Donald Macintyre

Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt. As Political Editor and then Chief Political Commentator, he previously covered the John Major and early Tony Blair era. He has written for the Daily Express, Sunday Times, Times and Sunday Telegraph, and Sunday Correspondent. He is the author of Mandelson and the Making of New Labour (2000).

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Donald Macintyre's Sketch: It’s not easy being green if you’re Ed Davey

When Labour’s Kevin Brennan asked Ed Davey his “position” on fracking after New York State’s ban on it, the Energy Secretary said portentously he was sure the MP “would like every government to follow everything that New York State does, but we are an independent country and we make our own decisions”.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Parting shots leave no room for seasonal goodwill

Is Douglas Carswell having a full-on identity crisis? In an all too rare Commons appearance – two months after being carried shoulder-high from his Clacton by-election triumph as Ukips’s first MP – he asked David Cameron today about the rapidly rising “cost added to energy bills and taxes by green targets”, concluding: “Does My Honourable Friend think that is fair?”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Those who try to repeat history probably didn’t understand it

In one of the great parliamentary moments of the 20th century, the Conservative Leo Amery, appalled by Chamberlain’s dithering over whether to come to the aid of Nazi-invaded Poland, shouted out as Labour’s Arthur Greenwood rose to reply: “Speak for England, Arthur.”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Home Secretary Theresa May emerges unscathed on a day laden with cross-party ironies

Ms May appeared unaware of any evidence of British complicity, which is odd since some British entanglement has been established

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: What's another word for voters?

Ed Miliband declared yesterday: “We must pull together as a society… We cannot do that if deficit reduction is simply on the backs of everyday people.”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Osborne makes sure Clegg’s on message

Last week Nick Clegg snubbed George Osborne’s big day.

Matthew Barzun, United States ambassador to the United Kingdom

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: A dog that didn't bark. Or bite. Or give us a story

One good thing about being the US ambassador to London – apart from living in a natty neo-Georgian pile set in 12 acres of Regent’s Park – is knowing you can’t be worse than your most famous predecessor in the past century.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: A dog’s breakfast of food banks and porridge oats

One sense in which the unanimous report was 'cross party' was that after it was launched, the parties got rather cross

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: A bad way to stamp your mark, Mr Gauke

The young up-and-coming Treasury minister's late arrival for the debate on stamp duty reform left the Commons on tenterhooks

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Anyone would think an election was imminent

Nick Clegg probably doesn’t suffer from the disorder of “maso-sadism”, the term David Cameron startlingly coined while taunting Ed Balls, before confessing that he had meant “masochism”. If it was Clegg’s thing, he would have positively enjoyed squirming at the acute embarrassment of nodding robotically during a speech by a Chancellor he will soon be doing everything he can to disown come the election. Instead he was as far away as it’s possible to be without actually leaving the country: in Penzance.

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'