Lance Price, former press officer for Tony Blair, advises Ed Miliband in The Guardian:
Like most politicians, Miliband is at his best when he is himself. The problem lies not in his presentation but in the sense that too often comes through that, either he hasn’t made up his mind on an issue, or if he [...]
News coming in of Tristram Hunt’s turn at a fundraiser for Hornsey and Wood Green Labour Party last night. The shadow education secretary “did what I haven’t seen someone on the Labour front bench do for four years”, according to one witness: “He simply refused to agree with the leftists and political conservatives in the [...]
One more thing from the last chapter of John Campbell’s wonderful biography of Roy Jenkins. My special interest in it is in its charting of Jenkins’ growing disenchantment with his protégé, which is entirely to Tony Blair’s credit.
I particularly enjoyed Campbell’s account of Jenkins’ description of Blair’s “second-class mind”.
Just because I could, I dug out [...]
Another lovely footnote in John Campbell’s biography of Roy Jenkins. This time it is about Sir Menzies Campbell. Jenkins wanted him to take over as leader of the Liberal Democrats when Paddy Ashdown stood down in 1999, having long thought highly of him and “probably thinking Charles Kennedy was still too young”.
At this point the [...]
At this rate I could blog about John Campbell’s biography of Roy Jenkins every day. Indeed, I could do a daily commentary just about the footnotes, a special interest of mine.
There is a lovely bit about Jenkins’ book about Gladstone, which was published in 1995. This is a play within a play: Jenkins’ biographer commenting [...]
This pivotal event in the political calendar – the UK equivalent of the Iowa straw poll – was held even later this year than in recent years. Supposed to be just before Christmas, to mark the anniversary of the first fall of Peter Mandelson, this time we did not get round to it until a fortnight ago.
One of the loveliest things about John Campbell’s style as a biographer is his use of footnotes. I have only dipped into his biography of Roy Jenkins (yesterday I got as far as the back cover), but immediately found this gem, on page 740. It is in the last chapter, about The Great Pooh-Bah’s* afterlife, [...]
I was surprised, on turning over my copy of John Campbell’s authorised biography of Roy Jenkins, to discover my name on the back. The first quotation of “praise for The Iron Lady“, Campbell’s previous work, is:
“Anyone who wants to know what really happened between 1979 and 1990 should read this book.” John Rentoul, Daily Telegraph.
I remember [...]
Everyone knows that George Osborne designed the Budget to help repulse the UKIP threat to older once-Tory voters, especially working-class ones. What is more, it succeeded. Recent polls by ComRes, YouGov and Populus have seen Labour’s lead cut.
All hail the political genius of the Chancellor.
Except that it is not so.
The brilliant Leo Barasi points out [...]
I wonder if this, asked by George Eaton of the New Statesman two days ago, will turn out to be a Question To Which The Answer Is No.
There was a reason why Gordon Brown and then Nick Clegg failed to come up with a workable plan for a graduate tax: it is a bad idea.
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