Interview: Nick Cohen

Photo: YouTube

Nick Cohen is a writer and political commentator. He contributes to the Observer, Guardian, Spectator, Time and Standpoint magazine. Nick has published a number of books, including What’s Left? How the Left Lost Its Way (2007) which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing. Alastair: We’d like to start off by talking about liberalism and… Continue Reading ➤

Forget the SNP: what about the DUP?

Peter Robinson at a DUP party conference. The leader of the 4th largest party after the last election may become a key presence in any coalition talks after May 7.

The next general election is less than a month away, and although everyone is as ignorant as each other about what will happen once the country goes to the polls on May 7th, everyone has their own prediction. What will Sturgeon offer? How will the Greens do? What are the chances of a Conservative-UKIP deal?… Continue Reading ➤

Does the deficit really matter?

An anti-austerity march in central London in June 2014

It has become an article of faith among the financial, economic and political commentariat in Britain and Europe that a budget deficit is an important issue, and one that requires urgent redress. In the UK, this partly results from domestic politics. Over the last five years, government rhetoric has argued that deficit reduction through government cuts… Continue Reading ➤

The Lib Dems’ big problem: and how to solve it

A Lib Dem 'Facebook flashmob' in Trafalgar Square before the 2010 election, when Lib Dem fortunes were at their apex. But a failure to articulate a clear message is making this election battle significantly more difficult.

Becoming a Lib Dem was never a fashionable choice. But never in my lifetime has my party been as unpopular as it currently is. Much of the dissatisfaction arises from our decision to join – and, to some extent, our priorities during – a Coalition which our leader always said he was open to considering,… Continue Reading ➤

The Greens: unprincipled and incompetent?

Credit: Ben Waters

“They have fine ideals, they’re just very naïve.” So remarks a resident of Brighton & Hove about the Greens, the party running the local council. Even a cursory glance at how the authority has been managed since 2011 when the Greens took office reveals a great deal to support this view. They doubled parking charges… Continue Reading ➤

Fourth past the post: what 2015 could mean for electoral reform

Credit: Ben Waters

With the general election now six weeks away, the political landscape of the United Kingdom could hardly seem more fractured. Divided between the establishment parties and the surging forces of UKIP, Green and SNP, it is seeming increasingly unlikely that the electorate will provide a clear winner on May 7th. This chaotic state of affairs… Continue Reading ➤

Playing politics: Do the numbers stack up?

Spot the George: Has the Budget merely become an exercise in political theatre?

As we approach the General Election in May, there will inevitably be a steady flurry of manifesto pledges and pre-election bribes from all of the major political parties. Just recently, Labour announced plans to cut tax relief for the wealthiest pensioners in order to fund a slash in university tuition fees by one-third. Add this… Continue Reading ➤

How John Key could win the election for David Cameron

The "smiling assassin" John Key meets then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Last month, buried deep in The Times (page eight or so), was a statement of audacious significance concerning a comparatively insignificant leader. Journalist Tim Montgomerie, covering a meeting between Prime Minister David Cameron and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, claimed that Key was the conservative leader who “is arguably Mr Cameron’s closest… Continue Reading ➤

The Politics of the Politics of European Austerity

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in May 2014. Has the advent of the latter's European investment plan indicated a shift in the balance of power in Europe away from German austerity?

The situation in Greece is at breaking point. Local councils have no money and Orthodox churches are having to feed people that authorities cannot cope with. Meanwhile in Athens, the newly elected Syriza party are in a standoff with the European Central Bank as they try to restructure their debt. They promised Greek voters they would… Continue Reading ➤

A Transport Revolution? Don’t Bet on It

Take-off from London Heathrow (Source: Benson Kua)

“The biggest road building program since the Romans”, the “most extensive overhaul of our railways since the Victorians” and “modern aviation fit for the modern world”. Sound familiar? These are just some of the bold claims politicians have pedalled over the years about the need to modernise transport infrastructure in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the reality… Continue Reading ➤