How true blue Thatcherism helped paint society pink


There are occasions when the blogosphere becomes consumed with one event. The passing of Margaret Thatcher was inevitably just such an occasion. Within no time she was trending on Twitter. And then an avalanche of blogs and comment appeared from every part of the political spectrum. For many who lived through her premiership and were […]
Why Generalissimo Cameron is the wrong response to child abuse


Another week, another brief media frenzy or two about child abuse and sexual exploitation. This week it was Oxford. Next time it might be Rotherham again. All too often we get a news spike when something happens to the perpetrators or the authorities; or when the home of an alleged celebrity culprit is raided. And […]
What Ken should have said – and still could


Here’s a thing. I cut my political teeth just over the river from Ken Livingstone’s GLC, as secretary of NALGO at Westminster City Council. It was led at the time by one of his arch enemies, one Lady Shirley Porter. I only met Ken very briefly a couple of times. I didn’t especially warm to […]
Is there still room for Scottish Labour?


The post-election movie is now on general release in Scotland. The Scottish National Party and the Scottish Conservatives both feature heavily and their leaders play starring roles. Scottish Labour features too but the reviews of its performance make grim reading.
Politics: time to stop the rot


I didn’t know Jo Cox. But I’ve met many MPs over the years and count a number of them, past and present, as personal friends. In the immediate aftermath of her tragic death, I felt the urge to contact those I know well to say that I was thinking of them. And so I understand […]
My safe European home


I should start with a confession. I haven’t pored over coverage of the European Referendum for months. If anything I’ve avoided it. It’s not that I have no interest in the outcome. Quite the reverse. But I’ve no real interest in the debate. Because for the most part, it’s ranged from tedious to downright offensive. […]
Pink embers in the ashes


Not everyone feels hopeless about today’s European referendum result. Those on the winning side feel hopeful that they have ‘their country back.' We have been told repeatedly that theirs is an outward, globally focused hope. But it feels to me like a brittle, hard hope. A cold, contorted hope which far from looking out at […]
Finding hope and fighting back


Twenty-seven years ago today the Berlin Wall fell. It was the defining political moment of my lifetime. Until today. Unlike today it was a moment, to coin a phrase Barak Obama would use later, of audacious hope. The other 9/11 in 2001 came pretty close as a defining moment but it was surely the worst […]