For the Many Podcast with Iain Dale & Jacqui Smith

  • 22 Feb 2019

BREAKING NEWS See Iain & Jacqui in a Live Edition of For the Many at PodcastLive in London on 7 April! Buy tickets HERE...   WHAT IS 'FOR THE MANY'? Back in November 18 Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith lauched a weekly podcast called FOR THE MANY. It's a one o...

19 Things I Like

  • 21 Feb 2019

Well, having told you in the previous blogpost about the 19 Things I Hate, several of you have asked me to 19 Things I Like. So here goes... 1 - Most liked food. Yorkshire pudding, Baked cheesecake with a raspberry topping, Chicken Fajitas, Mint Magnums, Mince Pies. I ...

19 Things I Hate

  • 21 Feb 2019

I discovered this on my old blog recently, which someone had tagged me to do, so I thought I'd bring it up to date. Hate is such an extreme emotion, but sometimes you just have to let it all out. Here goes...   1 - Most hated food. Avocado or prawns. Foods of the devil....

What does the Defection of Three Tory MPs Mean?

  • 20 Feb 2019

Last night I thought about writing an article about the most likely Conservative MPs to defect. Then I read a piece mentioning the three I was going to name, so then I thought, sod it, going to bed is a more attractive option.  Then, hey presto, the three I was going to nam...

Is Geoffrey Cox the Man to Save Brexit?

  • 20 Feb 2019

Over the last few weeks it has appeared impossible for anyone to find a way through the Brexit morass. Plan after plan is put forward and then dropped. The EU appears to be at its most intransigent. Theresa May at her most obdurate, failing to recognise the real pickle she's i...

The Night I S*** Myself in the Kremlin & Other Food Related Stories

  • 19 Feb 2019

A couple of broadcast things I've been involved in which I thought you might like to see/listen to. Last week I recorded an edition of The Spectator's Table Talk food and drink podcast. It's available on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts from, but here it is on A...

The Real Brexit Lies and Distortions & Why Honda's Decision Is Not Down to Brexit

  • 19 Feb 2019

The announcement of the closure in 2021 of the Honda plant in Swindon is a disaster for the town. More than 3,000 people will lose their jobs and no doubt that figure will increase in the wider area through the supply chain.  Honda has this morning been explaining why t...

Who is the Best Home Secretary of the Last 60 Years?

  • 19 Feb 2019

Over the weeend I carried out a poll to see who people rated as the best Home Secretary of the last 60 years. There have been 24 Home Secretaries in that time, each lasting an average of two and a half years. According to my poll, this is the top five... Roy Jenkins ...

Will The Independent Group Break the Mould of British Politics?

  • 18 Feb 2019

It's finally happened. After three and a half years seven Labour MPs have decided they can stomach Jeremy Corbyn no longer and have decided to sit as Independents. Some will see this as a mould breaking moment. I'm not sure I do, but time will tell. It has echoes of 1981 wh...

A Tribute to Paul Flynn 1935-2019

  • 18 Feb 2019

I'm very sad to hear that the veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn has died at the age of 84. He was one of my favourite Labour MPs. We didn't really agree on an awful lot, but he was a brave politician and wasn't afraid to adopt causes which at the time were unpopular but later becam...

If Collective Responsibility & Ministerial Discipline Aren't Restored This Government Is Finished

  • 17 Feb 2019

A few weeks ago it was reported that a senior Remain supporting Cabinet Minister had told journalists to expect 40 ministerial resignations if the Government didn't allow them to support Yvette Cooper's amendment ruling out a 'no deal' Brexit. In the event, there wasn't a sing...

Ten Questions to ask in the 2019 End of Year Pub Quiz

  • 17 Feb 2019

  I've looked into my crystal ball and come up with ten questions for the end of year pub quiz...   1. Which title did Theresa May take when she entered the House of Lords? 2. Why was the publication of David Cameron's memoirs postponed? 3. How much did the bailou...

What's Happening to BBC News & Current Affairs?

  • 16 Feb 2019

Let's go back to basics. What is the BBC for? What does 'public service broadcasting' actually mean? How does the BBC adapt to a world in which TV (not radio) audiences are on an apparently inexorable decline as young people consume their media via anything other than a TV scr...

EDP/EADT Article: Is it Time to Axe HS2 & Spend the Money on Local Rail Schemes?

  • 16 Feb 2019

Britain used to lead the world in visionary transport projects. Whatever happened to those halcyon days when someone invented something and within a few years it was built? I’ll tell you what happened. Our sclerotic planning system happened. It really is the roadblock to every...

25 of the Nicest MPs in the House of Commons

  • 15 Feb 2019

People don't usually put the words 'nice' and 'politician' in the same sentence. They should because many politicians are indeed very nice people. Just like in the wider population, there is a fair share of nasty ones too, but in my experience most politicians are much more no...

Twenty Things You'll Never Hear Politicians Say

  • 14 Feb 2019

Liam Fox A world without America would be a far better place.   Emily Thornberry I totally agree that Donald Trump has proved to be an excellent President.   Ann Widdecombe It's a bit overdone, that religion malarkey, isn't it?   Nadine Dorries Th...

Top Ten Nightmare Jobs in Politics

  • 13 Feb 2019

10. Being Jacob Rees-Mogg's nanny 9. Preparing Caroline Nokes for a Select Committee appearance 8. Being Diane Abbott's calculator 7. Being Boris Johnson's diary secretary 6. Being Tom Brake's charisma injector 5. Being John Prescott's speechwriter 4. Being Tim Farron's ...

My Ideal Dinner Party Guests

  • 12 Feb 2019

I was talking to someone the other day about the demise of the dinner party. And it set me thinking. If I held a dinner party for sixteen people in politics who I know, who would I invite to guarantee the sparkiest conversation? Anyway, this is the list I came up with... ...

From the Archives: My (Fake) Obituary of Barack Obama

  • 11 Feb 2019

Back in 2010 GQ Magazine did a feature of fake obituaries of famous people. I was asked to write one on Barack Obama. I chose to date it in 2030... Barack Obama, who died yesterday at the hands of a Russian assassin, was a consummate peacemaker. During his two term presiden...

Politico Column: In Which I Review 14 Brexit Podcasts

  • 11 Feb 2019

This column was written for Politico. We're told that people are bored of Brexit. So you might think there would not be much of market for Brexit-based podcasts. You’d be wrong. In fact, a burgeoning podcasting scene has grown up around analyzing and dissecting Britai...