I won’t resume the debate about how Labour would have fared if John Smith, who died 20 years ago today, had lived. John McTernan pays tribute here, and Ian Bell also had a fine eulogy last week.
But McTernan’s article did pose one question that stands for the whole. The question is whether Smith would have [...]
Ed Miliband has gained one group of voters and David Cameron has lost another: my column for The Independent on Sunday looked at how the two leaders have dealt with their respective defectors, incoming and outgoing. I cited an analysis by David Cowling, the BBC’s polling analyst, which said:
Two groups have shaped voting intention opinion [...]
David Cameron’s plan for European renegotiation and referendum became clearer in an important interview with Andrew Marr this morning (transcript here).
It is not quite New Zealand butter – Harold Wilson’s cosmetic renegotiation in 1975 of slightly better terms for imports from Commonwealth countries – but it is hardly the “fundamental” change Cameron has implied before.
The main elements [...]
This General Election is shaping up to be one of those squeakers that no-one can forecast with any confidence.
My Top 10 in The Independent on Sunday at the weekend was Malapropisms.
As ever, I had a surplus of nominations, some of which did not make the final selection because they were not authenticated. They are still good, so here they are, with the best of the rest:
“We’ve passed a lot of water under the [...]
I have finally knuckled down and read some of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and I have to admit I like it, Sam-I-Am. (Previous scepticism here and here.)
How could one not warm to the intellectual arrogance of someone who dismisses Karl Marx thus?
He no doubt lacked the statistical data needed to refine his [...]
Further to my post about Thomas Piketty yesterday, which mentioned that Prof James Galbraith was a doubter, he has been in touch to draw my attention to a new paper by a colleague of his, Wenjie Zhang, which suggests that income inequality in China peaked in 2008, as Simon Kuznets would predict (and Piketty would [...]
I have written about Chuka Umunna, Labour’s shadow Business Secretary, in The Independent on Sunday today, noting that he did well last week in making life awkward for the Government over the Pfizer bid for AstraZeneca.
He did this without once mentioning – or being asked about – Labour’s policy at the 2010 election, which was still something [...]
I haven’t commented much on Tony Blair’s speech last week, “Why the Middle East Matters“, partly because I don’t understand his argument about Egypt – that the international community should give “Egypt and its new president as much assistance as we can”. I didn’t agree with him last year, and I am doubtful now. I know [...]
If Thomas Piketty’s thesis is that rich countries are moving inevitably and imminently to Victorian levels of inequality, it is not supported by the evidence he adduces for the UK.
I haven’t read much of the book yet, but I am suspicious of it, because it seems to be telling wide-eyed anti-capitalists what they want to [...]
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