What comes after tuition fee abolition?

By Chris McCarthy

One of the most interesting consequences of the New Labour dominance of British politics was a convergence of policy to the centre ground. The central arguments were not so much about what we wanted to accomplish as a country, but how we would go about achieving those goals. I can still remember the exasperated voices of the electorate as they expressed their indifference to the two main political parties and their near identikit policies on the major issues. One party, the Liberal Democrats, ventured to be different; sometimes they got it right (their opposition to the Iraq war being a glowing example) and sometimes they got it wrong. Read more of this post


A chink in Blair’s formidable armour?

By Chris McCarthy

Whatever one might think of former Prime Minister Tony Blair – and you wouldn’t need to probe far to find a litany of unflattering descriptions – there is broad consensus that the ex-leader of the Labour Party is a cerebral, intelligent, politically astute individual. This makes his recent choice of words when discussing with Fern Britton the decision to invade Iraq all the more puzzling. Read more of this post

Better the banker you know

By Chris McCarthy

It is an unenviable task being a politician, expenses scandal or no expenses scandal, least of all when you find yourself between a furious rock and an unrepentant hard-place, as the Chancellor currently does. With news that Alistair Darling plans on announcing a ‘super bonus tax’ in tomorrow’s Pre-Budget Report, it is clear that the Labour Party is planting its flag ostensibly on the side of the electorate – but at what price to the country’s long-term interests? Read more of this post

A tiger tamed

With the news that Tiger Woods has supposedly paid his wife $5 million in compensation for his marital indiscretions, the recriminations show no sign of abating. Public interest in what began as an innocuous story about a man crashing his car is accelerating almost as quickly as Woods can reverse into a fire hydrant. But what do we find so intriguing about cases of infidelity in public life, and do we have a right to know all the gory details? Read more of this post