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: The S-word prompts an unseemly bout of consensus

MPs can be quite good at raising something without actually mentioning it. “As the Deputy Prime Minister knows, sorry is still the hardest word to say,” Labour’s Michael McCann said, misquoting Elton John in a preamble to a question which had nothing to with That Lib Dem Crisis.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: William Hague swims around the fishy issue of Iran

To contrast the attitudes of the US Congress and the British Parliament, start with Iran. Today, the palpable welcome by MPs for Tehran’s suspension of high-level  uranium enrichment was matched only by anxiety about the UN excluding Iran from the Syria talks that start today in Switzerland.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: With the Rennard affair playing out in the Lords, how they played to the press gallery!

This was a roller coaster,  a crazily swinging pendulum, a tale of the repeatedly unexpected

John Bercow has appealed for Burma's constitution to be amended to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to run in the country's presidential elections next year

House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, calls on Burma to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to run for presidency

John Bercow, House of Commons Speaker, has made a highly unusual intervention in a key foreign policy issue by appealing for Burma’s constitution to be amended to allow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to run in elections for  the country’s presidency next year. 

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Profumo evidence - now you see it, now you don’t

It’s a British first! While it may have been commonplace in the days of Glavlit, the dreaded Soviet censorship organ of the Stalin era, the UK Government may be the only one in modern times to make secret what had previously been public. Labour’s Lord Dubs discovered this when he asked for the release of the transcripts of the 1963 trial of Stephen Ward – the osteopath who introduced Christine Keeler and her lover, the married War Minister John Profumo, and was convicted on what a historian of the period has called the “tainted evidence” of police and others.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: As it is, Ed Miliband’s language fails – another sobering Commons tale

“The press was squared / the middle class was quite prepared.” Hilaire Belloc’s words about another Prime Ministerial hopeful could have been written for Ed Miliband this week. How better to describe his article in the Daily Telegraph, no less, promising to “save the middle class”?

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: David Cameron’s liaisons are so different to François Hollande’s

It’s fair to assume that David Cameron’s appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee was not the most watched public questioning of a European leader this afternoon. Or, for the man in question, the most gruelling. 

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Does Philip Davies really believe tattoos are a burden on the state?

In the often unintelligible acronym- and jargon-crazed world of Work and Pensions Questions, no-one could accuse the right-wing Tory Philip Davies of not telling it like he thinks it is.

Israelis pass by the coffin of Ariel Sharon at the Knesset plaza in Jerusalem

Ariel Sharon: A hawk who might just have liberated the Palestinians

What would have happened if Ariel Sharon had not been struck down by his stroke in January 2006? Could the man Palestinians saw as the butcher of Beirut, who had urged Jewish settlers to grab every hilltop in the West Bank – and provided the spark that ignited the second intifada – have been the  general-politician to end the occupation, in a local version of De Gaulle’s withdrawal from Algeria?

On guard: Ariel Sharon as a commander in the 1948 war of independence

The death of Ariel Sharon: Israel mourns the last of its founding generation of leaders

The former Prime Minister's life mirrored that of his country's recent history

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