Book Review: The Little Book of New Labour Sleaze

  • 3 May 2006

Schooled in scandal Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes's timely litany of New Labour's failings overemphasises the same sins that brought down the Tories.   With the tide of public support that once buoyed the good ship New Labour now slipping away to leave it high and dry, a...

Prescott Would Be Unwise to go to the PCC

  • 30 Apr 2006

Before I start, just a quick advert for my Diary column in the Independent on Sunday - I hope you've all bought your copy today! So John Prescott has, according to the Sunday newspapers, come out fighting. Possibly not the wisest word to use with regard to Prezza. He is thr...

EXCLUSIVE 2: LibDems Face Having to Pay Back £2.4 Million Donation

  • 21 Apr 2006

The LibDems were faced tonight with the prospect of having to pay back the £2.4 donation received from Michael Brown (left), who was arrested in Spain today on 53 charges allege forgery, perjury, dishonesty, perverting the course of justice and obtaining a passport by deceptio...

EXCLUSIVE: LibDem Donor Faces Fraud Charges

  • 21 Apr 2006

THIS BLOG WAS TWO HOURS AHEAD OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ON THIS STORY! 1pm: I've just been told that later today we will hear that Michael Brown, the guy who donated £2 million to the Liberal Democrats, is facing fraud charges in the UK and an application has been made for hi...

Officially Nominated

  • 18 Apr 2006

A comparatively dry day for a change. The first door I knocked on this morning in North Walsham was a LibDem switcher and a minute later a lady came up to me and asked me for a poster. I suppose it could only go downhill from there! I hear that several LibDem councillors ar...

How to Spot a Right Winger

  • 15 Apr 2006

ConservativeHome and Harry Phibbs on the Social Affairs Unit have both written very interesting pieces on the concept of being 'Right Wing', a term the BBC usually applies to anyone it considers a 'baddie'. Ming Campbell, in a rare public statement this week, decided to avoid ...

Film Review: Green Street

  • 11 Apr 2006

Imagine you're a film director and you're making a movie about football hooliganism. You need to cast someone as a hooligan. Who comes to mind first? Elijah Wood, the world's most famous hobbit? Yeah right. But that's indeed who plays the lead in this fantastic film. I've had ...

Scrap PartY Conferences?

  • 5 Apr 2006

In an interview with Petronella Wyatt in the Daily Mail this morning George Osborne says the Conservatives might scrap their annual conference altogether. The quote reads: "We might scrap the big autumn conference altogether. We need to face issues about the future of Britain ...

My Evening With Cliff, Lulu and Lord Ashcroft

  • 2 Apr 2006

Last night I attended what must surely be one of the parties of the year, if not the decade - Michael Ashcroft's 60th birthday bash. It was a total privilege to be there. However I describe it, I won't be able to do justice to the evening. If I live to be 90 I doubt whether I ...

My Weekend in Washington DC

  • 27 Mar 2006

Well I never did get to the Holocaust Museum on Saturday. I didn't get out of the hotel until mid afternoon due to the Michael Hintze exclusive, which most (but naturally, not all) of the papers were good enough to credit me with. So by the time I drove down there it was impos...

EXCLUSIVE: LOAN TORY CHOOSES THIS BLOG TO GO PUBLIC

  • 26 Mar 2006

Note to journalists: If you use any quote from this story I'd be grateful if you'd source/credit it properly! The man behind the £2.5 million Tory loan "revealed" in The Times today will come as a big disappointment to anyone looking for a Tory-troubles story. I can exclusi...

My Top Ten Political Sitcoms

  • 24 Mar 2006

These are sitcoms, so I haven't included Have I Got News for You or Rory Bremner. I've also only managed to think up 8, so can you think of any political sitcoms I have missed! 1. Yes Minister /Yes Prime Minister Unrivalled comedy expose of the civil service at its finest....

The Man Responsible for the Rise of Edward Heath

  • 9 Mar 2006

Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport was the Tory MP for Knutsford, and an opposition whip shortly after the war. Once, seeing an unfamiliar figure leaving the building, he assumed this was a Tory MP trying to evade a three-line whip. When the man refused to stop, Sir Walter kicked hi...

My Ten Political Heroes

  • 9 Mar 2006

My Top Ten Political Heroes Some of my political heroes won't surprise you, but others will. This sort of thing is very personal and any such list will inevitably be dominated by contemporary figures from one's own political life, and also heroes in history. Mine is no diff...

My Top Ten Political Diaries

  • 8 Mar 2006

On Sunday night Gyles Brandreth starts a new mini-series on the art of writing political diaries. You can hear it at the fag-end of the Westminster Hour at 9.45pm. So I thought I'd do a top ten of my favourite political diaries. I'm not sure what this means but I do detect a t...

Anne Diamond and my Nude Interview

  • 7 Mar 2006

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Anne Diamond. In fact I have just finished reading her autobiography. It's quite a traumatic read in places, as she details the terrible death of her son Sebastian, who she found dead in his cot one morning. She's obviously never comple...

My Top 10 Political Movies

  • 7 Mar 2006

Now I readily admit that my movie tastes are somewhat shallow - unlike my politics, of course! I go to the cinema to have a laugh, have a cry or to see some 'action'. I do not like intellectual films which you have to think about - you know, the kind of things which you'd be o...

Stranded on the M25

  • 7 Mar 2006

I'm in Norwich at the moment, having just attended a funeral. Three and a half hours it took to get here... I was stuck on the M25 in the slow lane when I noticed a woman in the fast lane who had steam coming out of the back of her MG. She got out to look at it, leaving her el...

My Top Ten Political Novels

  • 2 Mar 2006

My Top Ten Political Novels Paul Linford has posted his Top Ten Political Books. So always being one to jump on a bandwagon (!) I thought I'd follow his lead, but give you my Top Ten Political Novels instead. My definition of a political novel might be different to some peo...

An England Team of West Ham Players

  • 11 Feb 2006

Footballers are not renowned for their great intellects, but West Ham's 21 year old captain Nigel Reo Coker (pic left) is different. Read THIS interview in The Independent and make up your own mind. He's probably been the Hammers' best player this season, certainly the most co...