Norman Fowler is more of a lesser-sung public servant than an unsung hero. He was the health secretary who persuaded Margaret Thatcher to run a campaign to educate people about Aids.
We should proclaim the unsung success of Rishi Sunak’s artificial intelligence summit. It is easy to mock the prime minister’s fanboy interview with Elon Musk, and we can certainly have fun at Sunak’s naivety in saying that the British ought to be ready to give up “the security of a regular pay cheque ... and be
The party conference season is over, having confirmed the new power in the land. Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, is now running the country. Keir Starmer, who had a successful conference, would be nowhere without her. The expectation of a Labour government within a year is
Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, has received unhelpful advice from both left and right. From the left, John McDonnell, her predecessor but one, says she will need a huge increase in public spending to “solve the crises in our public services and [raise] the capital investment needed to boost growth, fix our
One of the most testing thought experiments is to assume that the opinion polls now are not what the election result will be, and to ask: “Higher or lower?” Ever since Labour took the lead in the polls at the end of 2021, when the lockdown parties in Boris Johnson’s Downing Street became known about, my answer to
Something has to give, and it is possible to predict what it will be. Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves have tied themselves tightly with the bonds of fiscal responsibility. They won’t make unfunded spending promises. They won’t raise taxes — in fact, they think the tax burden is too high. And they won’t
The Treasury was so surprised by the revised estimates of the British economy that it took three hours to respond after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its findings recently. The new figures tell a dramatically different story of the past few years. Instead of the UK lagging behind other rich countries
Sue Gray, the only former civil servant most people have heard of, starts work as Keir Starmer’s chief of staff next month. For some in the Labour leader’s office, “waiting for Sue Gray” has been a feature of their lives for almost as long as it was for journalists who were waiting for her reports on
After two years of Tony Blair’s government, Martin Rowson, the cartoonist, identified what he thought was “the fundamental problem with New Labour…” He drew an adviser holding a satchel upside down and saying to the prime minister: “Hey boss! We’ve run out of principles to betray!” After this week’s latest
Chief Political Commentator, The Independent; visiting professor, King's College, London.