From Comment

Has Vince lost his marbles?

Has Vince Cable lost his marbles? I ask this coyly, as I’d initially sat down to write about how the general election and EU referendum had exacerbated already questionable attitudes to older people in this country. But some of the Lib Dem leader-in-waiting’s comments got me wondering whether there wasn’t something to them. I’d initially…

Could Moggmania be the antidote to Corbynmania?

One of the most ironic outcomes of what was a truly bizarre general election campaign was that a contest which was supposed to be all about Brexit ended up being all about leadership qualities. Theresa May revealed she had none while Jeremy Corbyn suddenly found a stash. As a result the Conservatives are now in perilous…

Goodbye tolerance, hello thought police

‘In the end, the Labour party could cease to represent labour. Stranger historic ironies have happened than that.’ So predicted Enoch Powell in 1968, a time when Harold Wilson’s party had just begun to introduce right-on luvvie liberalism alongside its rapidly dating economic socialism. Fast-forward half a century and YouGov now says age is a more reliable indicator…

Sorry, Mrs Clegg, international trade is ‘back to front’

Miriam González Durántez, who in less enlightened times would have been known as Mrs Nick Clegg, used a column in George Osborne’s revanchist Evening Standard shortly before the general election to ‘school’ (as publishers of YouTube videos so love to say) Theresa May on the complexities of international trade ahead of her expected lead in the forthcoming Brexit…

Narrowing poll leads no problem for the Tories, probably

Theresa May’s public meltdown from ‘strong and stable’ juggernaut to ‘weak and wobbly’ Lada has been the unintentional focus of this general election campaign but, with the money still on a majority of some sort, we can at least be grateful it’s happening at all. Sir Vince Cable’s savage takedown of Gordon Brown’s transformation ‘from…

Is Islam really the ‘religion of peace’?

On Sunday, in the hours after the London Bridge attack, Christians celebrated Pentecost – recalling when the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostles to come out of hiding and proclaim the Good News. In light of the terrorist atrocity, my parish priest spoke on the fruits of this Spirit – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,…

Harry and the magical manifesto

Harry Styles’ declaration in The Sunday Times that he will vote ‘for whoever is against Brexit’ on the basis that ‘the world should be more about being together and being better together and joining together, and I think it’s the opposite of that,’ seemed to confirm much of what I was seeing on the anti-Brexit…

Low wage tax haven? Worked for Singapore

You have to pity those poor Spaniards. As propitiatory sacrifices to euromoloch, their unemployment rate remains stubbornly around the 18 per cent mark a full decade after the financial crisis, and most of their young people now seem to be making lattes for Londoners. In Britain, we complain about the poor Iberian harvest leaving supermarkets…

The EU’s ‘unequal treaties’

One of the more colourful episodes of British imperialism – and, let’s face it, there’s a lot to choose from – took place around the ‘misspent youth’ of empire at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign – when its full might was put behind the somewhat embarrassing pursuit of drug-pushing. In 1839 China’s Daoguang Emperor…

Can Labour survive this general election?

‘There are times, perhaps once every thirty years, when there is a sea-change in politics,’ reflected James Callaghan in 1979, conscious he was about to be turfed out of Number 10. He didn’t know the half of it. While Margaret Thatcher’s election did herald the end of the post-war consensus, it kept the Conservative/Labour ‘mould’…

Jeremy Corbyn should give Henry VIII more credit

Poor Henry VIII. Remembered primarily for being obese and a serial monogamist, the father of Elizabeth I last weekend had to endure the supreme indignity of a codpiecing by Jeremy Corbyn on national television. “I don’t think the record of Henry VIII on promoting democracy, inclusion and participation was a very good one,” he told…

Who said satire is dead? Me. And it’s a bloody bore.

A few weeks ago I was delighted to see two very familiar names in the candidates’ book of the Savile Club. Younger readers may not recognise Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, but among the sitcoms they have under their belt are Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart, and my favourite – The New Statesman. Running…