Andrew Rawnsley on Muck Rack

Andrew Rawnsley

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

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

Politics: Between the Extremes by Nick Clegg - review — During the coalition years, some enterprising jokers created the website "Nick Clegg looking sad". His publishers haven't done him any favours by putting a rather melancholy mugshot on the cover of this account of the five turbulent years of cohabitation with the Tories that culminated in the annihilation of the Lib Dems. As it turns out, this is not a doleful book.

The psychology of Mrs May and her grammar school crusade — One party contested the last general election with a commitment to create more grammar schools. That party wasn't the Conservatives - it was Ukip. So why did Theresa May pick a fight for which she lacks a mandate? Why start it now when she was under absolutely no pressure to do so?

Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong With the Language of Politics? by Mark Thompson - review — Plato, Socrates and Thucydides fretted about it. Hobbes was anguished in 17th-century England. In 1946, Orwell published his influential essay, Politics and the English Language, in which he shivered over the frightening ease with which dark forces can exploit perverted rhetoric for malign ends.

Theresa May’s honeymoon is masking her many vulnerabilities — I have been trying - so far, I confess, without success - to discover who minted the phrase "political honeymoon". It is a strange expression: marriage is rarely an appropriate metaphor for a country's relationship with its leader. It describes an odd quirk of electorates.

Labour’s ‘interesting experiment’ in comradeship will run and run — Chris Mullin was a fellow traveller of Jeremy Corbyn in the 1980s, back in the day when the two of them were helping Tony Benn in his ultimately unsuccessful bid to capture the commanding heights of the Labour party.

Hinkley offers a useful guide to May’s plans for Cameron’s legacy — It turns out that there is a nuclear button that Theresa May is reluctant to press. She has just made her first big policy decision by choosing to pause and review government support for the mammothly controversial Hinkley Point nuclear reactor. Be in no doubt that this was a call made in Downing Street.

Labour is fighting for its life… and Jeremy Corbyn has never looked happier — In an expression of the kinder, gentler politics that has famously infused the Labour party in the past year, John McDonnell recently told a rally of Corbynistas that the Labour MPs trying to depose the leader are "fucking useless". The vituperation is entirely mutual.

Theresa May plans a long game but could need an early election — Some people like to divide prime ministers into two types: warriors and healers. Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female premier, was a famous exemplar of the martial category. Theresa May has begun her time at Number 10 by projecting herself as the balm after the storm.

The Iraq disaster helps explain why Britain is in this dark place — All political lives end in failure and when they are the lives of prime ministers the fatal fall is the more spectacular. For David Cameron, nemesis arrived in one night. His mistakes caught up with him while he was still in office and defeat in the EU referendum triggered an inevitable self-defenestration from Number 10.

Ten things that Chilcot’s verdict reveals about Tony Blair and the Iraq war — 1 Has the Chilcot report changed anyone's mind? Only the truly committed will wade through every one of the 2.6 million words in the bloated report authored by Sir John Chilcot and his committee. The seven years they have taken to produce their findings is longer than the six years British troops were present in Iraq.
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Aug 28, 2016

@GerryHassan Well spotted and quite right, Gerry. Maybe should have said twice in the space of a year!

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