Gordon Brown: without winning an election, he has left a legacy greater than Tony Blair’s

Even at the end, he still had them talking. For the best part of a quarter century, Gordon Brown has had the political press corps either scratching its collective head, trying to divine his latest tactical gambit, or else making a gag at his expense. As Brown formally announced his intention to stand down as an MP after a 32-year Commons career, some speculated that the timing was a classic Brownian ploy to sabotage preparations for George Osborne’s upcoming autumn statement, a last bit of partisan news management by a master of the art. Others said it was typically Brown in another sense: the re-announcing of news he’d already pre-announced last week.

Published by: The Guardian

Israel’s crumbling pillars

Like the opening of an old joke, I've got good news and bad news. Both come from Israel. I'll assume that, like me, you prefer to get the bad news out of the way first. So here goes. Last weekend, the Israeli cabinet approved a bill that will officiall...

Published by: The Jewish Chronicle

The Emily Thornberry affair proves it: US-style culture wars have come to Britain

Emily Thornberry may be the first politician to quit over a single tweeted photograph that was not physically intimate, but she is not the first to get into trouble over flags and vans. In 2003 the US presidential hopeful Howard Dean said, “I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks” – adding that Democrats like him could not hope to win the White House if they did not appeal to poorer, southern voters as well as those in affluent, liberal cities and suburbs. His Democratic rivals turned on him, furious that he had embraced “the most racially divisive symbol in America”. The row passed, Dean lost, and he is now best remembered for the bizarre roar he let out on the night of a key defeat: the Dean scream.

Published by: The Guardian

A pause to recall an age of extremes

Two peoples fated to clash in two catastrophic wars remember two events which marked the beginning and end of the short, bloody 20th centuryIn Britain, it was Remembrance Sunday, officially the commemoration of those who fell in all conflicts, but this...

Published by: The Guardian

If Labour is stuck with Ed Miliband, heres a way out

With no obvious successor, Labours focus should switch to what five more years of the Tories would look likeIm picturing next years John Lewis Christmas ad. To the sound of an acoustic guitar and an earnest vocal, it opens with footage of a lonely Ed M...

Published by: The Guardian

In his anger, Cameron has made Britain a toxic brand

Anger suits David Cameron. Its one of the modes he does well. He is skilled at contrition his Bloody Sunday apology was the moment he became, rather than merely held the office of, prime minister but fury is his forte. The cheeks colour, the fist pounds the podium, the words turn plain and demotic. On Friday he channelled the voice of middle-aged men everywhere as they open a brown envelope to discover an unexpected demand for cash. Im not paying that bill, he said, the face puce. Its not going to happen.

Published by: The Guardian

Isis and Ebola: the twin threats that reveal our impotence

In our sense of terror, Islamic State and the virus feed each other. But from airports to airstrikes, the response is glaringly inadequateThey are dark, unseen enemies, come from far away and they are scaring us witless. Isis is not a disease, and Ebo...

Published by: The Guardian