Politics & Comment


I comment regularly on British and American politics, with a broad focus on foreign policy. I also maintain a particular expertise in the internal workings of the Conservative Party. I have contributed columns to most major British newspapers, and am currently most likely to be found at The Financial Times, The Spectator and The Guardian, as well as number of US outlets. I have recently joined the Board of Index on Censorship.

In addition to my perspective as an intellectual historian, I also have a strong hinterland in the Anglican church, and write regularly on issues of faith and ethics. Much of my insight into British politics has been shaped by my time as part of the team responsible for establishing Bright Blue, the think tank associated with the Tory modernisation agenda, where I remain an Associate Fellow. In 2014, I published a collection of essays with Ryan Shorthouse on the future of the Conservative Party, entitled The Modernisers’ Manifesto, for Bright Blue. 

I am not a member of any political party.



On ‘political depression’ – and how conservatives like me need to get active

Posted on Jan 16, 2017 | 0 comments

an edited version of this column appeared in The Independent, 16 January 2016   In early November, I went to bed for a month. I have a pre-disposition to clinical depression, although nowadays it is something I usually manage successfully, lovingly packing my citalopram tablets into every handbag like...

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Don’t flatter yourself Corbyn, Obama didn’t want to insult you, he didn’t even want to talk about you

Posted on Dec 27, 2016 | 0 comments

As a nation, we still jump to catch even a crumb of attention dropped from the lap of a US President – and this manufactured political row proves it written for The Independent, 27 December 2016 Tis the season for manufactured political rows. The 25th is for turkey and the Queen. The 26th is for...

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If you say ‘something must be done’ about Aleppo, did you oppose David Cameron when he tried to act?

Posted on Dec 14, 2016 | 0 comments

written for The Independent, 14 December 2016 I didn’t sleep much on Monday night. I spent it trawling social media, glued to accounts I’ve followed since I first started writing about the Syria crisis four years ago. In our hyper-connected world, as Twitter floods with gruesome images from Aleppo, the...

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The Casey Review: Integration of UK immigrants is a two-way process

Posted on Dec 9, 2016 | 0 comments

an edited version of this column appeared in the Financial Times, 9 December 2016. In January this year, the then British prime minister, David Cameron, unveiled a fund for teaching English to immigrants, targeted at Muslim women. The left erupted. Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader, called it...

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The horror of Trump shouldn’t blind us to Obama’s culpability in Syria

Posted on Dec 4, 2016 | 0 comments

written for The Independent on 4 December, 2016 You may know Bana. You may have seen her face on Facebook; you may have caught a glimpse of one of her videos on Twitter. Bana is a seven-year-old, living in East Aleppo. She tweets – or rather her mother does for her, a setup giving rise to a thousand...

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The future of the monarchy has potential to be our next crisis

Posted on Nov 25, 2016 | 0 comments

an edited version of this column appeared in the Financial Times, 25 November 2016 It is November 2018. President Trump arrives for a state dinner at Buckingham Palace, his arm around the de facto first lady, Ivanka. An official photograph from the White Drawing Room is flashed around the world: the...

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