November 21, 2014
Following yesterday’s by-election in Rochester & Strood, Mark has outlined his initial thoughts below on the result and its potential ramifications – 1. The evaporation of a near 10,000 majority has inevitably triggered a frenzied post-mortem which Conservatives must avoid turning into unrest. 2. The truth is that victory in Rochester & Strood, whilst widely anticipated at the start […]
September 11, 2014
Mark had the following article published in this morning’s City AM. To read it on their website, click http://www.cityam.com/1410368705/devo-max-cheap-last-gasp-offer-federal-uk-may-be-happy-result WHATEVER the outcome of next week’s referendum on Scottish independence, of one thing we can be sure: the constitutional settlement that had helped make the Union such a success for 300 years will be tainted. This settlement […]
June 10, 2014
Mark appeared this week on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour with Lib Dem MP, Martin Horwood, and Labour MP, Bridget Phillipson. Below is a summary of Mark’s thoughts on some of the topics that were discussed: Cabinet row over Birmingham schools/Trojan Horse story The Prime Minister’s decisive and thoughtful intervention on this matter was clearly […]
May 27, 2014
‘London is out of touch’ screams the Sun in disbelief at the capital city’s refusal to embrace UKIP. Nowhere else in England and Wales did the Farage insurgency fail to secure first or second in the popular vote. In fairness this followed a slew of newspaper commentary in the aftermath of last week’s local elections […]
February 5, 2014
Perhaps predictably as election fever hots up, keynote speeches by Party leaders are now commonplace. However, last month’s offering from Ed Miliband on reform of the banking system may yet herald a more radical restructuring. Perhaps we should be thankful that little more has been heard of his grand theory of ‘pre-distribution’ since its first […]
January 18, 2014
Gordon Brown’s premiership in 2007 began auspiciously. From two domestic crises he managed to fashion a honeymoon. It is easy to forget now, but the new Prime Minister’s surefooted handling of a terror alert and severe floods helped project him as a strong, national leader. This translated into soaring poll leads in the summer of […]
May 3, 2013
First, my heart goes out to those scores of dedicated, community-minded Conservative councillors who lost their seats. Rightly many will feel that they deserve better than to be voted out in a tide of mid-term anti-coalition sentiment. Second, these were almost unprecedentedly mixed results with all parties able to claim some good news amidst other […]
June 13, 2012
The following article is to be published in tomorrow's edition of City AM: The Liberal Democrats’ decision to play politics over the Jeremy Hunt censure vote will not be forgotten by already aggrieved Conservative backbenchers. The opportunity for revenge at some future point will be relished.
March 29, 2012
Regardless of post-Budget and party donor squalls, I reckon it still remains a sensible working assumption that the coalition will sustain for the full five year term of this parliament. Incumbents are notoriously difficult to prise out of Downing Street. Against all odds (or so it seemed) John Major survived for virtually a full term after the collapse of his economic policy in September 1992; similarly even Gordon Brown could not be ousted from the Premiership in spite of apparently perennial terminal crises in the quarter-decade from October 2007...
March 27, 2012
Below is the text of a speech Mark was to make at a local debating event:
Make no mistake – this year's parliamentary allowances and expenses scandal will have a lasting impact on British democracy. The Daily Telegraph's handling of this story will provide a seminal case history to media watchers for decades to come. This parliament is now paralysed by inaction and lacks credibility or public confidence to govern effectively.
This would be serious at the best of times. These times, however, are arguably the worst seen in