Matthew d'Ancona articles

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  • Pakistan's politics to be played out in Britain - Gordon Brown likes to say that "over there is now here". There could be no more vivid illustration of this principle than the fate of Pakistan in 2008 - 30th December 2007
  • And season's greetings to you, Ozymandias - Matthew d'Ancona'Ancona wonders whether Christmas with the Browns involves a jolly session of Moral Compass, the character-forming board game for all the family - 23rd December 2007
  • The Government is spinning in circles - In the past week, says Matthew d'Ancona'Ancona, the Brown Government has surpassed itself as a factory of spin, doublethink and mixed messages - 16th December 2007
  • A long, lonely time without Led Zeppelin - Matthew D'Ancona has a hunch that we will not have to wait too long for more of Led Zeppelin. They looked as if they had rediscovered the fun of being an amazing band - 12th December 2007
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to Gordon Brown - There is no logical political explanation why ministers have finally decided that the number of days terror suspects can be held without charge should be 42 - 9th December 2007
  • Labour's misery is a tale of decline and fall - The Government's immune system has collapsed: the smell of death is unmistakable - 2nd December 2007
  • Gordon Brown's strategy has fallen to pieces - Brown's open-mindedness is begining to look dangerously like diffidence, incompetence and indecision - 18th November 2007
  • David Cameron fills the Tony Blair-shaped hole - When Gordon Brown entered Number 10 he seemed, at last, to have been released from his jealousy and resentment of Tony Blair. Now, David Cameron appears to have filled the hole - 11th November 2007
  • The Tories, Labour and the torrents of spin - Gordon Brown can no longer assume that the public will recoil from the Conservatives as a marginal and vaguely unrespectable coalition of tired single issue groups - 4th November 2007
  • Brown's liberty speech: cunning and learned - Among Gordon Brown's advisers, the PM's capacity to plough through books inspires both awe and exhaustion - 28th October 2007
  • This could be Gordon Brown's Maastricht - This is how the talks end: not with a bang, but a dinner. There wasn't even the ritual choreographed punch-up at Lisbon, to ensure that the Prime Minister could return home claiming to have wrung a big, headline-grabbing concession from the 26 other EU states - 21st October 2007
  • The real problem is deeper than just Gordon - Tony Blair has been telling his allies that they must under no circumstances join in the Gordon-bashing that is now all the rage. That is wise of the former Prime Minister - 14th October 2007
  • Analysis: Gordon’s colour now will be yellow - Mr Brown will be presented as a man frightened of a leadership contest, an EU referendum and an election. He only has himself to blame, writes Matthew d'Ancona’Ancona - 7th October 2007
  • David Cameron prepares for "speech of his life" - At the Carlton Club on Tuesday evening, David Cameron lost count of the number of Tory well-wishers who told him that he must make the "speech of his life" at the party's Blackpool conference - 30th September 2007
  • Labour's conference is an election focus group - The Prime Minister was, I am told, amused by the argument advanced by Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton's chief strategist, in an interview in the current Spectator that "you need experience to bring about change" - 23rd September 2007
  • Will Labour like seaside trip without a row? - The point was made to me most vividly by a close ally of Tony Blair. "I see Gordon as a Shakespearean tragic character, who has been given an extra Act," this Blairite told me. "His fatal flaw was his resentment of Tony. But now that's gone. It's as if Lear or Hamlet came back to life." - 16th September 2007
  • The 'lurch to the Right' is for losers - Three weeks today, the Conservative Party will gather in Blackpool for what will probably be its final annual conference before the general election. To state the obvious corollary: it is very likely that when the Tories meet for their 2008 gathering in Birmingham, they will either be in power for the first time in 11 years, or licking the wounds of a fourth successive election defeat... - 9th September 2007
