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).
19 March 2014 08:56 PM
A budget for “makers, doers and savers”. And bingo promoters! So not the measures we had all been expecting, targeted at spendthrift hermits dedicated to a life of blameless inactivity and meditation. But we were ready for anything – maybe because of the music hall flourish in Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle’s introduction. “Put your hands together for the Prestigious Prestigidator and President of Fun, the Right Honourable George Osborne.” (OK, that’s not quite how he put it, but the effect was similar).
18 March 2014 09:31 PM
Some Eurocratic wit – it may have been the unusual British diplomat Robert Cooper – was the first to define the EU motto on foreign policy as: “Speak softly but carry a big carrot.” In the scornful view of several MPs, that was about as far as the Europeans had gone in standing up to Russia over Ukraine.
18 March 2014 01:47 AM
Do the ministers absorb by osmosis their civil service briefs?
Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Lots of love for our dumb chums as animal support splits along party lines split
13 March 2014 08:44 PM
Eloquently introducing the Commons debate on her call to end the “inhumane” (and so far notably unsuccessful) slaughter of badgers as a means of eradicating bovine TB, the Tory backbencher Anne Main remarked that this was “not an easy subject with feelings running high on both sides”. This was, to put it mildly, an understatement.
11 March 2014 07:23 PM
The prospect of an election 14 months away is having an acetone-like effect on the Coalition, gradually loosening the superglue that binds the two governing parties together. True, Lib Dem Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander, standing in for George Osborne, continued to respond warmly, if robotically, to Tory backbenchers lost in admiration for what ministers call, ad nauseam, “our long term economic plan”.
10 March 2014 11:32 PM
Immigration minister James Brokenshire is not a man racked by self-doubt. But even he might have preferred not to find himself on the Commons front bench so near David Cameron only days after embroiling the PM, his wife, and who yet knows how many of his colleagues in “nannygate”.
Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The most shocking revelation yet in the Stephen Lawrence saga. Until the next one
06 March 2014 09:04 PM
Perhaps the aptest – and the most chilling – five words uttered by Theresa May in the Commons came towards the end of her statement when she was saying how “deplorable” it was that Stephen Lawrence’s family had to wait 21 years for the truth to emerge about the wilfully botched police investigation into his death.
05 March 2014 08:19 PM
Restricting the West End shopping opportunities of wealthy Muscovites hardly sounds like the way to prise Crimea away from Vladimir Putin’s forces. But when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Ed Miliband reminded MPs, David Cameron, who was then Opposition leader, declared: “Russia’s elite value their ties to Europe – their shopping and their luxury weekends… Russian armies can’t march into other countries while Russian shoppers carry on marching into Selfridges.”
04 March 2014 07:57 PM
With events moving fast 5,000 miles to the east, events in the Commons inevitably seemed a bit off-Broadway. William Hague was at his most statesmanlike – and he does statesmanlike pretty well – condemning Russia’s “violation” of Ukrainian sovereignty, praising the government in Kiev for not being “provoked” by the “extreme situation” and urging the Russians to join talks in Paris on Wednesday.
Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Boris Johnson more interested in tunnels and flyovers than being a party leader? If you believe that…
03 March 2014 09:59 PM
No one is likely to accuse Boris of lacking the killer instinct
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand