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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British Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech on immigration

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Dave carried gamely on – alarm bells ringing

At this rate, the PM will soon be babbling about a ‘third way’

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Doubles all round, the MPs drunk on devolution cried

It was all in the final flourish of Alistair Carmichael’s statement. We could, he said, achieve “home rule all round”. The phrase is venerable, coined by 19th-century Liberals and nationalists who wanted federal Britain to make Irish and Scottish home rule acceptable to the rest of the United Kingdom.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: This blessed plot, this realm, this White Van Man...

There was Mondeo Man and Worcester Woman. But now the battle for White Van Man has been truly joined. This was Stratford-upon-Avon Tory Nadhim Zahawi’s big moment and he seized it joyfully.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: ‘The Mekon’ Dominic Cummings thinks Dan Dare tactics would knock the Civil Service into shape

Contrasting the extraordinary effectiveness of the airline industry with what he sees as the chronic record of failure in Whitehall, Dominic Cummings has painted a striking picture of the sort of accountability culture he would like to see imposed on civil servants.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Enough frivolity, Theresa May comes out dancing with another contender pitch

Sketch: This was mainly a new version of the speech which she gave so successfully at the Tory conference

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Pop goes Labour’s Mansion Tax as Myleene Klass struggles on

Class war is back in British politics! Or rather Klass war. Though sadly not present, Myleene Klass, who self-effacingly describes herself on her website as “classical musician, TV presenter, author, fashion designer, businesswoman and mother” was very much the star of Prime Minister’s Questions.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Nick Clegg is mired in the detail of his McJob

There are times, watching Nick Clegg taking Commons questions, when you can’t help wondering whether he might have been better off insisting on a great office of state rather than the grand but more nebulous job he has. “I thank the Deputy Prime Minister for his interest in Wiltshire and Swindon’s local growth deal,” declaimed Duncan Hames, adding for good measure: “He will have seen our second round bid for the digital Corsham project.”

Peter Tapsell

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Tapsell 're-arms' the debate on defence

The venerable Tory Peter Tapsell yesterday congratulated David Cameron – with just a hint of irony – for his “robust” G20 exchange with Vladimir Putin on Ukraine, before asking whether the Russian leader might not be more inclined to listen if Britain “re-armed.”

Donald Macintyre's Remembrance Day Sketch: Private faces at public tribute reveal true human cost

“Private faces in public places,” Auden writes, “are wiser and nicer than public faces in private places.” Such a public place was the Cenotaph at 11am on Armistice Day in this Great War centenary year. The focus of Sunday’s ceremony had been on the wreath-laying monarch, prime ministers past and present, ambassadors and generals.

Michael Gove

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Skulduggery or stupidity? Even Michael Gove doesn’t know

To describe the Government as having a rough ride in the Commons on Monday would be a heroic understatement. “A travesty… tainted with chicanery”, said Bill Cash. “Legislative legerdemain… tyranny… an outrageous abuse of parliamentary procedure”, added Jacob Rees-Mogg. And this was just the Tories! 

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