From Interviews

Aitken on the ‘Nice Nixon’

Anyone who’s a fan of one of my favourite TV shows, Futurama, will be familiar with the popular caricature of Richard Nixon – jowly, cold, and taking his revenge upon the world with a giant, robotic body. He was the ‘Bush’ of American politics before H.W. was even in the White House and embodied everything liberal Americans love to hate about the Republican Party. Or did he? Quotes from Futurama like “Don’t make me get Cambodian on your ass” and “I’ll cut taxes for the rich, and use the poor as a cheap source of teeth for aquarium gravel” make me laugh…

Aitken: My ringside seat at Night of the Long Knives – and what it means for Cameron

Blind chance sometimes affords individuals spectacular front row seats in the theatre of history; from the 22-year-old apolitical secretary watching the downfall of the Third Reich from Hitler’s bunker to a young Oxford undergraduate who landed himself a fly-on-the-wall view of one of the most ruthless Cabinet culls in modern British history. Jonathan Aitken, in 1962 reading law at Christ Church, had secured a job “goafering” for then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Selwyn Lloyd, through his family connections (his father, Sir William Aitken, was MP for Bury St Edmunds and a nephew of Lord Beaverbrook; his grandfather was Lord Rugby) unaware he was about to become a front…

Aitken: Nixon & Wilson sang HMS Pinafore together

This interview with Jonathan Aitken originally appeared as part of a series on the Parliament Street website. The ‘Special Relationship’ between Great Britain and her prodigal son, the United States, is often taken for granted as something which will exist in perpetuity. Indeed, today we are used to Prime Minister and President falling over each other to shake hands and reaffirm the ties that have bound us for hundreds of years in language, culture, philosophy and law. But it has not always been that way. Although when the War of Independence ended in 1783, both parties were keen to reestablish friendly relations and the profitable trade…

Afzal Amin: NATO has lost its nerve on ISIS

This interview originally appeared on the Parliament Street website. As an Arabic speaker hailing from a family with Muslim, Hindu and Sikh ancestors, Afzal Amin has been able to bring a unique perspective to his service in the British Army and, as PPC for Dudley North, hopes to do so again in Parliament. Following his recent trip to Bosnia, Paul Nizinskyj speaks with him about history repeating itself in the Middle East. “Those who do not learn from history,” the old adage goes, “are doomed to repeat it.” Since the systematic murder of six million European Jews in the Second World War and the Allies’ vow of “Never Again,” there have…

Gavin Barwell: Immigrants are natural Conservatives – and we need them on side

This interview originally appeared on the Parliament Street website. Gavin Barwell is passionate about Croydon. In fact, it’s probably not an exaggeration to say he’s downright obsessed with the place. To many, it might have no more significance than the home of the infamous ‘Croydon Facelift’ but, for Gavin, it has been home for the best part of his 42 years on this Earth. A Croydon councillor before he became MP for Croydon Central, he cites the late Bernard Weatherill – Croydon North East MP and the last bewigged Speaker of the House of Commons – as his political role model…

Toby Young: UKIP strike a chord – but they’re not serious

This interview with Toby Young originally appeared on the Parliament Street website. With the venom they elicit from the left and the suspicion (or is that opportunism?) they engender within the breasts of the Conservatives’ own Coalition partners, you’d be forgiven for thinking free schools were the brainchild of Mr Burns’ Springfield Republican Party in conclave at the Temple of Doom. Those with good memories, however, will remember the Tories’ inspiration for free schools came from that hip, socialist, paradise across the North Sea – Sweden – which is just where Toby Young has been this week as the guest of the Swedish Free School Association. Whether…

Charles Tannock – Iraq is a domestic issue

This week, Dr Charles Tannock MEP will be meeting the European Union’s representative in Baghdad to discuss the civil war taking place in Iraq and the Union’s response. However, while he will do so as a member of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, he makes it clear there is also a dangerous domestic angle…

Rob Halfon: RoadTrip is a family

With RoadTrip2015‘s unbridled success in Newark, Harlow MP Rob Halfon speaks to Paul Nizinskyj about its family values, how it can help us win a majority next year, and its future as a campaigning model after the election. Rob Halfon was quite impressed with the Queen’s Speech this year. As perhaps the Conservative party’s loudest…

Hannan: UKIP will cost us a majority

After successfully defending Newark and seeing a better than expected result in the European Parliament elections, Conservative activists have every reason to be optimistic about the prospects of a majority in 2015 as they hit the doorsteps over the next 11 months. But with UKIP riding high in the polls, Daniel Hannan is a little more sceptical. It’s difficult to find a Conservative politician that is at once fiercely independently minded, not to mention spoken, yet at the same time the most loyal of the loyal when it comes to defending both party and leader. While in Britain we fret about…

Basildon councillor: We haven’t lost Essex Man

With the ‘carnage’ wrought by UKIP in the bellweather borough of Basildon showing disturbing parallels with 1997, surviving Conservative Cllr Andrew Schrader speaks to Paul Nizinskyj about what went wrong and how the party can win back ‘Essex Man’ in 2015. At 32, Andrew Schrader has been a Billericay councillor on Basildon Council for little…

Ex UKIP deputy on Farage’s ‘celebrity lifestyle’

Nigel Farage is guilty of gross hypocrisy over UKIP election posters, former deputy leader Craig Mackinlay tells Paul Nizinskyj, as well as being the primary reason so many ‘kippers seem to leave.  There’s perhaps a poetic significance that UKIP’s ‘celebrity lifestyle’ poster – featuring a suited man in a limo under the slogan “Your daily…

DCB – why UKIP don’t want a referendum

UKIP should not be written off as a protest party in the European elections, former deputy leader David Campbell Bannerman tells Paul Nizinskyj, as more MEPs means more cash to fund a Westminster campaign – scuppering any chance of Britain finally having a referendum on the EU. David Campbell Bannerman is a member of one…