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Last Updated: Monday, January 23rd, 2012

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The Past Destroyed Miller – Might Her Replacement Be The Conservative Party’s Future?

The Maria Miller scandal was rooted firmly in the past – the sins of the old expenses system still haunt Parliament, even years after it was abolished. The reshuffle following her resignation, though, was entirely about the future. First, there’s the short-term future of the Coalition government. Even before the expenses scandal reignited, DCMS was […]

The Crucial Importance Of Graham Brady

Four days after the 2010 general election of that year, the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs met in the Commons.  David Cameron persuaded it to support in principle the formation of a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, arguing that the alternative was a Labour-LibDem Government that would force electoral reform through the Commons without a […]

Cameron The Pragmatist Pushes His Rivals Towards The Margins Of Politics

A point sometimes arrives, in a game of bridge, when it becomes clear that the cards are falling right for a player. Almost everything attempted by that player comes off, not only because of his or her own skill, but because of the distribution of cards in his or her opponents’ hands, and the inability […]

Osborne Will Be Pleased With The Revolution In His Fortunes

What a difference two years makes. At this point in 2012, George Osborne’s budget was under fire from all sides, and the Chancellor himself found both his competence and career being called into question. That must now seem like a bad dream, as he reviews the 2014 headlines hailing his policy radicalism and political nous. […]

The Boris Problem – And How To Minimise It.

Some readers of this newsletter will have followed this week’s headlines about Tory tensions involving George Osborne, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.  They therefore won’t be familiar with the detail – but will have picked up a clear impression: namely, that the flow of stories about possible future Conservative leaders has done nothing to help […]

Behind Confusion About Immigration Lies Deeper Confusion About What It Means To Be British

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, not a single MP ventured to ask about immigration. Downing Street at this point stood accused of suppressing a report on the subject, but no one saw advantage in voicing the accusation. The report has since been published. It implies that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was exaggerating when […]

Merkel’s Visit Hasn’t Helped Cameron – But Has It Harmed Him?

David Cameron was full of warm words and smiles yesterday as Angela Merkel visited Westminster. As one German reporter suggested, the red carpet treatment was befitting a “Queen of Europe” – and the Prime Minister certainly pulled out every stop short of a trumpet fanfare and artillery salute. The generous hospitality did not exactly pay […]

Cameron’s Time Bomb For Scotland’s Referendum

As Brian Monteith pointed out on ConservativeHome last week, Scotland is “now the third most economically successful region of the UK (after London and the South East), and has been third or fourth for the last thirty years”.  Furthermore, complaints about England subsidising Scotland may be inaccurate: the SNP claims that the flow of money […]

Wythenshawe Will Make It Even Harder For Cameron To Persuade His Own MPs To Follow Him

David Cameron says he will listen to the “signal” sent by voters in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election. Here are two of the things he will hear. The first point people in Wythenshawe are making is that unlike the Lib Dems (who lost their deposit), Labour is indestructible. Or to put it another way: […]

Next Week’s By-Election Has Some Tough Messages For Tories

No-one in Westminster is under the illusion that a by-election is an accurate barometer of national opinion. Disproportionate amounts of money are thrown at the campaign, headline-hungry newspapers give gaffes a prominence they might never receive in a General Election, and everyone’s on the lookout for upsets or shocks. Freakish as they may be, they […]

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