Is David Cameron incredibly smart or incredibly dumb?

David Cameron is either the savviest political strategist in the land or the most dim-witted. I haven’t decided yet. His comments to journalists ruling out a second independence referendum are a case in point. He said: “I think it is important that a referendum is legal and properly constituted and that is what we had,…

Labour needs another leader with Tony Blair’s rebel soul

His role in the Labour leadership election has been called “counterproductive”,“totally unacceptable”, and “very silly”. Not Jeremy Corbyn – unilateralist, friend of Hamas and Hezbollah, committed opponent of economic reality – but Tony Blair. The former prime minister’s intervention last week into the contest to decide who will lose the 2020 election to George Osborne…

Why I hate Scotland

I’m often asked by Scottish Nationalists why I hate Scotland, usually in response to some shockingly treasonous behaviour on my part. Such as asking the SNP to explain its tax policy or raising doubts about the latest plans to build a monument to Alex Salmond. To save them the trouble, I have compiled a list…

It’s not enough to be right, in politics you have to win too

Two days before the 1983 election, and resigned to the inevitable, Neil Kinnock sought the only solace available to losers. Labour was about to be buried in a Conservative landslide but at least it was in the right. It had stuck to its principles, come what may. In a speech in Bridgend, he intoned: “If…

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at Tim Farron

There was a time when being gay ended your career as Liberal leader. Now it’s practically compulsory. At least Tim Farron might be forgiven for thinking so, given the hostile media treatment he has received in the past few days. Farron is a Liberal Democrat MP (ask your dad) and a practising Christian (ask your…

Why is Liz Kendall in Labour and not the Conservative Party?

Why is Liz Kendall in the Labour Party and not the Conservatives? This – not reconnecting with the voters or making life difficult for the government – is the subject dominating the Labour leadership race. The meme is pushed on social media, where Kendall’s accusers have set up parody accounts depicting her as a candidate…

We waited ten weeks for Mhairi Black’s maiden speech. It was worth it.

Given the mix of excitement and bemusement that greeted her election, there were always going to be high expectations for Mhairi Black’s maiden speech. Since ousting Labour’s Douglas Alexander in May, she has become the youngest MP in 348 years and taken a first in politics from Glasgow University before reaching her 21st birthday. (I’m…

Liz Kendall on Sturgeon, devolution and winning back Scotland

Liz Kendall is a woman on a mission. And what a mission it is. Her campaign for Labour leader is the first leap in a project to reinvigorate the party and return it to government within just five years of its worst electoral reversal in three decades. The odds are stacked against her even more…

Liz Kendall could help Labour regain purpose — and power

The Conservatives won the General Election. That much has sunk in for Labour people. But how they won. The Tories won men in every age bracket. They won women over 50 and overall. They won private sector workers by a margin of 17 points and trailed Labour amongst public sector employees by just three percentage…

Mhairi Black stirs anger in those left behind by the new Scotland

Mhairi Black fair riles them, doesn’t she? The SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South was termed a “slut” by the prominent Unionist academic Dr Jill Stephenson during a Twitter exchange, the Sunday Herald has reported. In the comments made before the general election, Dr Stephenson described the Nationalist politician as an “appalling harridan” and…