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Eagle Eye

Tunnel vision, Eagle Eye

Tunnel vision

Is there a prize for the worst gratuitous use of a Chilean miner metaphor in political sketches or columns tomorrow? Will anyone ask if counsellors are on hand to guide Liberal Democrats through the trauma of emerging from deep below the surface into the harsh light of reality? Who will wonder if Ed Miliband has [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 9:59 pm

The Chamber vs the Country, Eagle Eye

The Chamber vs the Country

I was in the Chamber for what promised to be one of those great House of Commons moments, Ed Miliband’s first Prime Minister’s Questions as Leader of the Opposition. It did not disappoint, as an occasion.
Miliband looked nervous, and spoke in a subdued manner. But he had some good prepared lines, which he delivered with [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 7:18 pm

India’s economic miracle is not a miracle

My short profile of Sachin Tendulkar, the brilliant Indian batsman, for the Sports pages yesterday contained an appalling error.
I referred to how the Little Master has come of age during India’s “economic miracle”.
That this is an exhausted cliche is bad enough.
Alas, it’s worse than that. It’s completely untrue.
Miracles don’t exist, as David Hume pointed out in [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 4:34 pm

Should graduates be discouraged from paying their loans back early?, Eagle Eye

Should graduates be discouraged from paying their loans back early?

Vince Cable suggested in the Commons yesterday that there might be a fee levied for early repayment, in the same way that a fee is charged by banks on those who pay off their mortgage earlier than agreed.
But I’m not sure the bank loan analogy is valid. And I’m also not sure this is the burning issue of fairness that some are suggesting.

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 11:19 am

AJ4PM latest, Eagle Eye

AJ4PM latest

The AJ4PM campaign has been reconstituted for one last comeback tour. We are celebrating the belated achievement of our ambition, that Alan Johnson should be running the Labour Party.
Ed Miliband might have thought that he would give him less trouble as shadow chancellor than Ed Balls or Yvette Cooper (the next leader of the Labour [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 10:50 am

The anti-trafficking industry is the biggest threat to migrants, Battle of Ideas

The anti-trafficking industry is the biggest threat to migrants

In recent years a motley crew of government agencies, police forces, human rights activists, feminists, religious groups and celebrities have turned human trafficking into one of the biggest issues of our time.
The anti-trafficking lobby claims that millions of people around the world – mostly women and children – are being smuggled across borders by means [...]

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 October 2010 at 6:41 am

Footnote on the burning of books, Eagle Eye

Footnote on the burning of books

I failed to note Tony Blair’s interesting speech in Washington last week, partly because I hadn’t noticed this comment:
When Pastor Jones was going to burn the Koran, he was rightly and roundly condemned for it, by everyone from President Obama down. But what intrigued me was why such condemnation was necessary (and, by the way, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 6:10 pm

The Spread of Edmilibandism, Eagle Eye

The Spread of Edmilibandism

An unexpected nugget in Gary Gibbon’s blog about tuition fees:
One determined rebel, John Leech MP [right], admitted to me that he was one of the three Lib Dem MPs who abstained on the original vote on whether to go into Coalition. Another was Charles Kennedy, but I’m not sure who was “the third man” (it [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 2:57 pm

Will today mark the end of unrealistic election pledges?, Eagle Eye

Will today mark the end of unrealistic election pledges?

Mike Smithson at Political Betting asks number 396 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No.
He refers to the pledge signed by 54 of the 57 Liberal Democrat MPs before the election (right):
I pledge TO VOTE AGAINST ANY INCREASE IN FEES in the next Parliament and to pressure the government to introduce [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 9:31 am

Should evidence always dictate policy?, Battle of Ideas

Should evidence always dictate policy?

Oversimplification is generally a bad idea. But blogging is all about breaking rules… So I hereby introduce three caricatures for your consideration: the obsessive scientist, the soulless civil servant and the dastardly politician. We’ll come back to them.
The Battle of Ideas discussion I am speaking at will ask whether, in the field of public health, [...]

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 12 October 2010 at 12:01 am


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