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Nine Inconsequential Facts About Mark Menzies

The blast of publicity received over the weekend by the Conservative MP for Fylde, Mark Menzies, had political journalists rummaging through the archives to try to find out anything they could about his political career. This morning, I have undertaken a new search through the database to uncover any interesting snippets. The pickings are thin, [...]

By | McSmith | Monday, 31 March 2014 at 11:29 am

Red Princes and the Blue Princes, McSmith

Red Princes and the Blue Princes

A day later than everybody else, The Sun pitches in with an attack on the ‘Red Princes’ in the light of Stephen Kinnock’s adoption in a safe Labour seat. This story was previously aired in the Daily Mail, the Guardian, and the Standard Diary. Three days ago the Guido Fawkes website lampooned the Kinnock family [...]

By | McSmith | Tuesday, 25 March 2014 at 11:12 am

What people who know are saying about the Crimea.

I spent yesterday evening at an event in London organised by the Anti-Corruption Foundation, listening to people who know more than I do about the Crimean crisis. Its founder, Alexei Navalny, could not be there: he is under house arrest in Russia, but a statement from him was read out, and has been published in full [...]

By | McSmith | Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 10:56 am

Why Prince Charles can be relieved Tony Benn is no longer around.

Prince Charles can be mildly relieved that Tony Benn is no longer with us, though he may not know the reason. Benn was a privy councillor. The Privy Council as such has not met since 1952. What are called Privy Council meetings are actually just brief gatherings of a handful of ministers who are there [...]

By | McSmith | Monday, 17 March 2014 at 10:20 am

Tony Benn dead: Warm in his friendships, harsh in his judgements – and blessed with an obstinacy that was magnificent

It is a shock. Not an unexpected one, because though the mind was alive, the body had been declining for months. I shall miss him, because Tony Benn was a towering figure, one of the rare politicians, in his day, who was a household name, bigger than any post he held. It will not emerge [...]

By | McSmith | Friday, 14 March 2014 at 7:48 am

Don’t mess with Ukip’s Patrick O’Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn, the former Daily Express journalist who now runs UKIP’s media operation believes in going for the jugular. As he defended Nigel Farage against the disgruntled former UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire, who has used parliamentary privilege to accuse the Ukip leader of a sexual peccadillo, the eagle-eyed O’Flynn spotted that one of BBC journalists [...]

By | McSmith | Thursday, 13 March 2014 at 11:19 am

The Myth of Bob Crow’s £145,000 salary, McSmith

The Myth of Bob Crow’s £145,000 salary

Bob Crow died not knowing how well off he was, to judge by today’s news. The Daily Telegraph opens its tribute to him with the words: “Bob Crow defended his £145,000 salary, insisting: ‘I am worth it.’ And so he was.” Yesterday’s Standard referred to his “£145,000 salary.” On the BBC website he is described as having “lived in a council house, despite earning £145,000 a year.” The same words are on page 13 of The Times. Even Reuters, normally so reliable, reported that he was on “an annual salary of 145,000 pounds ($241,200)”

By | McSmith | Wednesday, 12 March 2014 at 10:09 am

Why it took fewer pages to set out the laws Margaret Thatcher’s government passed, McSmith

Why it took fewer pages to set out the laws Margaret Thatcher’s government passed

How the Thatcher government cut the number of pages filled with new legislation.

By | McSmith | Thursday, 20 June 2013 at 11:35 am

The day the police came for the man who now runs the Care Commission, McSmith

The day the police came for the man who now runs the Care Commission

David Prior’s very personal reason for thinkg that investigators need appropriate expertise

By | McSmith | Wednesday, 19 June 2013 at 6:04 pm

David Cameron and other virile swimmers, McSmith

David Cameron and other virile swimmers

By boasting of his early morning dip in the water, David Cameron is using a propaganda technique once brilliantly deployed by Mao Tse-tung

By | McSmith | Tuesday, 18 June 2013 at 4:42 pm

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