  • Unlike Gordon, referendums are for wimps - When the fledgling "Yes" campaign was preparing itself in 2004 for the planned referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty, its focus groups showed that the politician whom the voters would most trust as a figurehead was none other than Gordon Brown - 2nd September 2007
  • Why I despair at this grotesque public downfall - Amy Winehouse was born in Southgate, a sleepy north London suburb etched into the nation's literary landscape by the poet Stevie Smith. Apt, really. For, beholding the soul singer's desperate decline in the past few weeks, especially the photographs of her pitifully skeletal, bikini-clad frame, scarred by tattoos and self-inflicted cuts, on the beach in St Lucia, I have been reminded of Smith's most famous line: "not waving but drowning" - The Independent, Friday 31st August 2007
  • At last, David Cameron speaks for the nation - On February 19, 1993, Tony Blair, then shadow home secretary, made a speech in Wellingborough which, in capturing the national mood of shock after James Bulger's death, staked his claim to lead the country - 26th August 2007
  • The Gordon vs Dave fist fight decider - Here's how it all began, on the night of February 25, 1964, in Miami Beach, Florida. At the end of the fourth, Cassius Clay retreated to his corner, almost blind, and told his trainer, Angelo Dundee, that he wanted to throw in the towel. Dundee was having none of it - 5th August 2007
  • Brown is leading the way in counter-terrorist thinking - On the road in the US, the prime minister revealed to us - and to Bush - a bold new strategy in the fight for hearts and minds - The Guardian, Thursday 2nd August 2007
  • Gordon and George will get along just fine - Gordon Brown believes that the remarkable growth of book festivals in this country has lessons to teach us about the future of political engagement and unmediated contact between politicians and public - 29th July 2007
  • Better off without Dave? The Tories are mad - Against all expectation, Gordon Brown is becoming a successful brand. These days, Cabinet Ministers refer much less frequently to "New Labour" (so 1997) than they do to the "Brown Government" - 22nd July 2007
  • Brown must take charge of the Mallochs - How quickly talent can turn into torment. When Gordon Brown unveiled his "government of all the talents", there was no outside recruit of whom he was prouder than Sir Mark Malloch Brown, the former UN deputy general secretary, now ennobled and installed at the Foreign Office - 15th July 2007
  • Now for the war over phonies - "This huge stuff about trust": Alastair Campbell's words in his diary for May 2003, later disclosed during the Hutton Inquiry, have become legendary with good reason - 8th July 2007
  • Gordon may have changed, but little else has - One of my cherished memories of Tony Blair's last days will always be that of a Cabinet Minister (still in the Cabinet today) doing an impression of Gordon Brown as the perennially-absent Macavity being coaxed reluctantly towards his first Prime Minister's Questions - 1st July 2007
  • Goodbye Teflon Tony, hello Gore-Tex Gordon - So there I was, waiting in the BBC foyer on Friday morning to take part in a panel on climate change kicked off by Al Gore, when, suddenly, one sensed the distinctive footfall of power approaching - 24th June 2008
  • Citizen Gordon cannot deny us a referendum - It's Gordon - the Sequel: only weeks after bringing out Courage: Eight Portraits, Mr Brown is about to publish yet another book - 17th June 2007
  • Brown will recycle more Blair than he flytips - In its dying days, the Blair regime hovers between a job centre and a garage sale. On Friday, Ben Wegg-Prosser, departing head of the Number 10 strategic communications unit, hosted a birthday party at a club off the Strand, discussing his future as a web entrepreneur in Russia with other young Blairites who will soon be seeking gainful employment - 10th June 2007
  • Tories back to school with clever Mr Coulson - The original Black Wednesday now has a mini-me cousin: May 16, the day on which David Willetts gave his speech to the CBI on Tory education policy, which, if not quite black, will certainly be remembered as Dark Grey Wednesday - 3rd June 2007
  • Cameron ready to sacrifice the History Boys - One of the many reasons that Alan Bennett's The History Boys has been such a long-running triumph is that it tells a very British story - 27th May 2007
