Andrew Rawnsley on Muck Rack

Andrew Rawnsley Verified

Chief Political Commentator — The Observer
As seen in:  The Observer, Guardian

The Observer's award-winning Chief Political Commentator, critically-acclaimed broadcaster and author of Number One best-seller, The End of the Party.

Ukip should be taken seriously. But it may not like the experience — In politics, as sometimes in life, there can be nothing more disappointing than a dream that comes true. It was the decades-long yearning of Lib Dems that Britain's traditional two-horse race would give way to a pluralistic, multi-party politics. The grip on power of the big two would be broken and supplanted by a rainbow of choices.

£10 charge to be introduced for up to 5.5m visitors to the UK, Labour says — Labour will seek to beef up its pitch to voters on immigration with a pledge to pay for 1,000 extra border guards by imposing a charge on visitors from the US and 55 other countries.

Immigration is changing character of UK schools, claims Iain Duncan Smith — Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has said that non-English-speaking children are changing the character of British schools, as Ukip looks likely to gain its second MP in the Rochester & Strood byelection.

Voters’ real views on immigration would surprise all party leaders — It is a favoured trope of Nigel Farage and his fellow-travellers that the "Westminster elite" doesn't want to talk about immigration. And it was true once. Back in the day when he was still calling himself a Tory moderniser, David Cameron used to tell friends that he was cautious about "going there" because "you don't know where it is going to run away to".

Labour angst about their leader risks echoing the Tories’ jeers — During one of the periodic plots to depose Harold Wilson when he was Labour leader in the 1960s and 1970s, he wittily crushed the conspiracy by declaring: "I know what is going on. I am going on."

Why Ed Miliband now looks for salvation from an old Scottish foe — One of the many reasons that I never lose my appetite for politics is the menu of lip-smacking ironies it serves up. A particularly tasty dish - a cordon bleu irony, an irony worthy of a rating from Michelin - is produced by the important contest to be the next leader of the scunnered Scottish Labour party.

The health service needs more than a bag of grapes to get better — I'm a tad suspicious of big, round numbers. Complex problems rarely resolve into anything so neat as a figure ending in a zero. The merit of big, round numbers in politics is this. They make people sit up and pay attention.

Why both the Tories and Labour are vainly yearning for fantasy leaders — This is a lovely time in British politics to be called Johnson. As Labour MPs grow more anxious about their prospects under the management of Ed Miliband, the trees whisper with a yearning for Alan Johnson. The former postie with the compelling poverty-to-cabinet life story is flattered by commentaries extolling his qualities and wistful sighing from within Labour's own ranks.

The new working class won’t follow Labour down a Ukip path — Ed Miliband has a Ukip problem. Nigel Farage's beery, cheery and tweedy bunch is picking off the blue-collared, white-skinned, grey-haired bits of Labour's electoral base. Labour's poor showing in last week's byelections - holding Heywood and Middleton by a sliver and obtaining just 11% in the once Labour-voting territory of Clacton - was proof enough of that.

Labour and Tories won’t stop Ukip by blaming each other — or both David Cameron and Ed Miliband, these are the days of straw clutching. They grasp at thin reeds in the desperate search to locate some consolation from the reverses inflicted on them by Ukip. They find it in arguing that it was even worse for the other guy.
More Articles →
Nov 02, 2014

Why Ed Miliband now looks for salvation from an old Scottish foe

Oct 31, 2014

@MatthewdAncona I will be far from alone in finding my Sundays hugely diminished.

Oct 26, 2014

The health service needs more than a bag of grapes to get better

Oct 19, 2014

@jimobrienMSc Ed took a sabbatical from working for Gordon Brown to teach at Harvard.

Oct 19, 2014

Why both the Tories and Labour vainly yearn for fantasy leaders

Oct 12, 2014

Neither the Tories nor Labour have a coherent strategy for stopping the purple pied-piper

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