Time for Plaid Cymru to come off the fence

With elections to the Welsh Assembly no more than three months away, the rhetorical war is hotting up.  According to yesterday’s Western Mail, the Conservatives are now demanding that Plaid Cymru come off the fence about how they would vote in a new Assembly, in which – potentially – they could hold the balance of […]

A budget for UKIP

Amidst all the commentary following the Budget, there’s a political issue that seems to have been missed, but one that shows crucially what keeps Cameron and Osborne awake at night. Look at the beneficiaries of the budget measures.  Older people, high-end savers, drivers, beer-drinkers (and apparently bingo-goers, prompting the Tories into a piece of cod […]

Coming home

There is a cynical view that party conferences are so much hot air – three weeks in which the party faithful essentially look inwards, with little that is relevant to the need of the wider world.  That may be true at times, but this years conference season – and the events that have immediately followed […]

Tory Britain and the politics of abuse

There is something horrible, something almost unprecedentedly repellent about the language and demeanour of the Conservative Party conference this week.  It is not so much the unreality, the way in which, inside a security bubble which, among other things, has prevented broadcasters from filming a huge counter-demonstration, the principal party of Government indulges in a […]

Labour and the Ashcroft poll: winning the war as well as the battle

There has been a certain amount of excitement over a poll of marginal constituencies by Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, suggesting that Labour is on course for a thumping win at the 2015 General Election.  While it is no doubt encouraging for Labour and indeed for anyone who wants to see the end of the Coalition, […]

Eastleigh: a fascinating contest

After the lies, the by-election.  The resignation of Chris Huhne as MP for Eastleigh, following his guilty plea to a charge of perverting the course of justice, opens the way to what could be a defining by-election contest. At the 2010 General Election Huhne held the seat with a majority of nearly 4,000 over the […]

Why culture wars are breaking out in the Tory party

It’s been an interesting couple of days in the evolution of the Tory party.  Ahead of tomorrow’s House of Commons vote on equal marriage a group of Conservative party constituency chairmen hands in a petition at No 10 urging Cmaeron to delay the vote; while the Mail on Sunday carries an interview with Chris Grayling – […]