Inside Westminster


Cameron's travels: first in opposition, then as Prime Minister
Captured Cameron: how David Cameron is tied down by his own party
By Rafael Behr - 13 February 8:54

Under pressure from party moderates, bullied by the Tory right, the Prime Minister seems caught in a trap of his own making.

Miliband wants to win the next election as a healer, but his best chance is an ugly four-way scrap
By Rafael Behr - 12 February 21:15

When inspiration fails, brute organisational force can still carry Labour over the line.

Going postal - why Nigel Farage is cross about Wythenshawe
By Rafael Behr - 12 February 13:27

Labour has learned lessons from the Lib Dem campaign in Eastleigh last year.

Milibandism's next chapter: reforming the state
By Rafael Behr - 07 February 12:24

The Labour leader is, after much hesitation, ready to contemplate the problem of running public services in austere times.

Miliband doesn’t want to sack Balls – he just wants to steal the Treasury’s power
By Rafael Behr - 29 January 22:57

The Labour leader's plans for government can factor in the prospect of having Balls as his chancellor, but in a shrunken empire.

Labour and the Tories are both avoiding the tax debate we need
By Rafael Behr - 28 January 7:49

The repetitive and needlessly venomous exchanges over the 50p rate distract from the long-term question of how we should pay for the services that we value in an era of austerity.

It's the direction, not the state of the economy that counts
By Rafael Behr - 24 January 17:17

Labour can be right about the economics of the cost of living crisis and still lose the argument in 2015.

Everyone in Westminster knows that the nation’s creaking infrastructure.
Even when they agree, Cameron and Miliband dress their vision for Britain in clashing colours
By Rafael Behr - 22 January 22:51

Everyone in Westminster knows that the nation’s creaking infrastructure needs an upgrade but Cameron’s “global race” and Miliband’s “new economy” must be depicted as ideological antitheses.

The Lib Dems can't afford to look this ridiculous
By Rafael Behr - 21 January 7:45

The Rennard shambles risks undermining the graduation into a serious party of government.

Miliband wants to set his own test of economic credibility
By Rafael Behr - 17 January 12:40

The Labour leader is confident that by 2015 voters will not be judging parties according to who they think will be better at inflicting austerity.

No 10’s “barnacle-stripping” has failed to keep irreconcilable Tory tribes on message
By Rafael Behr - 15 January 23:19

Any communications strategy devised in Downing Street also has to compete with noisy agendas elsewhere in the party.

David Cameron delivers a speech on Europe
Another influential Tory joins the No Fear of Brexit brigade
By Rafael Behr - 13 January 22:45

Andrea Leadsom, No 10 advisor and co-founder of the Fresh Start group of MPs, raises prospect of "more fruitful" negotiations after Britain votes to leave the EU.

Miliband, Clegg, Cameron in a row
General election leader debates: It's two-against-one for 3-3-3
By Rafael Behr - 10 January 14:42

Miliband and Clegg are ready to sign up to three debates over three weeks. They say Cameron is running scared.

Miliband’s enemies don’t know what to make of him – the trouble is, neither do his friends
By Rafael Behr - 08 January 23:30

Part of the problem is that even Labour MPs find their boss remote.

The Tories need a better message than "don't let Labour back in"
By Rafael Behr - 06 January 15:37

If the spectre of Gordon Brown alone were sufficient to propel the electorate into Cameron’s arms, he would now be governing with a majority.

Miliband's sheet is still blank on public service reform
By Rafael Behr - 18 December 17:34

The Labour leader appears determined to avoid the challenge of fixing state services without spending more money on them.

Cameron's indulgence of Tory fantasies is weakening his hand in Europe
By Rafael Behr - 17 December 12:08

The PM's Ukip-style positioning on immigration is viewed as weakness or blackmail by the rest of the EU.

Labour and Tories are both led by career politicians – but the label can hurt Ed more than Dave
By Rafael Behr - 11 December 22:55

Miliband is running out of time to inspire people with more than just a feeling that he has noticed how expensive life has become.

Osborne thinks budget discipline is Labour's biggest weakness. He's not wrong
By Rafael Behr - 05 December 14:53

Both Miliband and Balls know they need to do more if people are going to be persuaded to put them in charge of public money.

Clegg has made coalition work. Now he must show he believes in more than hung parliaments
By Rafael Behr - 04 December 22:50

The risk for the Deputy PM is of looking desperate to stay in office at any price.

Osborne must choose between austerity and giveaways
By Rafael Behr - 28 November 17:26

If the Chancellor starts doling out goodies he risks undercutting the Tory message of long-term discipline.

Osborne in tuxedo
George Osborne and the risky politics of chutzpah
By Rafael Behr - 26 November 7:15

The Chancellor is right that people don't demand ideological consistency but they do like politicians to believe in something.

Generation Ed: Is Labour winning the battle of ideas?
By Rafael Behr - 20 November 13:46

Rafael Behr on "Milibandism" and the Labour leader’s mission to reshape capitalism in Britain.

In a closely fought battle, when hospital wards face closure in marginal seats
Hunt wants to do for the NHS what Gove did to schools. How should Labour respond?
By Rafael Behr - 13 November 22:25

In a closely fought battle, when hospital wards face closure in marginal seats, there will be irresistible temptation for Labour to make promises that can’t be kept.

The next generation of Tory modernisers looks to Osborne, not Cameron, for inspiration
By Rafael Behr - 23 October 22:43

The balance of credit for getting the Tories even this far has clearly tilted towards the Chancellor.

The lesson from history that is shaping Osborne's response to Miliband's price freeze
By Rafael Behr - 23 October 14:05

Labour won no credit when it tried to mimic Osborne's inheritance tax cut in 2007. The Chancellor is determined not to fall into the same trap with Miliband's gambit.

Cosmetic reshuffles can’t hide the yawning chasm where a plan for government should be
By Rafael Behr - 09 October 22:25

Neither Cameron nor Miliband seems serious about finding reasons why anyone with an existing inclination to one side should actually consider switching to the other.

Neither old nor new; neither Blair nor Brown – but wholly Milibandist.
Miliband's reshuffle was post-Blairite, not anti-Blairite
By Rafael Behr - 08 October 9:43

The changes were designed to accelerate the process of re-branding Labour as neither old nor new; neither Blair nor Brown – but wholly Milibandist.

New Statesman
Ukip et al: A danger to the Tories, Labour and themselves
By Rafael Behr - 03 October 14:27

Populist, nationalist parties like Ukip mop up angry conservatives first – then move in on disenfranchised voters from the left.

The Tories should fight the real Ed Miliband, not a Bolshevik straw man
By Rafael Behr - 02 October 22:15

Cameron and Osborne should be wary of defining socialism so broadly as to encompass any political resentment of a complacent corporate status quo.