The charges against David Cameron over his Iraq policy are well founded. But there are extenuating circumstances... It is time for a root-and-branch review of the principles of British foreign policy, so that they reflect two essential things: the world as it is and not as we would wish it to be; and the British national interest. Or, to put it another way, don't do nation-building and don't intervene in other people's civil wars - we usually make things worse, as in Iraq, and the waste of blood and treasure is unforgivable. If this means hobnobbing with dictators, so be it. Only genocide and threats to world order merit military intervention, as with IS.
Baroness Boothroyd spoke out after it was revealed that the current Speaker wants inexperienced Australian Carol Mills to be his £200,000 a year Commons Clerk, despite little obvious affinity for the job.
Cameron's new relationship support army might be a huge opportunity to break into the fortress of coercive control and start to free its thousands of victims. This will only happen if the government takes a strong and highly visible stand against domestic violence.
The prime minister yesterday pledged to introduce a new "family test" to ensure that every domestic policy is examined for its impact on the family. If David Cameron was to implement the policy retrospectively, how would the coalition government fare?
It's hard to argue against the basic idea, that all policies will have to pass a 'family test'. Cameron has said that from October every new domestic policy "will be examined for its impact on the family". The sound-bite accompanying this initiative is "nothing matters more than family."
With just months to go before the general election, all mainstream parties need to understand that having policy is only the first step on the path to victory. It then falls into the hands of party spinners to decide how policy is communicated, articulated and portrayed through the party ranks and into the media that will determine how the public perceives it.
Given his undoubted charisma and his way with words, he has the potential to be a big vote winner for the Tories. But, and it is in important but, voters who regard humour and a cavalier style as an asset in a city mayor with few real powers might seek different qualities in a national leader. Last week, in an interview with the Sunday Times, he talked about how his six years as mayor had given him the administrative experience that would stand him in good stead in national politics. He has a point. But if he is to be a real vote-winner for his party on the national stage, he needs more. He needs to get serious.
Should Boris win a safe seat, should the Tories win the next election and should Boris be gifted a Cabinet position - the first is the least dangerous of these three assumptions - will Boris commit, even for reasons of his own, to his Cabinet chums and will they commit to him? Boris has work to do. His recent cajoling of Cameron to take a harder-line stance on future negotiations with the EU can legitimately be viewed as the voice of a critical friend. Cameron can take it. However, covert criticism of Osborne, one of the more obvious contenders to succeed Cameron, will endear him neither to the Chancellor nor to others in Cameron's circle of less secure consiglieri.
The inconvenient truth is that the collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza is a collective endeavour in its own right - led by Israel, enforced by Egypt, endorsed by Saudi Arabia. Pity the poor Palestinians. Their territories are occupied by the Jewish state; their cause is abandoned by the Arab world.
The "balance fallacy" in the commemorations of the First World War means we forget the real reason millions died. "There are two sides to every stor...
How like Boris to use a much-trailed speech on Europe as a sort of summer panto, a bit of harmless fun, the brass band preceding his big announcement about his own ambitions here in the UK.
With the departure of Burt, Hague and now Warsi, the FCO is left without any ministers who show any deep personal commitment to human rights... It would be unfair to prejudge Philip Hammond and Baroness Anelay, Sayeeda Warsi's replacement, this early on. Instead, one must simply appeal to them to prove the sceptics wrong.
The rise of Ukip, the vitriolic discussion over the relaxation of border controls relating to Romania and Bulgaria, the abolishment of the UKBA and now the problems at the Passport Office, show that immigration is, without doubt, an all-consuming issue for the public and one that is going to be at the front of voters' minds on and before 7 May 2015. However, the government, rather than shadow boxing with Ukip by continuing to make claims over a net migration figure they have no control over, should create a structure that ensures immigration is given its full attention. After all you can have as many silver bullet policies as you like, but without the gun to fire them you're never going to hit the target.
oris Johnson today setting out some of the changes he and his economic adviser Gerard Lyons think would be necessary to see Britain benefit from continued EU membership is a welcome step in the right direction. But for all his robustness and rabble-rousing rhetoric, there were more than a few moments where the Mayor fell down on detail.
One major objective of secularism is to balance everyone's religious rights and freedoms fairly. This naturally includes the rights and freedoms of the non-religious and those of minority religions. Yet Mr Pickles chooses to portray this as secularists trying to "impose" their "politically correct intolerance" on others.
What we need to do now is go further... to imagine, and then create, a world without war. With the hideous death-toll in Gaza, the chaos in Syria and Ukraine, the turmoil in Libya, that might seem a long way from the reality of 2014. But the important first step is to say "this is possible", and then to start to plan the actions needed to bring a peaceful world into being.