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Eagle Eye

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

Labour’s Clause B2Bii Moment, Eagle Eye

Labour’s Clause B2Bii Moment

Before Labour’s annual conference recedes into the mist of history, to be recalled possibly only for David Miliband’s deadly accurate question, “Why are you clapping?”, let us note two small but significant constitutional rule changes that were agreed in Manchester.
One was to clarify the leadership election rules. The old clause B2Bii
Where there is no vacancy, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 11 October 2010 at 8:34 pm

Will Barack Obama stand for re-election?

Ian Leslie, author of the magnificent Marbury blog, asks: Do you do Questions to Which the Answer is Yes? Once again, this is a question that answers itself.
As is the above, from Daniel Hannan, the Conservative MEP.

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 11 October 2010 at 4:08 pm

Jonathan Miller’s Pub-lic opera, Battle of Ideas

Jonathan Miller’s Pub-lic opera

Where is the audience? It’s a question that eats at every art institution in this age of austerity.

By | Battle of Ideas, Eagle Eye | Monday, 11 October 2010 at 12:01 am

RSVP, Regrets Only, Eagle Eye

RSVP, Regrets Only

A friend draws my attention to an evening on 8 November to celebrate Michael Foot’s “rich, long and varied life with stories, music and readings”.
Special guests include
Jo Brand, Prunella Scales, Francis Wheen, Helena Kennedy, Geoffrey Goodman, Rodney Bickerstaffe, David Steel, Roy Hattersley, Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown and Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband.
Michael Foot [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 8:07 pm

“That wasn’t what we meant at all”, Eagle Eye

“That wasn’t what we meant at all”

Matthew d’Ancona on fabulous form in The Sunday Telegraph today, doing what he does best, namely saying what I think, and on this occasion said, but 10 times better than I ever could. Top paragraph, on the reaction to the child benefit cut for higher-rate taxpayers:
The backlash in Birmingham was quite something to behold. It [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:31 pm

The New Machiavelli, Eagle Eye

The New Machiavelli

I remember a chemistry lesson where we had to add salt or sugar to water to see how much could be added before the solution became saturated. It was more than we expected. So it is with the market in Blair Government memoirs. Jonathan Powell’s The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the Modern [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 10 October 2010 at 4:16 pm


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