Like an overgrown head prefect, Simon Case gets a thrashing from the constitutional committee

You know that story about the Johnsons wanting to put a treehouse in the garden of No 10? I do not think it was for the kids. It was for Boris. You can imagine him up there, away from his troubles, with a big stack of Beanos and a sign that reads “No girlz allowed” … Read more

Britain is falling apart, and the Tories are paying the price

It was not about cake. It was not about “corruption” or “character” or “Carrie”. It was about chaos – the sense that Britain is falling apart as taxes, inflation and strikes begin their grisly spiral. Governments do not lose on this scale because of misconduct by individual MPs. Yes, by-elections occasioned by forced resignations are … Read more

Spluttering Boris Johnson reverts to filibuster mode as PMQs get personal

Travel chaos be damned, the Tory front bench had turned out in force. Ministers jostled for space, crammed into like miserable commuters on a rail replacement bus. Conor Burns and Priti Patel, squashed together in an awkward forced embrace, did their best not to elbow each other in the side. The Labor benches looked less … Read more

We’re on a slow-moving train to the 1970s – and Grant Shapps is in his Thatcherite element

“You ‘eard Mick! Everybody out! ” On Monday afternoon, the RMT abandoned negotiations and triggered a summer of discontent, forcing us onto a slow-moving train back to the Seventies, minus the consolations of cheap beer and good music (Harry Styles in his nan’s cardie is the closest we’re getting to Glam). Mick Lynch’s retro press … Read more

Starmer’s dullness is a symptom of Labor’s problems

Labor finds it frustrating that their shadow ministers often cannot do interviews without being asked if a woman can have a penis. Their frustration should not be with the interviewers, however, but themselves. Like Tory MPs asked if Boris Johnson is truthful, the questions will stop once they give a clear answer. Something similar is … Read more

This Government is unable or unwilling to stop the slide towards a 1970s disaster

Admittedly, inflation averaged 12.7pc over the decade and the end year level of Bank Rate averaged 10.8pc. In November 1979, Bank Rate was raised by 3pc to the all time peak of 17pc. Remember this on Thursday if, as I suspect, the Bank of England announces a “shock” increase of 0.5pc to 1.5pc. I bet … Read more

The three steps Boris must take to save himself

The tumult and the shouting in the Conservative Party has died. But the would-be captains and kings have not departed. Boris Johnson won Monday’s confidence vote, but can not ignore the depth of opposition. Speculation about how long the Prime Minister can last is ultimately pointless. The course of future events is still to be … Read more

Boris is deluded if he thinks firing Sunak can save him from oblivion

Will Rishi Sunak jump, or will he be pushed? Allies of the Prime Minister have urged him to appoint Jeremy Hunt to No 11; meanwhile, some of the Chancellor’s supporters believe that, even at this late date, he would be better off leaping from a sinking ship. Yet such drastic action would not be enough … Read more

Paddington Bear having tea with the Queen was the perfect Platinum Jubilee brew

The short animations, which first screened in 1975 were appointment viewing for my generation, not least because their low-fi presentation beautifully captured the absolute essence of the books, which were funny, gung-ho and gloriously anarchic yet also unexpectedly moving. Michael Bond himself was given the cameo role “Kindly Gentleman” in the first Paddington movie, starring … Read more

A divine thanksgiving for the Queen’s 70 years of faithful service

Picking up on Boris Johnson’s reading from Philippians, the Archbishop of York said that Paul’s advice is worth taking only because he follows Jesus, and Jesus is to be obeyed because he “shows us who God is.” So, “the best leaders are those who know how to be led”, which is constitutional monarchy in a … Read more