Cross-post by Mugwump.
This 9,000-word article looks at why intelligence services around the world were so sure that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in 2003. I re-post it here because it is an impressive piece of work, bringing together evidence from a wide range of sources.
Photo of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry [...]
Denis Healey – Classic Virgo
Guest post by Tim Healey (pictured right www.timhealey.co.uk)
A recent article in The Independent on Sunday (30 June 2013) itemises my father, Denis Healey, as number nine in its list of ‘The Best Prime Ministers We Never Had’.
Not so. I think my father would have made a rubbish prime minister. He [...]
There is a nice line in Jim Murphy’s book, The 10 Football Matches That Changed The World … and the One That Didn’t (that was the Christmas game in no-man’s land in 1914) about Tony Blair.
Murphy, now shadow International Development Secretary, tells the story of Blair’s visit to John Burton’s house in Sedgefield, the last [...]
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 [...]
ComRes carried out a poll of prime ministers since 1964 for The Independent on Sunday last weekend, using a simple “favourable or unfavourable view” question. The last time we did this, in February last year, we asked the question a different way, asking people to rate prime ministers as better or worse than David Cameron.
Once again, David Hayes has wrought his magic. He writes beautifully and thoughtfully about British politics for an Australian website, Inside Story. Now he has turned his attention to Tony Benn. His response to the challenge is a bit like that of the audience at the typical Benn revival meeting that he describes at 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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
Still talking of David Owen, who endorsed Ed Miliband’s Labour Party reforms at the weekend, I’m told that he was prepared to come out for the Labour Party in the 2005 election, but wasn’t taken up on it.
I understand that, towards the end of the campaign, Labour were looking for ways to “check” the Liberal [...]
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