We are frequently told that Boris Johnson is a Heineken Tory: he can appeal to voters that other Conservatives cannot reach. This is one reason—for some the only reason—that many of the party’s MPs are reluctant to depose him, even as the scandal of Partygate becomes farcical. They fear that they are more likely to … Continue reading The myth that keeps Boris Johnson in Downing Street
Here is a conundrum for the year ahead. What can be done to fight the anti-progressive bias that distorts British politics? At the last general election, just under 15m people voted for parties on the right that wanted to “get Brexit done,” while almost 17m people voted for parties on the left and centre that … Continue reading A Labour-Lib Dem-Green alliance to fight the Tories? Why it should happen – and why it won’t
Conservative MPs in marginal seats will enter 2022 with an agonising dilemma. Do they stay loyal to Boris Johnson, who help them win two years ago – or depose him in order to keep their seats next time? New research by the polling company Opinium shows that Johnson has lost his personal appeal, at least … Continue reading The proof that Boris Johnson is now hurting the Tories’ election prospects
Dramatic by-election results – and Helen Morgan’s victory in North Shropshire’s is certainly one of the most dramatic – tend to give rise to two competing narratives: that a revolution has taken place and British politics will never be the same again; or alternatively: calm down: the result will soon be relegated to the footnotes … Continue reading North Shropshire: Heineken Boris has lost his fizz
The general election two years ago was a clash between two agendas. The first was whether Brexit should go ahead; the second was whether Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn should be Prime Minister. On Brexit, 52% of us voted for a party that backed a People’s Vote – a second referendum. Against this 47% voted … Continue reading How Labour messed up in 2019 – and why the Tories are now vulnerable
Dear Europe, don’t give up on us. The best of Britain can be found not around Boris Johnson’s cabinet table in London but in the hills of Greece; not snarling at France but helping traumatized Afghan families who have reached the European Union to rebuild their lives. The Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI), founded six years … Continue reading Dear Europe, don’t let Johnson fool you: there is a better Britain
Suddenly everyone – everyone, that is, who is obsessed with the ups and downs at Westminster – has got excited. Before today, eight national polls conducted since the Owen Paterson saga hit the headlines had been published. They all told the same story and none had received more than modest attention. They ranged from a … Continue reading “Labour surges to 6% lead”. Should we believe it?
The prime minister is bad with money. So bad that he relies on rich friends to pay off his debts, and uses his position to bully the Inland Revenue into reducing his tax bill. He insists on breaking Whitehall’s rules by keeping government files as if they are his private property, so he can use … Continue reading Corrupt? By global standards, our MPs are not even trying.
Last week, a Conservative MP rebelling against his government said “crap.” Philip Dunne admitted it was not a word he intended to use in parliament, but he used it in its literal sense, not as an expletive. He was concerned that “we do not treat the arteries of nature, which is what our rivers are, … Continue reading How governments hit trouble – and how one US President, sort of, showed what to do
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