Tag Archives: Conservatives

‘The bloody history of civil war in the Tory party’, Financial Times, 27 February 2016

That the Conservative party believes as much in the strong state as it does in the free economy has long been both its triumph and its tragedy. Triumph because the combination of the two has often proved electorally unbeatable. Think … Continue reading

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‘Cameron and Tebbit are both wrong: Tory activists are not as set on leaving the EU as many imagine’ (with Monica Poletti and Paul Webb), 5 February 2016.

David Cameron has run into trouble for warning Tory backbenchers not to make up their minds on whether to campaign for Leave or Remain “because of what your constituency association might say”. The reaction to his remarks was swift and … Continue reading

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‘What Conservative MPs really think about Britain’s EU membership’ (with Philip Cowley), 2 February 2016.

There is a delicious irony in the fact that David Cameron, who ended up promising his party a referendum so as to avoid Europe tearing apart his government just as it tore apart John Major’s back in the 1990s, has … Continue reading

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‘What should Cameron do next’, Conservative Home, 17 May 2015

‘The problems of victory’, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons in November 1942, ‘are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but they are no less difficult.’ As a pragmatist and a realist, David Cameron almost certainly realises this … Continue reading

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‘Behind the Political Masks’, Financial Times, 4 May 2015

It’s been a no-surprises campaign — or so runs the conventional wisdom. Yet, almost in spite of themselves, nearly all the party leaders have told us something worth knowing. From Natalie Bennett, we’ve learned that the Greens have picked a … Continue reading

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‘Want to get your research noticed by politicians? Work with a think tank’, Guardian, 27 April 2015

Academic impact on politicians can be a hit and miss affair. Indeed, when it comes to direct influence, it may well be more hit than miss. Carefully crafted press releases and the launch of new institutes is one thing. But … Continue reading

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‘UKIP should not be written off yet’, Financial Times, 24 April 2015

The narrative says one thing but the numbers say another. Contrary to common wisdom, the UK Independence party — and its leader — seem to be holding up fairly well under fire. There are plenty of accounts of the campaign … Continue reading

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‘General Election: the Parallels with 1970’s Shock Result’, Financial Times, 17 April 2015

Human beings are hard-wired to search for patterns and parallels — especially those that seem to confirm their existing prejudices. Hardly surprising, then, that politicians are so fond of comparisons between elections past and present, and so inclined to pick … Continue reading

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‘It’s competence, stupid: Labour should have done more with the Tories’ mistakes’, New Statesman, 1 April 2015

We live in an era of valence rather than position politics.  Like it or not, most voters prefer good government to grand ideological visions.  This does not mean to say that there is no place for narrative or for values.  … Continue reading

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Alan Bown’s Ukip polling only tells half the story, Telegraph, 18 December 2013

I’m not entirely sure how Ukip’s latest sugar-daddy, Alan Bown, has chosen the constituencies in which he’s commissioned polls, but they were presumably picked because they’re easily portrayed as precisely the sort of seats the Tories need to hold on … Continue reading

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