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 [...]
Talking of David Owen, how uplifting it was to see him back in the gateway to the Labour fold. (He’s not actually rejoining the party, he told BBC radio today, because he is too old to submit to the authority of the party whip, but he has donated “more than” £7,500.)
As I say in The [...]
We come now to the interview with Lord O’Donnell in the series of interviews with Cabinet Secretaries past and present on the website put together by the Mile End Group for 10 Downing Street.
I have just caught up with this fine study of Labour backbench dissent under Gordon Brown, by Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart (subscription). It describes a government and parliamentary party in a state of advanced psychological and political decay.
I remember being puzzled as a pupil by the explanation we were given at O-level for Clement [...]
The thing that foreign leaders most want to talk to Tony Blair about is his Delivery Unit. Many governments and local governments are using what it learned about how to improve public services, especially education, with advice from Sir Michael Barber (pictured), who was head of the Delivery Unit 2001-05.
Barber’s most ambitious project is in Punjab, [...]
If anyone is interested in what Blair is actually doing as Quartet envoy in Israel-Palestine, as opposed to what the Daily Mail and Guardian say he is doing, I recently recommended an excellent article by Toby Greene in the Jewish Chronicle.
I have since read Greene’s equally commendable book. It is a clear and balanced account [...]
The origin of Donald Rumsfeld’s best-known phrase, about “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”, turns out to be a known unknown. The former US Secretary of Defense was asked by Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, whether he had written the phrase. Rumsfeld said: “There were 15 smart people in the room for three days – I don’t [...]
Everyone knows that crazed warmonger Tony Blair “took us to war” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that professional British soldiers did the best they could to carry out the foolish orders of political donkeys, do they not? One person who does not know this is James de Waal, a visiting fellow at Chatham House, who [...]
I thought I had come across a sensational story when reading Lord Butler’s comments at a Foreign Office seminar in February – the one in which he repeated his disparaging views of Tony Blair’s decision-making before the Iraq invasion. As an aside, talking about how Harold Wilson managed his Cabinet in the European referendum of 1975, [...]
I have an article in The Independent and i today, about what can be learned from Tony Blair. Many others have commented on different things that he said, and the transcript of his question and answer session at the Mile End Group on Monday will yield much more.
Hopi Sen is typically brilliant in advising people [...]
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