Attacked by Guido – a political rite of passage?

This morning I had the dubious privilege of being ‘done over’ by the Guido Fawkes political blog order-order.com. Some friends have suggested that I should wear it as a badge of honour, almost a rite of passage in my political career. I’m generally an admirer of the Guido blog, indeed I link to it directly… Continue reading Attacked by Guido – a political rite of passage?

On being bisexual – my appearance on Radio 4

On Monday this week, I accepted an invitation to be interviewed by Eddie Mair on Radio 4’s PM programme (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0367mxn – minutes 46-52) to give a response to the decision of Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski to come out as bisexual. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tory-mp-daniel-kawczynski-comes-out-as-bisexual-8680343.html)  I guess I was asked to appear because I, like Mr Kawczynski, am also an elected… Continue reading On being bisexual – my appearance on Radio 4

Equal marriage: why we need equal civil partnerships too

Tim Loughton MP, the sponsor of yesterday evening’s amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which would have introduced Civil Partnerships for opposite sex couples, does not have a record of supporting LGBT equality. Indeed, his motives in putting forward the amendment may not have been entirely straightforward, but that doesn’t take away from… Continue reading Equal marriage: why we need equal civil partnerships too

a judicial system for all, not just the privileged few

The Ministry of Justice is in trouble. Its finances are a mess and it is struggling to find savings across its responsibilities for the Courts & Tribunals Service, Prisons, and Probation. But unlike other departments of state, the ‘overspend’ is not due to profligacy by ministers of whatever colour nor to lack of budgetary control… Continue reading a judicial system for all, not just the privileged few

Margaret Thatcher – a working class revolutionary?

I should begin with a warning. ┬áMy friends and followers of both a left and a right wing persuasion are not going to like this post. On Saturday night I watched Channel 4’s insightful documentary “Margaret: Death of a Revolutionary” where Martin Durkin presented his radical thesis: that Margaret Thatcher was a working class revolutionary,… Continue reading Margaret Thatcher – a working class revolutionary?

Margaret Thatcher – as remarkable and divisive in death as she was in life

I was shocked to learn at lunchtime of the death of Baroness Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Ironically, I had just completed a tour of the Palace of Westminster with two friends from Los Angeles, where we had seen both the striking statue of Lady Thatcher in the Members’ Lobby of the… Continue reading Margaret Thatcher – as remarkable and divisive in death as she was in life

Really Mr Cameron? When would you launch Trident?

So, today the Prime Minister visits Scotland to welcome home one of our submarines carrying the current Trident nuclear deterrent, emphasising the benefits of UK defence spending north of the border and the need, as he sees it, for Britain to retain its nuclear capability. He makes that point as well in an article in… Continue reading Really Mr Cameron? When would you launch Trident?

A big weekend in the FA Cup – the women’s cup that is

I am sure many football fans will have a view on who they would like to see as the victors in tomorrow’s FA Cup ‘clash of the titans’ at Stamford Bridge. In many cases it will be which of Chelsea or Manchester United do you dislike less in determining whom you hope will emerge victors.… Continue reading A big weekend in the FA Cup – the women’s cup that is

Polly Toynbee and the polarisation of the benefits debate

This morning I found myself almost without thinking ‘liking’ a friend’s post on Facebook which shared Polly Toynbee’s piece from Thursday’s Guardian “Benefit cuts: Monday will be the day that defines this government” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/28/benefit-cuts-monday-defines-government). That in and of itself is an interesting departure as I have never been Ms Toynbee’s greatest fan, having felt for… Continue reading Polly Toynbee and the polarisation of the benefits debate