The cruel hounding of Tim Farron is bloodsport for secularists

For the benefit of Sky News, standard Christian doctrine says gay sex is a sin. It’s the sin that gives sinning a good name. There ought to be a stewards’ inquiry into why it didn’t make it into the Ten Commandments. But, yes, it’s one of those trespasses we ask to be forgiven.  Sky’s Darren…

Len McCluskey’s hollow victory

Len McCluskey has seen off a challenge to be elected to a third term at the helm of Unite. And what a seeing off it was. When the votes starting to come in, and reportedly showed the top two contenders neck-and-neck, McCluskey’s rival was promptly suspended. Gerard Coyne was stripped of his duties as West Midlands…

A cynical take on Project Fear

A confident Tory Prime Minister. Labour led by an untested left-winger. The SNP surging north of the Border. If Election 2017 feels awfully familiar it’s because we have been here before. Just two years ago, Britain went to the polls in the wake of a divisive constitutional referendum that upended decades-old allegiances. And there were…

The trial of Kelvin MacKenzie

Kelvin MacKenzie’s baffling compulsion to pick at Liverpool has brought him up a cropper again, with the Sun pulling his latest polemic on Everton FC player Ross Barkley. MacKenzie has compared the footballer, recently victim of an assault in a nightclub, to ‘a gorilla at the zoo’ and added that, in Liverpool, ‘the only men…

Labour has abandoned workers. Trade unions must avoid doing the same

I’m not a member of a trade union but I should be. As a freelance journalist, my employment situation is precarious — yet it still wouldn’t occur to me to join the National Union of Journalists. My reasons are both personal and political, but mostly practical: the NUJ talks tough but, in the end, seldom…

Twice in a generation

It seems like only two and a half years since the last referendum on Scottish independence but the Scottish National Party assures us a generation has passed, and I would advise you not to question them. It seldom ends well. Nicola Sturgeon has demanded a rerun of that plebiscite, in part because Brexit seems to offer a propitious set of…

All politics is local (except maybe in Scotland)

‘All politics is local’ ran the maxim of legendary American politico Tip O’Neill, a deal-making Democrat of the old school. O’Neill worked his way up from the back room of the party machine to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and the wily nemesis of Ronald Reagan. In the middle of the 1982 recession,…