denis macshane

The mood is uneasy, unsettled. The UK has no previous example of getting out of a disastrous policy blunder based for the first time in British history on a plebiscite decision, especially one which has yet to take place in the sense of leaving the EU.
A clever, intellectual, inquiring, methodical mind allied to one of the most least self-aggrandizing personalities, despite clear ability and ambition, in the Labour ranks in the Commons, Meacher never quite got into alignment with the political moment during his 45 years in the Commons.
If the vote is Yes to Europe, Labour can say the Tories have wasted two decades in the cul-de-sac of Euroscepticism and celebrate a defeat for the off-shore newspaper proprietors and their anti-EU obsessions. If Brexit is the result, Labour will demand Cameron's departure and a fresh consultation, via an election, to stop British isolationism and departure from the world stage as a major power.
Will 2015 finally see the publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war? Certainly not this side of the election it now seems. Why is it taking so long? ... Sadly there is no single truth, no burning dossier, no transcript that will allow closure on the Iraq war.
Howlers are not just mistakes but deliberate omissions. The book is a jolly read and the voice of Boris is on every page submerging the words of Churchill. For Boris fans it is a must-read. But next time, might he employ a research assistant to check facts and ask why the great author why key events are left out?
Peter Hennessey has been carrying out a fascinating series of interviews on Radio 4 with veteran politicians like John Major and Roy Hattersley. It is unlikely we will see their like again as the role and make-up of MPs is changing faster than ever before in Parliament's history. Take Hattersley as an example.
The conventional Westminster bubble accounts of Sayeeda Warsi quitting the government rely on unpleasant Tory spin questioning her motives. In fact there is a much richer Warsi story to be written about the multiple complexities of the British Muslim communities - the plural is important - which cannot be reduced to the horrors of the Gaza conflict.
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...
If there is one thing worse than Euroscepticism or Europhilia it is Euroignorance. Pretending the European Parliament doesn't matter is a foolish and very British error.
The reforms France needs however are massive and require a revolutionary casting aside of vested interests and old thinking, Valls does not lack ambition but whether he will have the support in French parliament and in the Socialist Party remains the big unanswered question. If he doesn't, c'est la fin.