Review: Albert’s Table

Living in Croydon involves an abundance of contradictions. Royal Mail tells you you’re in Surrey, even though you’re certain you live in a London borough. South Croydon, where I’m lucky enough to call home, is leafy, disgustingly middle class, and all but indistinguishable from the semi-rural towns over the border in Surrey proper. The rest…

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…

The EU has failed to uphold democratic values

One of the defining features of the EU referendum campaign, and arguably a major factor in the vote for Brexit, was the seeming inability of the Remain side to say anything positive about the European Union. The message, from start to finish, was not so much that the EU was particularly good for Britain but…

Labour’s terminal decline began before Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s dire performance in the Sleaford by-election is just the latest sign of a party in terminal decline. To cap it off, a YouGov poll out this week puts them 17 points behind the Tories – their worse showing since the gloomy days of Gordon Brown. Jeremy Corbyn is taking his share of the blame for the miserable state…

2016: The year post-democratic politics went mainstream

November 25 was a date of cosmic importance this year. Jupiter joined a waning crescent Moon in the dawn sky, “bleeding inside each other’s wounds,” according to the America’s Most Haunted Twitter account, whatever that means. But it wasn’t the only event of cosmic significance to occur that evening. As the entire world now knows, and…

Donald Trump and the five stages of libertarian grief

If you think Theresa May has made life difficult for ‘right-wing libertarians’ in the UK, spare a thought for the poor schmucks across the pond. I was in Washington DC for a few days either side of the presidential election and the overwhelming impression I got from various think tank wonks I spoke to was…

DC Diary: Take me back to the Potomac

“Have you seen those naked pictures of Trump’s wife?” the bartender at Bobby Van’s hollers across the bar. “They’re amazing,” he adds, to raucous laughter. “He doesn’t need to build a wall, he could just blow them up and put them along the border.” This is Bobby Van’s Steakhouse in New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC, two days after…

DC Diary: Brexit déjà-vu

I’ve been up at the Capitol Hill Hotel since precisely 7am, woken by the dirge of church bells, ringing out in a deathly quiet town which overwhelmingly (93%) sent three electoral votes for Hillary Clinton. For all the good it did. And it wasn’t the only irony. I’ve been in the tristate area since Thursday and the weather here has…

DC Diary: Muh ‘mocracy!

The fate of the Great Republic hangs in the balance on Tuesday, if the President of the United States is to be believed. But you wouldn’t know looking around Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. In fact, despite being only an hour outside DC, you’d be hard pressed to know there was a presidential election going on at all. Trump…

US Presidential Election: Bunga bunga or WWIII?

Almost 200 years ago, French liberal Alexis de Tocqueville made one of the most profound predictions in modern history, in his book Democracy in America. At a time when Queen Victoria was barely in her twenties and Britain was still getting used to being the world’s first superpower, de Tocqueville foresaw Russia and America dividing the…

Je suis right-wing libertarian

On Tuesday night, Conservatives for Liberty, which I co-founded in 2013, hosted our annual Freedom Fizz reception.  Jacob Rees-Mogg and Toby Young joined us, along with 400 party delegates, most of whom identify as right-wing libertarians. So like a lot of Conservative Party Conference delegates, I woke up with a hangover on Wednesday morning, with…