Why the Tories are still ahead – and where they are vulnerable

Neither Labour nor the Conservatives will admit it, but both have lost their favourite line of attack against the other. Following the pandemic, and the announcement of a new tax to pay for extra spending on health and social care, the Tories can no longer be plausibly attacked as a right-wing, laissez-faire, small-government party. Equally, … Continue reading Why the Tories are still ahead – and where they are vulnerable

Afghanistan, Brexit and the illusion of “Global Britain”

Nobody with the slightest humanity could equate the horrific events in Kabul with McDonalds running out of milk shakes. Yet in recent UK news broadcasts, stories of mildly inconvenient food shortages at home have vied for viewers’ attention with the desperate plight of families 4,000 miles away. In their very different ways, both stories give … Continue reading Afghanistan, Brexit and the illusion of “Global Britain”

War and politics: lessons from Eden, Blair and Churchill

Perhaps opinion polls should come with the same warnings as financial advertisements: past performance does not guarantee results. Even so, as Boris Johnson faces criticism for Britain's role in the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan, a trip down memory lane suggests that foreign policy disasters do not necessarily destroy the reputations of governments. Let’s start with … Continue reading War and politics: lessons from Eden, Blair and Churchill

British voters now dislike both main parties

Time to separate the noise from the signal. Polling headlines often pick out the noise—dramatic changes that might be short-term, or reflect sampling fluctuations, or both—rather than the signal: the underlying state of public opinion, which conveys more significant messages. Two polls in recent days point in different directions. YouGov’s poll in Saturday’s Times reported a “collapse” … Continue reading British voters now dislike both main parties

Post-Covid, the Tories’ 2019 manifesto still matters. Will their broken promises come back to haunt them?

Election manifestos are like the small print on the guarantees that come with television sets, toasters and other such purchases. Much time and effort is spent getting right the words that hardly any of us ever read. Still, most of us know that the small print in a purchase matters. It establishes the contractual relationship … Continue reading Post-Covid, the Tories’ 2019 manifesto still matters. Will their broken promises come back to haunt them?