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Conservative Home
London
Interests: church, cinema, conservative politics, manchester united
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Even in today’s multicultural Britain, it’s a bit of a shock when you see one of them walking down the street towards you. Dressed in deepest black from head-to-foot, all hints of femininity are rendered invisible. Apart from the eyes, of course – those dark-rimmed eyes staring out at the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2013 at The Deep End
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By Mark Wallace Follow Mark on Twitter. There are lots of interesting findings in the polls this week - most notably that the Conservatives are at level-pegging with Labour in several of them, a remarkable erosion of the Opposition's lead in recent months. One of the underlying statistics in today's Sun poll left me absolutely gobsmacked: "A massive 71 per cent of voters claim it isn’t clear what [Miliband] stands for — up ten per cent from last year." That should trouble the Labour operation deeply. It isn't even that voters disagree with them - that would be a luxury... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at LeftWatch
Is the Economist rightwing or leftwing? On its website, the magazine – or newspaper as it prefers to style itself – tries to clear up the confusion: “Some readers, particularly those used to the left-right split in most democratic legislatures, are bamboozled by The Economist’s political stance. We like free... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2013 at The Deep End
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Iain Dale presents LBC 97.3 Drivetime programme 4-8pm every weekday. He also blogs at www.iaindale.com. Follow Iain on Twitter. The poor old LibDems suffered from two rather embarrassing email incidents during their conference. The first was when a press officer sent their entire “Lines to Take” to the media instead... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
Do we take the issue of early years education seriously enough? We should do, because according to Tom Chivers in the Telegraph, it can make an enduring difference to the life chances of disadvantaged children: “...we shouldn't be talking about getting children in school later – we should talk about... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2013 at The Deep End
By Paul Goodman Follow Paul on Twitter. The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Kevin Toolis's window into the seventh circle of the former Prime Minister's soul, has been well-reviewed - both in the sense of positively and thoroughly. I came to the play's run at the Trafalgar Studios with a preconception... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
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Nick Faith is Director of Communications at Policy Exchange. Follow Nick on Twitter. Expect to hear about living standards – stagnant pay packets, zero hours contracts, a lack of affordable housing, rising energy and water bills – from Ed Miliband in Brighton next week. The Labour leader knows that his party’s greatest electoral advantage is painting the Conservatives as looking out for their wealthy friends, not hard-pressed families struggling to get by even when the national economy is seemingly on the road to recovery. Osborne knew he had to pre-empt Labour’s attack. Last week, he delivered an important speech. He... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2013 at thinktankcentral
Henry Hill is a British Conservative and Unionist activist and writer. Follow Henry on Twitter. He is also editor of the non-party website Open Unionism, which can be followed on Twitter here. Welsh FM calls for end to devolution ‘tinkering’ I find Carwyn Jones, the Labour First Minister of Wales,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
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By Mark Wallace Follow Mark on Twitter. The Lib Dem conference was never just going to be about Vince moaning and a plastic bag tax. Sure enough, Nick Clegg's big announcement is free school meals for all school children aged between five and seven. As Robert Halfon MP notes elsewhere on ConservativeHome this morning, the sensible part of Clegg's proposal (that which gives equality on school meals to poorer students at FE and Sixth Form Colleges) is actually nicked from the redoubtable MP for Harlow, which is further evidence of the need for Conservatives to take full credit for our... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2013 at LeftWatch
According to the National Audit Office, the Government’s flagship welfare reform policy – Universal Credit – is in trouble. The purpose of the new benefit is to combine six existing benefits into a single payment, with the aim of ensuring that work always pays more than life on the dole.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2013 at The Deep End
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Grant Shapps is Chairman of the Conservative Party and MP for Welwyn Hatfield Getting people involved remains one of the most important things for any politician to do. Our job is to bring individuals together to forward our common beliefs and goals. That’s something that’s been a proud tradition of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
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By Mark Wallace Follow Mark on Twitter. I wrote yesterday about the fundamental division within the Lib Dems between the Liberals and the SDP: "Any political party is a coalition of sorts - we Conservatives certainly have plenty of tribes of our own, who disagree about plenty of issues. But Lib Demmery is a more divided creed than most. Having been formed from a merger of two parties, it has never succeeded in bringing the left and centre any closer together. The rift extends to the social level as well as just the ideological - you don't see many deficit... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2013 at LeftWatch
Last week the Deep End noted the influence of ‘journalese’ – the tabloid English in which much of our news is written. In a thought-provoking piece for Prospect, Michael Billig looks at a different kind of linguistic distortion – one that seeks to obscure meaning instead of exaggerating it: “One... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2013 at The Deep End
