Mary Ann Sieghart

Mary Ann Sieghart has been writing about politics since the mid-1980s. After stints at the FT and Today newspaper, she joined The Economist in 1986 as Political Correspondent. In 1988, she moved to become Assistant Editor of The Times, where she spent 19 years, editing the Comment and Arts pages and writing political leaders and columns. She has presented TV programmes such as The Brains Trust and The World This Week and radio programmes such as Profile, The Week in Westminster and Newshour. As well as her Independent column, she also sits on the Council of Tate Modern, is an equity partner in The Browser website and chairs the Social Market Foundation think tank.

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Mary Ann Sieghart: The Prime Minister is no longer in touch with female voters

What a leader doesn't say is often more telling than what he does say. When Ed Miliband failed to turn on Tony Blair's booers last week, we learnt that he wasn't prepared to stand up for Labour's most successful leader. When David Cameron failed to turn on the sexist boors a couple of weeks before, we learnt more than we wanted to about his attitude to women.

Mary Ann Sieghart: Cameron's problem with women

As recently as the last election, women were more likely than men to vote Tory. But now that advantage has vanished

Mary Ann Sieghart: If Labour is to win, Balls must go

At the weekend, a friend asked me seriously whether he should be taking his money out of the bank and buying gold so that if the ATMs dried up, he would have something to fall back on. And while he was at it, he wondered, should he be laying in emergency provisions of rice and tinned food?

Mary Ann Sieghart: The problem at the heart of Labour

In order to be listened to again on the economy Labour must display a high degree of humility about its record. Can you imagine the shadow Chancellor doing that?

Mary Ann Sieghart: Clegg's chance to fill a central vacancy

There was always going to be pain before there was gain. But now the other two parties have made room for the Lib Dems

Mary Ann Sieghart: The time to act on banking is now

When there's no money left, politicians lose the easiest way to make themselves popular. They can't bribe us into submission. Instead they have to rely on more old-fashioned methods, like displaying moral courage. Ed Miliband did so when he was the first of the main party leaders to stand up to Rupert Murdoch. This morning, David Cameron will have to decide how much he dares take on another great power that uses blackmail as a modus operandi: the banking sector.

Mary Ann Sieghart: The time to act on banking is now

Cameron wants a pause of a month or two before deciding how to enact all the recommendations.This is a great mistake

Mary Ann sieghart: A dose of tough love is what the Scottish need

If you've either been a stroppy teenager or a parent to one, you'll recognise the pattern. Teenager screams: "I hate you. I wish I could leave home!" Parent tries to mollify teenager, avoids confrontation and hopes for things to improve. They don't. Sometimes the best reaction is a calm: "You want to leave home? Feel free." Then, instead of raging against parental constraints, the teenager contemplates how awful it would be to find a job, pay rent and have no one to cook the meals or do the laundry.

Mary Ann Sieghart: Time to call the SNP's bluff

Governments have offered them more money, begged them to stay and tolerated their tantrums. To what avail? No gratitude

Mary Ann Sieghart: A generation in love with itself

Narcissists live in a fantasy world – they think they are better, richer, more attractive and more intelligent than they are

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