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

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.

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.

The Tories’ veneer of bravado barely hides their desperation — Strange times. Someone who dropped into the Labour conference from outer space would have concluded from the rather drawn and grey faces in Manchester that they were looking at a party bound for humiliating defeat at the election.

Vince Cable slams excessive Conservative cuts on working poor — Business secretary Vince Cable says the Tories are planning punitive and unnecessary cuts to the incomes of the working poor that go "far beyond" what is needed to cut the deficit.

Vince Cable: 'Election Armageddon for the Lib Dems? I don't believe it' — Vince Cable is the Lib Dem that Tories love to hate. A visceral cheer went up at the Conservative party conference when Boris Johnson predicted that the Tory candidate in Twickenham would unseat the business secretary from his south-west London constituency. He smiles: "Yes, I did take it as a compliment."

The Labour party is playing like a football team hoping for a dodgy 1-0 win — People who don't go to party conferences often ask: what is the point of them? Actually, people who do go to party conferences often ask the same. An answer I usually give is that part of their value is capturing the mood of a party.

Michael Heseltine: 'People are deeply frustrated after six years of being beaten up by austerity' — Throughout his long political career, Michael Heseltine has been renowned for his bounce. Tarzan, Hezza. The nicknames speak to the reputation for energy and showmanship. And for most of a long conversation, he is in confident mood. But one topic casts him down.

Ukip defection and 'sexting' scandal cause Tory chaos — David Cameron suffered a devastating double blow on the eve of the Tory party conference as his minister for civil society resigned over a sex scandal and a second Conservative MP defected to Ukip.

Street brawls in Glasgow after historic Scotland vote - video — Unionists and nationalists clash in Glasgow on Friday night after Scotland's historic vote to remain in the UK. Police look to separate the two groups who had been gathering in George Square throughout the day, but various street fights break out over the evening.

So the union is secure for a generation after the referendum? I wouldn't be so sure, Mr Cameron — When I hear politicians asserting that an issue has been settled "for a generation", I reach for my bag of salt. That's been the mutual line of David Cameron and Ed Miliband since they learned that the Scots had decided against divorce. Done and dusted, put to bed, settled "for a generation".
More Articles →
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

Oct 05, 2014

From a distance, they may swagger. Up close, the Tories are sweating.

Sep 28, 2014

Labour is playing like a football team hoping for a dodgy 1-0 win

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