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Garvan Walshe was the Conservative Party's National and International Security Policy Adviser until 2008. Follow Garvan on Twitter. It’s been 40 years since the Yom Kippur war, when Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack on Israel, which came close to threatening the state’s existence. Golda Meir’s government had... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
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By Harry Phibbs Follow Harry on Twitter Watching the Lib Dem conference it is easy to sneer. There is the self importance - which despite being a Party of Government still feels absurd as the tedious procedural amendments are deliberated upon. There are all the contortions as speakers praise the Government but attack the Conservatives. There are all those speakers combining earnestness with eccentricity. There is something about the Lib Dem Party Conference which makes the jokes especially painful and indignation especially vacuous. Yet beneath the surface an ideological contest is taking place which - curioiusly enough - the liberals... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2013 at LeftWatch
The financial crisis of 2008 was too frightening for any sane person to enjoy, but for the centre-left there was some grim satisfaction to be had. With Wall Street and the City of London in meltdown, they could point to Germany’s robust stakeholder economy and say: ‘I told you so.’... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2013 at The Deep End
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Jesse Norman is the Member of Parliament for Hereford and South Herefordshire. His new biography of Edmund Burke was published recently. Follow Jesse on Twitter Last Saturday, I was honoured to be the after-dinner speaker at the Conservative Renewal Conference in Windsor. What follows is based in part on what... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
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By Mark Wallace Follow Mark on Twitter. Further evidence of Ed Balls' miserabilist tendencies in today's Mail on Sunday: Defence spokesman Jim Murphy threw down the gauntlet by insisting that the party had to revise its message now that the economy was clearly recovering. He clashed with Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls by insisting Labour could no longer argue the economy was ‘flat-lining’ – a taunt made famous by Mr Balls. Sources say the Shadow Chancellor retorted that there was no guarantee the economic upturn would last. That's right, the man setting Labour's economic policies sees the UK's failure as key... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2013 at LeftWatch
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Iain Dale presents LBC 97.3 Drivetime programme 4-8pm every weekday. He also blogs at www.iaindale.com. Follow Iain on Twitter. It’s difficult to say much about the Nigel Evans case without prejudicing his trial, but one thing is for certain. Over the last few months he has found out who his... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
If there’s one thing that unites the right, it’s respect for property. This includes intellectual property, which modern societies defend through legal mechanisms like the patent system. And yet there’s a problem with patents. When they’re too broadly defined, they can act as a break on innovation and therefore growth.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2013 at The Deep End
By Mark Wallace Follow Mark on Twitter. Our deadly enemies good friends over at LabourList have just put out an appeal on Facebook. They're holding a karaoke night at Labour Conference and are inviting suggestions for top tracks to sing, so I thought ConHome could make a few suggestions to help them out. It's a tricky task. A year ago, I imagine Plan B was pretty popular, but now he's off the playlist for obvious reasons. Instead, here are the top ten tracks to really encompass the spirit of the Labour Party in 2013: 10) Red Red W(h)ine Ok, so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2013 at LeftWatch
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By Andrew Gimson Follow Andrew on Twitter Jo Johnson is an extraordinary politician. Except to the local press in his constituency of Orpington, in south-east London, he has never given an interview. Nor has he revealed himself in promiscuous detail even to the Orpington News. In May this year, when... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Profiles
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In its political sense, the word 'spin' is comparatively recent. No one talked about 'spin doctors' until the 1980s, though there are references to ‘verbal spin’ dating to the 1960s. However, you can go back to the beginning of the 19th century, if not earlier, to find references to ‘spinning... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2013 at The Deep End
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Adrian Hilton is a conservative academic, theologian and educationalist. He writes a Daily Mail blog. Follow Adrian on Twitter. Of all the cities of antiquity, Pompeii is quite possibly the best known. “It was lost, and is now found; it was destroyed, and is now preserved.” Frozen in time, it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2013 at ConservativeHome's Columnists Page
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By Mark Wallace Follow Mark on Twitter. Readers may recognise the two faces above. One is an ancient, grumpy and rather self-centred creature which claims to know secrets unavailable to ordinary mortals. The other is the Psammead, from Edith Nesbit's Five Children and It. The cantankerous Psammead promises its audience that their fantastical wishes can come true - and then brings them crashing down to earth within a few hours. His uneasy coalition with the five children who discover it living in a sand pit is an uneasy one - without him, they would never be able to go on... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2013 at LeftWatch