Nominated for Political Commentator of the Year

  • 13 Jun 2007

I have been nominated for an award, believe it or not. Each year MPs and Peers vote in the HOUSE MAGAZINE/SKY NEWS PARLIAMENTARY AWARDS. I've been nominated in the Political Commentator of the Year award. Apparently MPs nominate people and they are then shortlisted by the Hous...

Lunch With Gordon Brown ... Or Was It?

  • 12 Jun 2007

I wasn't told who the lunch would be with. I was just to be at the restaurant at a certain time. A bit strange I thought, but curiosity got the better of me. A few minutes after I arrived a burly looking man approached the table and said, 'he's on his way', but before I could ...

David Mellor Should Depart the Stage

  • 11 Jun 2007

Oh dear. At about five to twelve this morning Julian Worricker said to me on 5 Live: "That's what we like about you Iain, you don't sit on the fence". Little did he realise what was coming next. After the midday news on 5 Live they had David Mellor on to talk about the grammar...

EDP Diary: The Dumbing Down of TV News

  • 8 Jun 2007

There is a lot of talk about how TV has dumbed down in recent years. I suppose the rise o reality TV is the perfect exemplification of this trend. This week the Sky News presenter Kay Burley broke off a serious interview on prison reform to go live to California to cover the e...

Guardian Column: The Brady Resignation Should Never Have Been Allowed to Happen

  • 30 May 2007

If you believed the spin George Osborne’s speech today on the battle for public service reform was only about the Cameron Conservatives being the supposed ‘heir to Blair’. It wasn’t. It was far more than that. The trouble is that few Tory supporters or members will ever read i...

Book Review: The Political Animal by Jeremy Paxman

  • 29 May 2007

I'm reading Jeremy Paxman's POLITICAL ANIMALat the moment, albeit three years late. I'll do a full review when I have finished it, but I was very struck by this passage... Being loved is what so much of contemporary politics is about. In a post-ideological age, the Labour P...

EDP Diary: Is the NHS Safe in Tory Hands?

  • 24 May 2007

Incredible though it may seem, health policy is an area in which the Conservatives are ahead in the polls for the first time since 1948 without actually having the benefit of any real policy. The last thing David Cameron should do is saddle himself with detailed policy in this...

Telegraph Column: The Grammar School Fiasco

  • 24 May 2007

Successful politicians are not only able to make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear but can also take advantage of unexpected opportunities which come their way. And so it has proved with the Great Grammar School farrago which has dominated the last week of Tory politics.   ...

Should Tory Bloggers Be More Robust?

  • 21 May 2007

Watlington, who write for the Social Affairs Unit blog, has written a piece suggesting that Tory blogs like mine and ConservativeHome need to do more to defend ourselves from increasingly vocal attacks. He cites the recent attacks from Melissa Kite as a case in point. This is ...

Labour Complain to the BBC About ... Me

  • 17 May 2007

  The Press Gazette Axegrinder column reports today the following little titbit... The BBC appears to have angered bigwigs in the Labour Party with its seemingly endless invites to Westminster blogger Iain Dale to review the papers. When Dale appears on News 24 to gi...

Are Grammar Schools Cameron's Clause 4 Moment?

  • 17 May 2007

The Conservatives have fought the last three general elections on the policy of a new grammar school in every town. A quick quiz question: who wrote the 2001 manifesto? Correct, David Willetts. Another question: who wrote the 2005 manifesto? Correct, David Cameron. A third que...

The Great Grammar School Debate

  • 16 May 2007

I'm touched by the number of people who have been leaving comments on the blog awaiting my views on grammar schools! Well, here goes. This is an argument we didn't need to have. Instead of attacking the concept of grammar schools we should be encouraging diversity in educat...

Carols Tevez: Hammers Hero

  • 13 May 2007

Forgive me this indulgence, but anyone who reads this blog will know what I have been going through for the last 90 minutes. I can still hardly believe West Ham did it. I went to Old Trafford the last time we won in 2001 when Defoe scored the winner and vowed never to go back ...

Telegraph Column: How Gordon Brown WilL Dominate the Agenda

  • 10 May 2007

The next two months will be dominated by one man – Gordon Brown. For the Conservatives it will be like going back to 1997 when no one, not even their mothers, wanted to hear from them. The media will ignore their every word, no matter how relevant, on the mark or controversial...

EDP Diary: Phones, Stolen Cars & the End of Blair

  • 7 May 2007

There seems to be a new law invented specifically for me. It’s my personal equivalent of the Law of Sod. It goes something like this. “As soon as shaving cream is applied to thy face or thee steppeth into the shower, thy mobile phone shall ring.” I can have 24 hours of blissfu...

Great TV Moments: No 94

  • 5 May 2007

Never tell me that 18 Doughty Street isn't a totally professional organisation... The Microshaft Blog noticed something strange in our election coverage yesterday morning... Funniest part of the Election Coverage must go to Iain Dale at about 11ish this morning, whilst list...

Guardian Column: Politicians Should be Honest about Election Results

  • 4 May 2007

I never fail to understand why politicians can’t be honest about election results. Tell it like it is and you cannot fail to gain the respect of those who are watching you.   Watching the TV this morning you’d think that the LibDems had, at worst, held steady. So far the...

It's About That Old Fashioned Thing Called Shame

  • 2 May 2007

Lord Browne has had a very unpleasant 24 hours. In some ways, for having lied to a court, you'd have to say he deserves it and that few should have sympathy with him. But - and it is a big but - that would be to ignore two facts. This story would not have taken up so much spac...

Labour MP: Don't You Know Who I Am?

  • 27 Apr 2007

Yesterday, Labour MP Geraldine Smith had a 'don't you know who I am' incident on a train back to her Morecambeand Lunesdale constituency. One of her fellow passengers was less than impressed by her behaviour. Shee was travelling on the 8-46am to Glasgow from Euston when he ...

EDP Diary: How to annoy your Neighbours

  • 27 Apr 2007

Political campaigning techniques are undergoing a revolution. You’ll still be getting leaflets through your door during the local election campaign, but all the political parties are now using more modern means of political communication to engage with voters. South Norfolk Co...