhart. Goodhart is chair of the Advisory Group at Demos, which I said was a think tank that sounds like an aftershave, so perhaps he was annoyed about that.
Actually, Goodhart thought that I was criticising [...]
The practical difference between an “LTIP” award and an annual bonus has eroded considerably. To get the full benefit from an annual bonus a banker would have to wait 3.5 years. For an LTIP the waiting period is 5 years.
This Top 10, in The Independent on Sunday magazine, was always going to be hard to keep to just 10. Sure enough, I have received many representations on behalf of books that people thought should have been in the list.
Lots of people thought Anthony Burgess ought to have been in it. You know, the silly [...]
The Daily Mail does seem to be off its game. The headline I imagined it would use on the story of Tony Blair’s possible donation to the Labour Party is much better than what it came up with today.
This Blood Money Is Proof of Blair’s Guilty Conscience
What it actually came up with, on an [...]
Is remuneration really tracking performance at Standard Chartered? Let’s see what shareholders say, but there is room for scepticism.
Still further talking of David Owen, I forgot to repeat Denis Healey’s fine story about him:
When he was born, all the good fairies gave him every virtue: “You’ll be beautiful, you’ll be intelligent, you’ll have charm and charisma.” And the bad fairy came along and tapped him on the shoulder and said, “But you’ll be [...]
Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, is giving a speech tonight about “Labour’s plan for long-term balanced growth” to the EEF, which used to stand for Engineering Employers’ Federation.
As usual, it has some nice touches. He praises Ken Clarke, “who speaks a lot of sense” on Europe, and contrasts him with
most of his Conservative cabinet colleagues and [...]
Still talking of David Owen, who endorsed Ed Miliband’s Labour Party reforms at the weekend, I’m told that he was prepared to come out for the Labour Party in the 2005 election, but wasn’t taken up on it.
I understand that, towards the end of the campaign, Labour were looking for ways to “check” the Liberal [...]
A friend draws my attention to a prophetic passage in Samuel Huntington’s 1993 essay, “The Clash of Civilisations?” In it, he predicted that post-Cold War conflicts would be at the edges of cultural tectonic plates.
One of his examples was Ukraine, which he called a “cleft country”:
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict [...]
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