Author Archives: tpbale

‘The Keir Starmer Strategy’, Unherd, 30 September 2021.

When I was a kid, growing up in a sleepier town just along the south coast, we’d occasionally go over to Brighton and visit the amusement arcades on and around the city’s Palace Pier. I was hardly a pinball wizard, but … Continue reading

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‘Labour Conference: Members aren’t quite tearing chunks out of each other but a distinct air of unease remains’, The Conversation, 28 September, 2021.

Getting off the bus and walking to the Brighton Centre, the main venue for this year’s Labour conference, it was hard – impossible even – not to ponder on the pathetic fallacy. I’m not referring to a party that won … Continue reading

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‘What’s behind the Boris reshuffle?’, Unherd, 16 September 2021.

“When I hear the word culture”, Josef Goebbels is supposed to have said, “I reach for my gun.” Boris Johnson, on the other hand, merely reaches for whoever he reckons will most rub the so-called metropolitan liberal elite up the … Continue reading

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‘Boris Johnson’s Cabinet is more heavyweight than you think. The bootlicking incompetents at today’s top table might look better tomorrow’, Prospect, 27 August 2021.

The idea that the Cabinet is chock-full of brain-dead non-entities is a charge levelled with increasing frequency of late. But it is nothing new—anyone of a certain age can remember a 1980s Spitting Image sketch. Margaret Thatcher is dining out … Continue reading

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‘Give them a future too’, Mirror, 1 August 2021

IT’S been obvious for weeks now that the vaccine take-up rate for younger people hasn’t been what it needs to be to reduce the chances of Covid making a serious comeback after the summer. So the Government should get some … Continue reading

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‘The Truth About the Blue Wall’, Unherd, 2 August 2021.

If an American tells you that they’re “Waiting for the other shoe to drop”, they mean that, having had one piece of news, they’re expecting another piece pretty soon. The idiom apparently originated in New York where the residents of … Continue reading

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‘Why some people switch political parties: new research’, The Conversation, 12 July 2021.

Why do some people switch political parties? After all, if someone is committed enough to a particular vision of politics, wouldn’t they be relatively immune to the charms of its competitors? It turns out, however, that switching parties at grassroots … Continue reading

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‘Post-truth – and post-conservative? How Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party poses a threat to the quality of our democracy’, Constitution Unit Blog, 5 July 2021.

I’m no expert on the constitution, the courts or the more arcane aspects of parliamentary procedure. But I can, I suppose, claim to know a bit about the Conservative Party. And I’m growing increasingly concerned. The party has always been protean … Continue reading

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‘Sajid Javid sounds like a lockdown sceptic, but he won’t want to alienate the NHS’, Guardian, 30 June 2021

Sajid Javid: Ayn Rand or Florence Nightingale? A neo-Darwinian who’s hellbent on opening up the economy come what may; or a humanitarian numbers-nerd intent above all on saving lives? Continue reading

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‘Reflecting on Brexit: What I got right and wrong about the 2016 EU Referendum’, 21 June 2021

The idea that none of us know-all academics saw what was coming has hardened into one of the truisms of the 2016 Referendum – so much so that I’d almost come to believe it myself. It was with some trepidation, … Continue reading

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