Will Hutton on Labour’s lost opportunity

At the weekend, I was in the audience for a talk by Will Hutton, formerly of the Guardian and now Principal of Hertford College, Oxford – but, more importantly, for a generation a critical and powerful voice on the centre-left.  The talk was part of the Cardiff Book Festival and was linked to the book […]

Political cults and democratic deficits

In the increasingly ill-tempered Labour leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents are using the word “cult” more and more to describe his support.  And it’s not difficult to see why; on social media in particular some of his supporters adopt a tone of personal adulation that would make Kim Jong-Un blush.  Facts – such as the […]

Brexit and the politics of irrationality

A few miles from where I am sitting, something altogether disturbing is about to happen.  There appears to be every sign that, in the South Wales valleys, thousands of people in one of the most deprived areas of the UK – one whose Less Developed Region status under EU rules means that it is a […]

Olympics: Cameron and Johnson show their class

If nations won Olympic medals for the stupidity of their leaders, Team GB would be a prime contender.  It’s difficult to conclude anything different following the comments of David Cameron – a Prime Minister whose attempts to hitch a ride on the bandwagon of British sporting success have been increasingly risible – and London’s part-time […]

Olympic cycling: an opportunity missed

The heroics of British cyclists in the Olympic velodrome have been widely celebrated – and quite rightly so. Whatever one thinks of organised competitive sport – and I’m the first to admit I’m far from being a fan – what those competitors do (regardless of their nationality) is pretty astonishing. But one feels that in […]

Fred Goodwin and gesture politics

There are growing calls for Fred Goodwin, former chairman of RBS whose extravagant remuneration while presiding over a failing bank has become a powerful symbol of the excesses that led to the 2008 market crash, to be stripped of his knighthood.  Even the Conservative Party, not known for its willingness to deprive bankers of the […]

Fuel price blues–how the Tories are missing the plot

Daily Telegraph columnist and part-time Mayor of London Boris Johnson is the latest Tory to come out in favour of a fuel price stabiliser.  He joins a growing number of Tories backing the idea, and Liberal Democrats are now talking about fuel concessions for the country’s periphery.  Recent increases in fuel prices have given impetus […]