  • After Blair vs Brown it's Gordon vs Gordon - These are confusing times. On Thursday, as the Prime Minister and George Bush said their fond farewells and prepared for a new chapter in the special relationship, you felt that the President might pay tribute to his "good friend, Tony Brown" - 20th May 2007
  • Alone together at last - Brown and the public - The launch of Gordon Brown's leadership campaign on Friday was held just across the street from the Church of Scientology on Tottenham Court Road, and I found myself wondering which of the two cults is actually tougher - 13th May 2007
  • Farewell to Labour's King Arthur - 'Oh God," the Downing Street source said to me. "Not another row about timing. We've just had one that lasted 13 years!" The Prime Minister is reported to be giving serious thought to leaving politics altogether before the next general election... - 6th May 2007
  • Number 10's wheelie bin waits to be emptied - Ten years ago this Tuesday, I took a quick tour of Conservative Central Office as the full, shattering impact of the 1997 Blair landslide began to sink in to its huddled occupants - 29th April 2007
  • Labour blows its last chance to avoid civil war - Tomorrow ought to be a big day for Gordon Brown as the Arctic Monkeys, a band of which he has often spoken in the past, release their second album, forbiddingly entitled Favourite Worst Nightmare - 22nd April 2007
  • Spin? What spin? There's no one in charge - The meaning of the word "Brownite" has changed radically over the years. It was once applied to those who regarded New Labour as only a means to an end, rather than an end in itself... - 15th April 2007
  • Miliband campaign is in Brown's best interest - Somehow, in the last month, David Miliband, who has repeatedly said that he supports Gordon Brown as the next prime minister and Labour leader, has come to be seen as a serious contender for the job - 1st April 2007
  • Brown's budget all about GBH, not GDP - Just as Andrew Turnbull could not "help but admire the sheer Stalinist ruthlessness" of Gordon Brown's methods, there was a pugilistic artistry to the Chancellor's final Budget last Wednesday - 25th March 2007
  • The Chancellor is still the man to beat - In the immortal phrase from Spinal Tap, this one goes to eleven. On Wednesday, Gordon Brown will deliver his 11th and final Budget, a modern record well ahead of Lloyd George's seven... - 18th March 2007
  • Parties and peerages: still a buyer's market - On Friday afternoon, the deal was nowhere near completion: Sir Hayden Phillips, the former Whitehall mandarin asked by the Prime Minister a year ago to sort out the funding of political parties was still on the telephone to the main players - 11th March 2007
  • Miliband and Brown should have dinner - Gordon Brown finds himself in an unprecedented double purdah. As Chancellor, preparing for what will almost certainly be his last Budget on March 21, he is exercising the traditional ex officio restraint over Treasury policy. As prime minister-in-waiting, meanwhile, he has to sit tight, watch David Cameron flourish, and wonder when, precisely, Tony Blair will depart Number 10 - 4th March 2007
  • Brown gets leadership opponent he wants - Saul Bellow called it "crisis chatter": the fretful muttering, much of it aimless and banal, that arises at moments of emergency. Last week, Labour was engulfed by one such wave of panic after the Guardian published an ICM poll showing that the Tories would open up a 13 point lead if Gordon Brown succeeded to his party's leadership - 25th February 2007
  • The reason Tony Blair still turns up for work - At a quarter to seven on Thursday morning, the Prime Minister and his youngest son, Leo, were already busy in the gardens of Number 10 building a snowman. Later, Mr Blair's colleagues joked that he would be personally blamed for the arctic weather that suddenly had the nation in its icy clasp - 11th February 2007
  • Tony Blair has already resigned. He just hasn't realised it yet - Although he survived last autumn's abortive coup, the Prime Minister has been a political wraith ever since - 4th February 2007
  • Pressure is on the police to beat the Blairites - Whether or not Mr Blair's aides ever face criminal charges, Mr Brown will have to fight hard to avoid political imprisonment - 21st January 2007
  • Tories who would rather lose than change - The defection of an economist from one party to another would not normally make headlines. But Tim Congdon, who announced his transfer of allegiance from the Tories to the UK Independence Party in the Telegraph last week, is no ordinary economist - 14th January 2007