Alex Wickham

Alex Wickham

Articles by Alex Wickham

Farage Rises Again: So How Can The Tories Stop Him This Time?

Yesterday afternoon, having been triumphantly received first by the 1922 and then his adoring new cohort, David Cameron announced the details of his reshuffle. You can picture the moment. A gleeful Prime Minister instructing an adviser to tweet out the

nigel farage manifesto

Don’t Let Sore Losers Talk the Country Down

Kudos to the Labour politicians, most admirably Ed Balls, who reacted to their party’s incredible defeat with good grace. Others, not so much. Take one well known left-wing tweeter: “Most terrifying of all is the Tories won as the Nasty

The Associated Press

Snapshot: Is this the week things changed?

It does feel like something has changed this week. Labour started the election campaign very strongly, winning the first two weeks by dominating the narrative and succeeding in showing Ed Miliband in a better light than voters had previously seen

The Associated Press

The Remarkable Transformation of Ed Miliband

If you had said six months ago that Ed Miliband would be schooling Boris Johnson on live television two weeks before the election, even Justine would have raised an eyebrow. Yet that is exactly what the Labour leader did on


Tories Win the Week for the First Time this Campaign

Labour certainly had the upper hand during the two weeks of the election campaign before this one, but there has been a shift in the fortunes of the parties over the last few days. This was supposed to be Labour’s

The Associated Press

The Big-Name MPs Who Could Lose Their Seats in 17 Days’ Time

One of the lesser talked about themes of this mad election is the unusually large number of big-name politicians who could feasibly lose their seats. A couple of ‘Portillo moments’ can be always be expected, but in three weeks’ time

Britain's Chief Secretary to the Treasury Alexander attends a symposium "Les Entretiens du Tresor" at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris

Time Is Running Out for the Tories

Monday brought Labour’s manifesto launch, which was policy-light and therefore tough for Ed Miliband’s opponents to unravel. You can’t really see the party making many gains from suddenly claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility three weeks before the


Exposed: Busting Labour’s election myths

Georges Sorel, the French philosopher, believed that in politics ‘myths’ can often be more important than reality. If the people could be stirred by emotive social and political illusions, regardless of their basis in reality, Sorel argued, this was ultimately

Ed Miliband

The Election Campaign Has Begun with No Clear Frontrunner

So, who won day one? Labour will feel they spent far too much of yesterday talking about their strained relationship with business, after the party’s advert in the Financial Times backfired spectacularly. Siemens and Kellogg’s both publicly expressed their dismay


Miliband Won Last Night, So Why Did He Lose with the Public?

The reaction in the press room at Sky HQ as last night’s leaders’ interviews came to a close was unanimous. Ed Miliband had, almost unbelievably, won. Of the two men vying to be Prime Minister, against all odds, it was


The Left Does Not Have a Monopoly on Compassion

Earlier this month two prominent conservatives, Tim Montgomerie and Stephan Shakespeare, launched something called The Good Right. Despite boasting Michael Gove as a vocal supporter, much of what they proposed was unlikely to convince dry right-wingers. Luxury taxes and above-inflation


Budget 2015: Still No Game-Changer from Osborne

Well, that Budget was a bit of an anti-climax. There was some optimistic talk beforehand that George Osborne might produce some sort of game-changing policy that would transform the election campaign. In the end there was no fabled ‘rabbit in


Delusional Politicians Are Sleepwalking Towards Their Fates

Fifty days out from the election, Westminster is a strange mix of speculation, tedium and delusion. No one really has any idea who is going to win on May 7th. As frustrating as that is for pundits, it’s not really


Leave the Wives Out of It

There is a saying in the morally upstanding circles of Westminster in which I dwell: “leave the wives out of it”. Unless there is some particular significance to a great matter of state, or perhaps if taxpayers’ money is at


Why It Is Wrong to Take Tony Blair’s ‘Blood Money’

It feels like no one can divide the Labour Party quite like Tony Blair. The former Prime Minister has donated £106,000 to the candidates in his party’s top target seats ahead of the general election. Good news, or so you

Tony Blair

Nigel Farage Has a Point: Our Immigration System Is Unfair

Nigel Farage has this morning revealed UKIP’s policy on immigration going into the election. Gone is the party’s previous pledge to cap net migration at 50,000, instead they will not adopt an “arbitrary” target. Reading Farage’s explanation for this, it


Would you want a celebrity to be your MP?

Ahead of the 2001 General Election, William Hague’s Conservative Party secured a quite stellar cast of celebrity backers. Among them were some of the best of Britain: Jim Davidson, Peter Stringfellow, Anthony Worrall-Thompson, Frank Bruno, Mike Read and Bill Roache


UKIP Needs a Big Boost at this Conference

It’s fair to say it has been a tough few weeks for UKIP. The party has tailed off in the polls recently, dropping from above 15 percent to around 13 percent as election campaign season gets underway. Nigel Farage’s trip


Don’t Make the Taxpayer Pay for Politics

Donations are back in the news, with some £20 million being raised by political parties in the last quarter of 2014. These sorts of stories tend to hurt each party about the same – whether it is union gold lining

economic case for brexit

Labour Offence Watch: Who Will They Alienate Next Week?

Last week the Labour Party managed to offend British business, teachers and nuns. In the seven days since then, Miliband and his team have further succeeded in antagonising the British Chamber of Commerce, people who drink Irn-Bru, the family of


Intergenerational War: the Young Must Look to Themselves

Last week I spent the day at Facebook’s London headquarters, which was playing host to a Q&A session between the main party leaders and those two words no one in politics can say without sounding about ninety: “young people”. The


Why Does Labour Keep Offending People?

Three months out from the election, you would expect Labour to be on the offensive. Instead, they seem to be offending as many people as possible. Emily Thornberry’s snobbish comments sneering at White Van Man and the St. George’s Cross

Chuka Umunna Reuters

62 Percent Want More Government: a Dark Day For Conservatism

We are forever hearing that there is great public apathy towards our politics. Whether it is the expenses scandal, MPs being sent to prison, foreign wars or disastrous government policies at home, voters don’t like politicians. I remember vox-popping a


Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe

Whatever happens on May 7th, Europe is going to shape the next two years of Conservative Party politics. If David Cameron stays as Prime Minister, either in another Coalition or forming a minority government, he is going to be the


The New Puritans: How Liberals Want to Control Your Life

“The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy”. So said H.L. Mencken of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Puritanism; the tyrannical do-gooders of the temperance movement, authoritarians pushing their Victorian values on “sinners” across the Atlantic. Whether it

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TV Debates: Where We Are Now

That faint sound you can hear in the distance is the laughing from 4 Matthew Parker Street, home of the Conservative Party, and Downing Street, home of the Prime Minister. Within a week David Cameron has gone from the chicken


In a Year’s Time All the Party Leaders Could Be Gone

It doesn’t really feel like it, but in just a few months’ time David Cameron could well have retired from politics. Or, we could be saying goodbye to Ed Miliband forever. Despite the predictions of anarchy, this coalition government has


UKIP and the Tories Hate Each Other More than They Hate Labour

The Unite the Right campaign aiming to forge a tactical voting alliance of Tory and UKIP voters has been killed by its founder, the journalist Toby Young. Named “Country Before Party”, the highly commendable idea was the only way the


One Third Back UKIP on ‘Chink’ and ‘Poofter’ Comments

Who cares about chinky-gate? A poll from YouGov today offers some evidence for the prediction I made earlier in the week that race rows like those of UKIP’s Kerry Smith will not have any effect on the party’s popularity. One