Inside Westminster


New Statesman
David Cameron has Miliband on his mind and nothing new to say
By Rafael Behr - 02 October 13:37

Cameron’s speech failed to address the underlying challenge that the opposition leader posed: how and when should government intervene in private markets that are failing to deliver for voters?

Ed Miliband
Consumer Socialism? Ed might be onto something here
By Rafael Behr - 27 September 13:45

The Labour leader is right to make defending consumers a mission of the left. But that means tackling failed state services too.

New Statesman
Ed Miliband's speech: A manifesto for Milibandism
By Rafael Behr - 24 September 16:53

The Labour leader chose to tackle questions of his leadership credentials head-on.

Godfrey Bloom quits Ukip: exposing the paradox at the heart of the party
By Rafael Behr - 24 September 10:48

A self-image as maverick crusaders for the cause of “political incorrectness” is both intrinsic to Ukip identity - and a constant liability.

Farron suggests the Lib Dems will need to toughen their EU referendum stance
By Rafael Behr - 19 September 17:01

At an NS fringe event, the party president said the Lib Dems should "consider very hard" whether to name a date for an in/out vote.

Nick Clegg is perilously short of friends – but his enemies seem determined to help him
By Rafael Behr - 11 September 21:53

Lib Dem strategists are brimming with gratitude to the two big parties for making single-party government seem an unattractive proposition.

The challenges facing the left - and what can be done about them
By Rafael Behr - 07 September 8:07

The paradox of thrift, political inequality and the difficulties of conference season.

Westminster may dabble in xenophobia, but the reality is that racism isn’t popular
By Rafael Behr - 15 August 8:44

Britain’s immigration debate would look very different if ministers overcame their fear of the fringe and trusted voters with a more honest account of the country we have.

The Tories might be winning the air war but they're losing the ground game
By Rafael Behr - 14 August 15:52

The story of the Conservatives’ shrivelled membership is potentially as significant as the story of Labour’s presentational shambles.

The political obsession with data-crunching digital gurus lacks imagination and ambition
By Rafael Behr - 05 August 15:30

Will appointing campaign strategist Jim Messina make a radical difference to the Conservatives' election chances? Probably not - the old-fashioned art of voter persuasion is on the wane.

People on beach
Summer lethargy is not a good look for Labour right now
By Rafael Behr - 31 July 23:06

Silly season can be a time of opportunity for dynamic politicians. Where is the opposition's fighting spirit?

What is it about those vans?
By Rafael Behr - 30 July 12:55

Surely Cameron's modernising senses detect the toxic smell given off when a Tory Home Secretary runs a "migrants go home" campaign.

The door to No10
A memorable conversation
By Rafael Behr - 25 July 13:11

What really* happened when Crosby and Cameron talked.

Every opinion piece you're about to read about the royal baby
By Rafael Behr - 23 July 10:31

In predictable fashion, anyone with a column to fill in the next week is going to write about the new royal arrival. Rafael Behr saves you the trouble of reading them.

Lynton Crosby
A barnacle named Lynton
By Rafael Behr - 21 July 10:50

The Tories say Labour are wasting their time attacking the PM's campaign strategist. Well, they would, wouldn't they.

Miliband in auditorium
Where are the Milibandites when Ed needs them?
By Rafael Behr - 07 July 10:16

The Labour leader has to look like the head of a movement when he takes on Unite, not a lone crusader.

Labour front bench watch Ed Miliband speak
Labour's referendum u-turn is looking ever more likely
By Rafael Behr - 06 July 10:03

Many opposition MPs are persuaded by the case for making a virtue of necessity: resolve the issue and expose Tory divisions.

The Labour leader must use this moment to emancipate himself from the machine.
Miliband needs to go much further to restore confidence
By Rafael Behr - 05 July 11:06

The Labour leader must use this moment to emancipate himself from the machine that won him the job in the first place.

Will Watson's departure prevent a new round of Labour bloodletting?
By Rafael Behr - 04 July 16:54

The chatter in the party has been that Watson runs around the country making sure 'his' people get chosen as candidates.

Clegg is propping up Miliband's EU policy
By Rafael Behr - 01 July 16:13

Both pro-EU, both queasy about a referendum. Who will jump first?

New Statesman
Osborne is unafraid of the "nasty party" label. Is he right?
By Rafael Behr - 26 June 16:07

The Chancellor works on the assumption that voters have a boundless appetite for ever tighter welfare limits.

No. 10's Potemkin summit on internet porn solved nothing
By Rafael Behr - 19 June 18:11

Did it really take a choreographed Downing Street tea party to get an extra £1m for the Internet Watch Foundation?

A Labour U-turn on free schools? It's not that simple
By Rafael Behr - 17 June 14:07

Stephen Twigg's speech was neither a capitulation to Gove’s agenda nor a ferocious reaction against it.

Vince: minister for almost being on the left
By Rafael Behr - 13 June 16:02

The Business Secretary's review of "zero-hours" contracts is hardly distinguishable from Labour policy.

David Cameron: The Good European
By Rafael Behr - 10 June 14:02

The PM sees the EU as part of the solution, not the problem for the UK economy - a brave position to take as leader of today's Tory party.

Doubts about Miliband’s commitment to welfare reform go up in flames. In a good way, they hope.
By Rafael Behr - 05 June 17:35

The welfare line that Miliband is going to take owes a lot to the work that Liam Byrne has been doing.

Talk of coalition divorce is an expression of Tory hope, not fear
By Rafael Behr - 22 May 14:34

While the Lib Dems have much to lose from an early end to the coalition, the Tories can easily see the appeal of trying to govern alone.

Cameron in white tie
"Loongate" shows some Tories want to be insulted by Cameron
By Rafael Behr - 19 May 13:56

There are Conservatives who need routine evidence of treason to justify perpetual rebellion against their leader.

David Cameron in Brussels
Cameron says "renegotiation", Conservative MPs hear "exit"
By Rafael Behr - 17 May 14:24

The Prime Minister's European strategy relies on an act of persuasion that he has proved himself incapable of pulling off.

Miliband's agenda lacks a whole lot more than an EU referendum
By Rafael Behr - 16 May 13:37

The Labour line that Europe is a needless distraction would sound better if the opposition had more to say on everything else.