Why I Published Peter Watt's Book

  • 9 Jan 2010

Next Left's Sunder Katwala knows a thing about political publishing, albeit of the academic kind. We first met when I was at Politico's and he worked for Macmillan. He's written an article headlined WATT'S THE POINT? on Next Left this afternoon, which I think deserves a full r...

If One School Could Open, Why Couldn't Others?

  • 8 Jan 2010

I was talking to my Mum last night and she was ranting on about schools who close at the first whiff of snow. She had seen a report on the TV about a school in Norwich which had remained open, despite all those around it closing. It turns out that on Thursday and Friday thi...

Brown Copies Foot Election Strategy

  • 7 Jan 2010

The election strategy being fought by Gordon Brown and his team reminds me of that followed by Michael Foot in 1983. These cosy little household chats which Brown is doing every day are exactly what Foot did in 1983, partly in order to keep him away from the media. Foot did hi...

What Next?

  • 7 Jan 2010

Many things remain unclear, but let's stick to what we know. We know that David Cameron has said he believes there should be a "strong governmment in the national interest". We also know that Nick Clegg has said that he would first talk to the party which has most seats and mo...

Book Review: Shirley Williams' Autobiography

  • 6 Jan 2010

This is a political autobiography which has had some mixed reviews. Some reviewers thought that Shirley Williams hadn't dished enough dirt. She was even nice about David Owen, wrote one disappointed reviewer. But isn't that the point? An autobiography is supposed to reflect th...

My Top Ten Westminster Novels

  • 3 Jan 2010

When it comes to reading political novels I always enjoy a plot which centres around Parliament. I started to write a political novel myself a few years ago (which unbelievably featured Charles Kennedy as Foreign Secretary oin a Tory led coalition!) but only wrote one chapter....

My New Year's Resolutions for 2010

  • 1 Jan 2010

It's only natural to re-evaluate a few things at the beginning of a new year. I'm not sure I believe in making new year's resolutions, but I'm going to make a few new year's aspirations. Here goes...   1. To make more of a consistent effort to watch my weight 2. To recogn...

Book Review: Something Sensational to Read In The Train by Gyles Brandreth

  • 1 Jan 2010

I've said it before, and I will say it again, Gyles Brandreth's diaries BREAKING THE CODE are the best political book of the last decade. So when I bought his new volume of diaries SOMETHING SENSATIONAL TO READ IN THE TRAIN I was almost salivating. The book covers 1959 to the ...

Will 2010 Be the Year of the Left of Centre Blogs?

  • 31 Dec 2009

In a thought provoking article for this week's New Statesman, James Crabtree (Deputy Editor of Prospect Magazine) asserts that the left wing blogosphere will come of age in 2010 and will finally catch up with the success of blogs on the right. I don't buy the argument that ...

Ten Predictions for 2010

  • 30 Dec 2009

1. Andy Murray will reach the Wimbledon final 2. The Conservatives will win the election with a majority of between 20 and 50 3. VAT will go up to 20% at some point this year 4. Britain will lose its AAA credit status 5. West Ham will not be relegated 6. Ed Miliband will ...