Public Humiliation Should Not be Part of Our Legal Process

  • 19 Nov 2006

Anyone who knows David Prior (former Tory MP for North Norfolk) will testify to the decency of the man. His former constituents in North Norfolk and the staff at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital will have been shocked at his very public arrest this week. But let u...

EDP Diary: Jon Snow, Me and our Ties

  • 17 Nov 2006

Anyone who knows David Prior will testify to the decency of the man. His former constituents in North Norfolk and the staff at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital will have been shocked at his very public arrest this week. But let us remember that arrest does not imp...

Guardian: A Very Boring Queen's Speech

  • 15 Nov 2006

Queen's speech: bor-ing! The work of a weary regime devoid of new ideas, the Queen's Speech leaves us with only Labour's succession to look forward to. This Queen's Speech has all the stench of a government in decay and on the way out. Listening to the stream of minister...

Guardian Column: Waste of a Queen's Speech

  • 15 Nov 2006

This Queen’s Speech has all the stench of a government in decay and on the way out. Listening to the stream of Ministers talking it up on 5 Live you would think the Government was still hugely popular, the Prime Minister is at the peak of his powers and that the Bills in the Q...

TimeOut: The Art of the Political Diary & Biography

  • 11 Nov 2006

  Political autobiography is normally defined as a work of fiction by the author, about the author. Rarely do we find examples of 'good autobiography'. Indeed, it would be easier to draw up a list of Top Ten Worst Political Memoirs.   The late Alan Clark, Conservative...

EDP Diary: How to reform the House of Lords

  • 3 Nov 2006

The Speaker of the House of Commons needs the support of the whole House if he is to be able to preside over it properly. Michael Martin’s performance this week, when he upbraided David Cameron for asking Tony Blair about his preferred successor, was merely the latest in a lon...

Guardian Review of 18 Doughty Street by Dave Hill

  • 30 Oct 2006

The future of television, some part of it at least, lies behind a black door on the fringes of Bloomsbury. It is the front door to a house; a sturdy, terraced one in Doughty Street where also stands the office of the Spectator. For all this 19th-century solidity, though, the b...

Thoughts on House of Lords Reform

  • 22 Oct 2006

House of Lords reform seems to be back on the agenda at long last. Labour has indulged in many acts of constitutional vandalism since 1997 but none has been as bungled as their efforts to reform our Second Chamber. The trouble was that they embarked on the reform process witho...

Molly Scotcher 1931-2006

  • 21 Oct 2006

Yesterday I went to a funeral near Bury St Edmunds to bury my Godmother, Molly Scotcher, who died last week. I’m not very good at funerals. No matter how much I tell myself I’m going to maintain a stiff upper lip, my eyes somehow turn into water fountains. It didn’t help today...

Living in the Constituency

  • 21 Oct 2006

Ellee Seymour has an interesting little titbit about York LibDems leafleting constituents alerting them that Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Julian Sturdy lives three miles outside the constituency and therefore cannot be considered to be a local candidate. Pathetic, but ...

Guardian Diary: Keep the Journalists Busy or Live to Regret It

  • 10 Oct 2006

The problem with Party Conferences is that unless you announce lots of new initiatives and policies the media hordes have nothing to write about. And when you don’t feed the media beast, it turns round and bites you. If journalists have nothing better to write about they rehas...

EDP Column: Why Do Politicians Write Autobiographies?

  • 8 Oct 2006

    The publication of David Blunkett’s diaries is likely to yield great disappointment for his publishers, Hodder. The reason why this book will rise quickly to that ever growing ‘remainder heaven’ in the sky is that we all believe we know quite enough about David Blunk...

EDP Diary: I'm Sorry, That's All We've Got Time For

  • 7 Oct 2006

What is it with British seaside resort hotels? In my experience they seem to delight in making life as difficult and as expensive for anyone who visits them. I’ve just returned from four days in Bournemouth which cost me more than it would have done to spend a fortnight in Maj...

BBC Online Reviews 18 Doughty Street

  • 6 Oct 2006

Unlike newspapers, radio and TV broadcasters in Britain are bound by strict rules on balance and impartiality. But next week, a political channel threatens to turn these sacred codes on their head. How? By broadcasting on the net. When did you last watch a rough and tumble ...

Sunday Times: 18 Doughty Street Launches

  • 4 Oct 2006

By Iain Dale is Presenter of Vox Politix on 18DoughtyStreet Talk TV     Political television in this country is on the decline. The BBC appears to think that it can only get ratings for political programmes if it invites comedians and celebrities to pontificate on gre...

Guardian: Taxing Times

  • 1 Oct 2006

Taxing times Tories want a mature debate about taxation, but the media is determined to present differing opinions as a split. As usual, the conference experienced by the representatives here in Bournemouth seems a little different to the subjects the media are obsessed ...

Guardian Column: Has the Conservative Party Changed?

  • 29 Sep 2006

I’ve been attending Tory Conferences since the mid 1980s. Until last year I had enjoyed every one of them, to one degree or another. If I tell you that at last year’s conference I was working as Chief of Staff to David Davis, you may get an inkling as to why it wasn’t exactly ...

Why I Hated (But Now Love) Vodafone

  • 28 Sep 2006

[rant] Today I realised why I hate companies like Vodafone. I have been waiting to upgrade my Sony Ericsson P910 phone to the new P990i since March. Every month I've been into a Vodafone shop asking when it will arrive. "Oh, we're expecting it in a couple of weeks," comes the ...

First 18 Doughty Street Show in the Can

  • 26 Sep 2006

I  recorded my first pre-recorded programme for 18 DoughtyStreet Talk TV today. The interview was with Rodney Hide, the leader of ACT (the New Zealand Liberal Party) and his deputy, Heather Roy. ACT split from the NZ Labour Party in the early 1990s to pursue their own brand of...

Observer: Why MPs Need to Stop Spinning & Start Blogging

  • 24 Sep 2006

Blogs are a spin doctor's worst nightmare come true - and then some. It would be understandable if political parties regarded them as uncontrolled, uncontrollable and sometimes downright troublesome. But if they did, they would be missing a huge opportunity to market their mes...