America’s liberals are gaining ground – but tribal divisions are widening

The bitter polarisation of the American election is only too obvious. For many of us, the contours of the battle are clear: in one corner, Joe Biden: a decent, moderate candidate with liberal values and respect for what science tells us about issues ranging from climate change to Covic-19. In the other corner, Donald Trump, … Continue reading America’s liberals are gaining ground – but tribal divisions are widening

Biden is on his way to passing the Rocky test as Trump blows up

After three months in which the poll ratings of Donald Trump and Joe Biden have flatlined, two events in three days have – perhaps – shaken up the US election campaign. If last night’s extraordinary TV debate doesn’t do so, surely nothing will. Elections are not just, and sometimes not much, about policy and ideology. … Continue reading Biden is on his way to passing the Rocky test as Trump blows up

Dear Europe: This is what you need to know about Boris Johnson

This blog is my attempt to dissect the current dramas in British politics for a pan-European audience. It updates a commentary I wrote last week for Carnegie Europe. Insults, however unfair, are apt to stick. In the early 1790s, as the French Revolution descended into terror, the sympathy it had enjoyed in Britain drained away. … Continue reading Dear Europe: This is what you need to know about Boris Johnson

If Tory MPs don’t stop Johnson from defying international law, will Labour and the Lords?

Here is a sentence I never thought I would write. Britain’s global reputation, its hopes of economic recovery and a vital constitutional principle could depend on the actions of the House of Lords. That any, let alone all, of these three things are in jeopardy is bad enough. For their defence to be in the … Continue reading If Tory MPs don’t stop Johnson from defying international law, will Labour and the Lords?

Biden v Trump: the stability of Biden’s lead is certain, but the final outcome is not

Werner Heisenberg would have understood the merits of opinion polls — and their limitations. He was the physicist who proposed the Uncertainty Principle, the idea that the observation of tiny, sub-atomic particles can provide powerful insights but never guarantee precision. Much the same can be said of opinion polls. Applying Heisenberg’s principle to the current American … Continue reading Biden v Trump: the stability of Biden’s lead is certain, but the final outcome is not

Brexit: why the British government’s top lawyer had to resign

Jonathan Jones’s decision to resign as the Government’s top lawyer will surprise anyone who believes the Government’s account of what is going on this week. A new bill is planned, which will give Britain the right to decide how to apply the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement in relation to Northern Ireland. Ministers have ben saying, and … Continue reading Brexit: why the British government’s top lawyer had to resign