Inside Westminster


Eds Miliband and Balls.
Labour's internal battle is a tale of two Eds, both called Miliband
By Rafael Behr - 13 May 14:11

The opposition ranks are close to despair over an apparent lack of direction.

Labour has a public sector reform agenda. Or does it?
By Rafael Behr - 08 May 14:46

Ed Miliband has said the state needs to change. He also needs to say how.

Local elections: seven early thoughts on what they mean
By Rafael Behr - 03 May 10:47

UKIP won the day, but not because of Europe, a Tory MP may well defect and parliament will be hung after 2015.

Losing an EU referendum vote in parliament is part of the Tory plan
By Rafael Behr - 02 May 12:37

MPs just want Cameron to prove he means business (and that the Lib Dems don't).

Are UKIP a lost Tory tribe or masked villains? Cameron needs to decide
By Rafael Behr - 29 April 16:41

The Conservatives are caught between advertising their cultural affinity with UKIP and denouncing its members as closet extremists.

The Tories' campaign for re-election has already started.
Cameron's Ctrl-Alt-Del on frozen party relations
By Rafael Behr - 25 April 12:14

A bunch of new appointments and a more aggressive tone indicate that the Tories' campaign for re-election has already started.

Labour recognises that it could end up closing hospitals too
By Rafael Behr - 22 April 16:45

The party's plan to integrate health and social care makes sense fiscally and clinically but the politics could be more difficult to navigate.

Miliband and the Blairites have more in common than they suggest
By Rafael Behr - 15 April 16:17

A leader who has explicitly "turned the page on New Labour" makes many of the same compromises and electoral calculations as the former prime minister and his allies.

New Statesman
Thatcher's victories are too old and complete to help Cameron
By Rafael Behr - 11 April 12:20

Conservatives are winning a cultural campaign to nationalise their political bereavement and it will do them no favours in the end.

Miliband's lost welfare intervention
By Rafael Behr - 09 April 11:57

Everyone waited for the Labour leader to say something on welfare. He did but (for obvious reasons) no one noticed.

Ed and David Miliband
Without a starring role, David Miliband had to leave the stage
By Rafael Behr - 26 March 23:50

The soap opera saga needed bringing to an end and the thwarted brother's emigration does the job as well as reconciliation.

David Cameron makes a fetish of toughness, because he has no other virtues to sell to voters
By Rafael Behr - 26 March 16:41

Even the sceptics accept that Miliband’s stance requires integrity and strength of will.

The real message of Osborne's Budget: as you were, only poorer
By Rafael Behr - 20 March 16:35

The Chancellor's gamble remains that the growth will come, that the pain will be followed by gain. But he has been wrong every time so far.

Without real contrition, press piety leaves me cold
By Rafael Behr - 19 March 9:55

The cross-party deal is a stitch-up but there is no moral authority on Fleet Street to resist it.

Miliband has nothing to lose from standing by Leveson
By Rafael Behr - 14 March 17:21

The Labour leader's stance won't win him many friends on Fleet Street but no one should believe the press will swing the next election.

Jim Murphy: Labour is sticking with Trident
By Rafael Behr - 07 March 18:00

The shadow defence secretary quashes speculation: "we’re not a unilateralist party and we’re not about to become a unilateralist party".

David Cameron addresses the media at the headquarters of the EU Council.
After Eastleigh, the Tories need to end their UKIP tribute act
By Rafael Behr - 01 March 11:27

When Conservatives, including Cameron, indicate their eagerness to be a little bit more like UKIP, all they do is give Nigel Farage the credit for setting the agenda.

New Statesman
Dividing Lines: Getting old
By Rafael Behr - 28 February 11:26

The graph of doom.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and David Cameron.
The Lib Dems' identity crisis just got a lot more critical
By Rafael Behr - 26 February 7:44

Coalition was meant to be a journey to political maturity and professionalism. But it's amateur hour yet again.

Maria Hutchings
Tories can't master message discipline until Cameron has a clear message
By Rafael Behr - 17 February 12:12

Conservatives struggle to say things that sound like the sort of thing their leader would say.

Has Cameron's EU referendum gambit dissolved in voter mistrust?
By Rafael Behr - 11 February 16:37

The "game-changing" pledge may be seen as just another slippery politician's promise.

Dividing Lines: The economy
By Rafael Behr - 07 February 9:10

Continuing his series on the major policy divisions in politics, Rafael Behr tackles the economy.

Labour will want to keep its Trident options open
By Rafael Behr - 06 February 14:32

A half-hearted commitment to renewal would make an easy concession to Lib Dems in future coailtion talks.

Gove's ultra-partisan style is a sign of things to come
By Rafael Behr - 04 February 16:25

Tory MPs see the Education Secretary's politicisation of his department as a case study in how to beat the Whitehall system.

Taking sides: the dividing lines of British politics
By Rafael Behr - 31 January 8:59

All parties love the easy, polarising rhetoric of “us” against “them” – but how distinct are their ideas? In a new weekly series, Rafael Behr finds out.

Labour tuts at the Tories' "public school-boy games" over Europe
By Rafael Behr - 30 January 11:53

The afternoon's Europe debate is purposely designed to discomfit Labour. But Miliband's high-minded opposition is a risky strategy.

Was Adam Afriyie stitched up as a warning to other would-be Tory rebels?
By Rafael Behr - 28 January 16:17

Tory MPs are in no hurry to dismiss the possibility that Downing Street leaked the story to expose a small rebel cell early in its development.

Why Miliband's position on the EU is stronger than it appears
By Rafael Behr - 24 January 7:51

Tory unity will prove shortlived and the Labour leader could execute a relatively painless U-turn on a referendum.

Why Cameron is giving Downing Street a political edge
By Rafael Behr - 22 January 13:37

The decision to make the next head of the No.10 Policy Unit a political appointee, rather than a civil servant, shows the PM has listened to complaints from Tory MPs.

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls
Miliband moves to close down Balls speculation
By Rafael Behr - 13 January 13:49

The Labour leader has enough tricky policy questions coming his way. He doesn't want to be quizzed about personnel too.