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: Making mountains out of potholes – that’s an idea!

Potholes do roughly for David Cameron what motorway cones once did for John Major. Removing them is an impossible task to complete, or even do that much about, in the lifetime of a government or three. But talking about removing them appeals directly to the Tory (and these days Ukip-leaning) motorist base.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Does Chris Grayling dream of electric sheep?

There are times when you can’t help wondering if Chris Grayling is a (fairly) sophisticated android. Maybe it’s because of the rather wooden gesture he makes with his forearm and outstretched hand; or maybe the robotic way he says things that sound like they were written by a computer.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Spirit of the war invoked by Tories but these days we can’t even beat a Luxembourger

Joining in the fulsome – and universal – Tory praise for David Cameron’s brave stand in Brussels, the Tory Nadhim Zahawi declared: “It’s called leadership.” (Leadership of whom was less clear, but Zahawi may have been referring to Hungary, who had sportingly ensured the vote was not actually 26 to 1).

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Vince Cable really understands Labour’s language

During Commons questions today Labour's Barry Gardiner, whose default speaking style is a velvety, lachrymose murmur, asked Vince Cable “What are the Government doing to tackle the problems of input resource price spikes and to incentivise infrastructure in the circular economy to cope with that?”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: David Cameron delivers classic Tony Blair masterclass over the appointment of Andy Coulson

For a man who, as Ed Miliband put it, “will always be remembered as being the first ever occupant of his office who brought a criminal into the heart of Downing Street”, David Cameron seemed almost cheerful as he left PM’s Questions.

Lenny Henry was (mostly) in serious mode when he appeared before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: If only Parliament and the press took a leaf out of Lenny Henry’s book

Occasionally, cool air blows through Westminster and wakes it up. As with today’s appearance before MPs of Lenny Henry and the former and present, respectively, black senior BBC executives Patrick Younge and Marcus Ryder, talking about making broadcasting more diverse. And gracefully but decisively winning their argument.

“How would Ukip run a government?”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Nigel Farage’s thoughts from the back of an envelope

Farage's centrepiece was a plan to allow five per cent of the electorate to trigger a referendum against a government proposal they didn’t like

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: ‘Archers’ solar farm adds surreal drama

Ever since 1955, when to the listeners’ horror the glamorous and newly married Grace was killed by a falling stable beam as she tried to rescue her horse from a fire, it’s been clear that Archers fans have a problem distinguishing between fact and fiction.

Sketch: Euro-rage succeeds where quip falls flat

Prime Ministerial apology alert! It was only four short words. But it showed justified remorse for what must be – despite the stiff competition – the most terrible dispatch box joke during this Parliament.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Chinese Premier Li turns on the charm as he inspects his new property

To Premier Li Keqiang’s undisguised delight at his press conference with David Cameron, he was asked a question in Mandarin by the BBC’s China Editor Carrie Gracie. To most of the Brits, the only intelligible words were “Nick Clegg” – which produced, as they often do, laughs from everyone, including the British Prime Minister.

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