We hope and believe that No will win, and that these inquiries will come to nothing. But it is necessary to put them.
Cameron and Brown join forces to persuade Scots to stay British as Yes camp forges lead
How do you kill an idea? That is the Unionist quandary this weekend. For a long time now the Better Together campaign has based its hostility to Scottish independence on the risks and uncertainties that, unavoidably, come with independence. This, they say, is what tests well with their focus groups.
There’s an interesting interview in The Guardian this weekend with one of the most famous teachers, or ex-teachers, in Britain, Katharine Birbalsingh. You’ll probably know her. She’s the woman with fabulous hair who got a standing ovation at the Tory Party conference for a speech about a broken education system – ‘it’s broken because it keeps poor children poor’ – which confirmed the existence of ‘a culture of excuses, of low standards”.
Constituents come first, ahead of any electioneering. I was bang in the middle of a meeting about poster design yesterday, when a gentleman from Holland on Sea popped in. He wanted to know if I had managed to sort out his PIPs (personal independence payments) yet.
We are witnessing a stirring display of political engagement
Teacher returns with new free school four years after party conference speech she says ruined her life and left her jobless
The Labour leader won his party’s support partly for opposing the Iraq war, yet if he wins the election, he may find another Iraq war in his in-tray – the symmetry is epic
Some Conservative MPs are planning their careers on the assumption that the election is already lost
It’s over. David Cameron is staring into the abyss – again. The Conservative Party is in the midst of a civil war – again. The next election is Ed Miliband’s to lose – again.
Post the announcement of his intended return to the Commons, the Mayor’s support is up by eight points.
Douglas Carswell’s defection gives others on the Tory right new leverage – and they’re not afraid to use it
As well as being a bore, a fornicator and a nincompoop, François Hollande stands accused of being a snob. His former mistress, Valérie Trierweiler, has revealed – along with other peccadilloes too excruciating to recount here – that the man who publicly professes to loathe the rich privately despises the poor. The son of a solidly bourgeois home, Hollande apparently sneered at Miss Trierweiler’s humbler origins, and referred privately to the underprivileged as “les sans-dents”: the toothless.
And what of Labour? As David Cameron struggles to define his position on confronting the Isil threat, where does Ed Miliband stand? As ever, the answer seems to be in several places at once. There are two distinct elements to the debate about how to respond to events in Iraq and Syria. One relates to their implications for the domestic terror threat, the other to direct British military intervention.
Ukip wants Labour in power to see it fail, but the Conservatives are the only serious option
Our opponents try to smear us as untrustworthy and unreliable – it would be stupid to prove them right.
The government has just lost a vote in the House of Commons on the ‘bedroom tax’/removal of the spare-room subsidy/underoccupancy penalty/Size Criteria for People Renting in the Social Rented Sector (the correct, if rather clunky, name). There was a three-line whip from the Tories on the vote, but the Lib Dems had decided they would support their colleague Andrew George’s bill to exempt those who cannot move to a smaller home, or who are disabled and live in an adapted property.
Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: hostilities suspended as Cameron and Miliband unite in the face of terrorism
Only the points of order raised against John Bercow by three Tory MPs struck a partisan note.
Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy on his three-month Better Together tour of the nation as he seeks to persuade voters against choosing to go it alone
Economist at bank warns of ‘severe consequences’ of vote in favour of independence
Though only a small minority still back sending in ground troops.
Can it really be true? Of course it involves splurging loads of our cash but, still, he’s going to do that anyway – so he might as well spend it on a good cause.
An open letter to Matthew Parris. And a question: does the Conservative Party really want to survive?
The quarrels, resentments and grievances of the long years since 1990 could collapse “the oldest and most successful political party in the history of the world”.
The Carbuncle Cup, an award run by architecture magazine Building Design, invites readers to nominate the best example of “really bad architecture”
So, after the horsetrading of the past few days, the Conservatives appear to have won their battle to add relocation powers to the terrorism prevention and investigation measures.
Michael Gove, Philip Hammond, Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling.
It’s open warfare at the Times between two leading lights on the right – the newspaper’s former Comment Editor Tim Montgomerie and longtime columnist Matthew Parris, who held no punches in his Saturday column in the paper.
– – – –