MPs and the property market: an uneasy pairing

By Estelle Shirbon
June 1, 2010

BRITAIN-ELECTION/Would you have an MP for a tenant? Not so long ago, those two letters placed after a person’s name were seen as a mark of respectability, but the unending drama of the expenses scandal has blown all that away.

Is it time to give Guy Fawkes a break?

November 5, 2009

BRITAIN/It’s bonfire night, and once again poor old Guido gets it.

Up and down the country he will be burned in effigy for the dastardly crime of trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament over 400 years ago.

Clouds of change: Buzzwords from conference season

October 8, 2009

dave1Opposition leader David Cameron has delivered his speech to the Conservative party conference in Manchester.******Cameron told delegates there would be “painful” cuts in public spending, promised to send more troops to Afghanistan and stressed the importance of confronting “Labour’s debt crisis.” He also pledged to modernise the pension system, “break the cycle of welfare dependency” and cut back on bureaucracy to make life easier for entrepreneurs.******Cameron’s speech brings conference season to an end. Leaders of the three main parties — Cameron, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats — have all laid out their plans for Britain ahead of a general election due by June 2010.******The ‘word clouds’ below have been generated using the complete texts from each of the leaders’ keynote conference speeches, in the order they were given. At first glance there are some striking similarities and fascinating overlaps — but we will leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.******How did you think each of the leaders performed? Who did you find the most convincing? Is David Cameron ready to lead the country?******Keywords from Nick Clegg’s speech:******cleggwordcloud2****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******Keywords from Gordon Brown’s speech:******brownwordcloud3****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******Keywords from David Cameron’s speech:******cameronwordcloud

Tabloid trickery versus the right to know

July 10, 2009

Probity is Britain’s new watchword. After filleting the bankers over their salaries and bonuses and excoriating MPs for fiddling their expenses we’ve now turned our attention to the antics of journalists.

MPs shoot themselves in foot over expenses

June 19, 2009

The online release of MPs’ expense claims has only served to further dent their already battered reputation.

Time for the people to decide on Britain’s democratic future?

June 10, 2009

Britain’s embattled political class are falling over themselves to modernise parliament, but given we have fully embraced the Internet age the proposals have a rather tame feel about them.

Labour MPs reprieve humble Brown – for now

June 9, 2009

Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) meetings are usually drab affairs. The leader turns up, listens to a few grumbles from backbench MPs, a few reporters hang around outside hoping to grab a half-decent quote and in the end a Labour apparatchik puts a rose-tinted spin on proceedings.

MPs’ expenses — worse than cash for questions?

May 12, 2009

Britain’s anti-sleaze chief Sir Christopher Kelly, Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, has said the MPs’ expenses scandal is worse than the infamous cash for questions affair that did so much damage to the John Major adminstration in the 1990s.

What would be YOUR best job in the world?

May 11, 2009

British charity fundraiser Ben Southall is preparing to begin the “best job in the world” – caretaker of an Australian tropical island — after winning a highly publicised contest this month.

Reaction to Brown’s 42-day detention vote victory

June 12, 2008

armedpolicemanlondon-tobymelville.jpg Gordon Brown may have won the 42-day detention vote, but the victory was ”hollow”, ”shameful” or “tactical”, depending on which newspaper you read.