Tag Archives: matthew d’anconca

Telegraph claims Clegg has ruled out a coalition with Labour. I claim the Telegraph is talking nonsense on stilts.

Last week’s serialisation sensation was all about Damien McBride. This week’s is Matthew d’Ancona’s inside scoop on the Coalition, In It Together.

The Telegraph, doubtless keen to get its money’s worth, has hyped-up the revelations, splashing with the headline, ‘Cameron opens talks with Clegg on second Coalition’. Here’s the key passage, which reads unconvincingly to me, as I’ll explain below:

D’Ancona writes: “From time to time, he would raise the question of a second coalition with Clegg. ‘If we did it again,’ he mused to the Deputy Prime Minister, ‘I’d have to seek collective permission.’ ” It is

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 47 Comments

Your essential weekend reader — my personal pick of the week’s must-reads

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from all those I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Political predictions: as the year ends, what does 2013 hold for the main party leaders? – Andrew Rawnsley sanely assesses the 12 months to come: ‘Nick Clegg and David Cameron face more of the same. Ed Miliband’s future is more complicated. He has choices.’

No longer the dunce – Anne McElvoy whispers the …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Our political writers can pretend they know what makes us tick: a response to Matthew d’Ancona

Here’s how Matthew d’Ancona could’ve started his article for today’s London Evening Standard, ‘Our political class can now work out what makes us tick’. But he didn’t.


So what was all that about? As the waves of media fervour subside to reveal the bleak promontories of Austerity Commentariat, let us pause and ask what this extraordinary four-day Jubilee told us about journalists, and their obsession with extrapolating about our national life and character.

There then follows some delicious cognitive dissonance. First, an acknowledgement of what is to follow:

The lazy reflex for political observers is to extract the lessons that suit them.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Social mobility: new reporting coming but what is the real objective?

Tuesday sees the launch by Nick Clegg of a social mobility strategy for the government, including a new ‘report card’ to track the government’s progess.

The phrase “social mobility” is one I still don’t like. It is too much like that other inside-politics phrase “street furniture”. Councillors and council officers talk about street furniture works, improvements, strategies, investments and proposals with abandon but you never hear someone say, “I’ve just moved into my new flat and the local street furniture is lovely”. Street furniture matters, but falling into the habit of using an uncommon piece of jargon hinders understanding, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSylvia Walker 26th Jul - 12:03pm
    My story illustrates the problem. I dropped out of my grammar school (many years ago) not because of a lack of ability but because of...
  • User AvatarCharlie 26th Jul - 11:49am
    Mike Drew Israel occurred because arab land owners sold land and then arab armies lost a war of extermination. Israel was not imposed by anyone....
  • User AvatarTim13 26th Jul - 11:31am
    LJP, if you DO mean it, why on earth say "with respect"?? Find a neutral phrase if you really must.
  • User AvatarMartinB 26th Jul - 11:30am
    @tony b Yes, it's almost identical to that being spouted by Osborne, Cameron et al. Extraordinary to see such co.omplete capitulation to the tory brand...
  • User AvatarTim13 26th Jul - 11:29am
    Sorry, I am old fashioned enough to think that bias in advice can creep in when private sector external agencies are used. I also agree...
  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 26th Jul - 11:28am
    a "flack" is a PR person/ dogsbody. I can think of a few in this government. Ithink it should be "flak"; which is short for...