Over the weekend the official 10 Downing Street press machine told political editors that in 2004 the UK proposed Chris Patten as EU Commission President and when France objected Britain gracefully gave way...
Where does Ed Miliband sit, then, in comparison with other recent leaders of the opposition? On some measures, the leader with the most similar figures is Michael Howard. Ed Miliband scores better than William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith, but this is hardly comforting news.
Since the election, output for every hour worked has not gone up - it's gone down, whilst output per worker has followed the same trajectory. We're actually less productive than we were in 2010. This appalling record is far worse than the last years of the 1970s, long deemed the moment when 'British disease' reached its peak.
With Labour joining the Coalition in supporting the propagation of their depressing, victimising message, will you consider the alternative message being offered by the Greens?
What are the alternatives for dissatisfied Lib Lefties who want to express their politics through party membership? They could rejoin the ghost of the SDP, no really they still exist, or choose principled powerlessness again, and join the authoritarian Greens. Perhaps the hardest to stomach would be joining Labour.
Through these and other policies we have built a resilient Wales, a Wales with good and improving employment rates and skills levels. People and communities are ready to thrive. But for this to really happen, we need a Labour Government in Westminster. A Government that won't lock people out of the economic recovery, but allow everyone to experience the benefits of an economic uplift.
The UK already has the lowest level of unemployment benefit in western Europe, and one of the highest levels of inequality, so taking from one side to give to the other would be an obvious solution to the economic issue.
A good start for Labour would have been to expand the contributory principle, not further target it, whilst explicitly focusing on supporting young people, rather than restricting access to social security. If the causes of such deep, attitudinal change in the UK are indeed linked to the decline of the contributory principle and the changing views of young people, today's proposals by Labour could end up having the complete opposite effect.
In an era of dreary politicians, the silver-tongued Blair continues to beguile us. He is the Cristiano Ronaldo of politics: slick, skilful, über-confident and astonishingly arrogant... Is he mad or bad? Deluded or dishonest? It no longer matters. Blair's reputation lies in tatters. More than half of Brits believe their former prime minister was wrong to invade Iraq; one in five tell YouGov they think he should be tried as a war criminal. Blair can try to pretend he lives a normal life but when he goes to a book signing, people pelt him with eggs
I've nothing against Sajid Javid. I'm sure he'll be well briefed about the history of this iconic space and that his warm words about the importance of free speech will be heartfelt. But that a Government Minister should be there at all, appropriating a space and a freedom traditionally reserved for the powerless, the dispossessed and the dissident illustrates a profound misconception of everything Speakers' Corner has stood for and ought to mean today.
Six out of the world's ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, but their potential will not be realised without long-term improvements to education, health and the opportunity for women to give birth in environments free from violence. The further prize is increased productivity and economic growth.
At the moment, the need to stop the bloodshed is far greater than any desire for perfect multifaceted Muslim nations. But, if there is a hope of fixing Iraq's damaged democracy and creating an Iraq and a Syria where Kurds, Shia and Sunni Muslims can live in peace together, then the UK and the US need to learn its lessons and keep our distance.
The blaming of the number of foreign players for the decline of the England squad, like the blaming of immigrants for the decline of job opportunities or wages is a smokescreen, detracting from the real issue.
I'm tired of getting up in the morning and hearing of the latest Muslim plot to take over the school/the city/the world (delete as appropriate); tired of being told that praying five times a day at a mosque is extremist; tired of being treated like being a Muslim is like having some kind of disease (and if you go to Pizza Express you might catch it too, sorry about that). Having a long beard or wearing a niqab may well be religiously conservative but it is not extremist. And there is no evidence that religious conservatism within Islam leads to violence and extremism.
The TTIP could be a good deal. It has the potential for job creation, higher wages for workers and a better deal for consumers. Trade across the Atlantic between the US and the EU is a fact of life and the US is the UK's biggest export market. If people want to buy and sell across the water, we should make it convenient for them to do so. But here is the key - we should make an agreement that helps ordinary people, not big corporations and big business.
A couple of weeks ago, Frank Field MP wrote an open letter to David Miliband about taking a harder (might I say UKIP) line on immigration. I wasn't impressed and wrote a reply - and Mr.Field subsequently replied to me. Below is my response to him.