I've written my column, inevitably, on Gotterdommerung - and how utterly misguided it was for the PM to pick this particular fight thetimes.co.uk/article/robert…
As I point out, one of the best reasons to worry that Dom would go nuclear is that he has *literally done this before*. After eight months as IDS's director of strategy, he wrote this for the Telegraph
And any idea that he would be loyal enough to the Tory party to stay his hand is probably dispelled by the par that follows (telegraph.co.uk/comment/person…)
The fact is, as I say in my column, No 10 now has none of the usual levers it can pull. 'Think of the party' doesn't work because Dom was loyal to Brexit, not the Tories (in particular, he despises its MPs and they cordially dislike him).
He doesn't want a knighthood or a seat in the Lords. He doesn't need a job, or have consultancy clients he needs to keep sweet. The only way this ends is if he wants it to end, or he runs out of ammunition. And he spent enough time in No 10 to have an awful lot of ammunition.
So the question I try to address in my column is how was this allowed to happen - and what does it tell us about how we are governed? Please give it a read thetimes.co.uk/article/robert…

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More from @rcolvile

23 Apr
For strategic, diplomatic, economic and above all humanitarian reasons, the UK and other Western countries should be sending vaccines to India by the bucketload. The US alone has huge stockpiles of AZ & J&J it hasn’t authorised.
And yes India has very significant vaccine supply capacity of its own. But it is a vast country and every little helps.
And crucially the US needs to lift its ban on the export of the components India needs to actually make them.
Read 4 tweets
15 Apr
Really interesting and important new report today from Alex Morton, our housing guru at @CPSThinkTank. A quick thread/summary (1/?) cps.org.uk/research/the-h…
We want and need to build more houses. Cameron-era planning reforms focused on land supply, by pushing for more planning permissions to be granted. But this only translated partially/weakly into more houses being built.
It's often claimed that land banking by the big housebuilders is the culprit. And as Alex shows, they have certainly built up v significant reserves - the biggest housebuilders now have plots equivalent to the five-year land supply for England.
Read 11 tweets
4 Apr
Have written today about the EU's pandemic screw-ups, and the alarming picture they paint (1/?) thetimes.co.uk/article/vaccin…
The most obvious thing to say (as I do in the column) is that Britain has no high ground on this - stones, glass houses, etc. But the vaccine debacle fits with a worryingly familiar pattern.
As one Brussels veteran says, it's the same pattern as the migrant crisis. Bad thing happens -> cries that the only way to solve it is more Europe -> Commission takes over -> everyone feels virtuous about the European model -> Commission fucks it up -> rats in a sack time
Read 7 tweets
3 Apr
V g from @lukemcgee on how Putin is exploiting the EU’s vaccine failure cnn.com/2021/04/03/eur…
Aside from the fact that it’s Vlad Putin, the fact that Europe with its world-class pharma industry should be asking a second-rater like Russia for help shows just how badly they’ve screwed this up
In fact, just to stress this, the EU was responsible for approx 60% of global pharma exports in 2018. If anywhere should have got this done... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c…
Read 4 tweets
31 Mar
The ethnic disparity report is now online here, and well worth looking at (if you have a spare few hours). A few quick thoughts (1/?) assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
Whatever you think of the conclusions, this is clearly a serious piece of work. They have clearly sifted through a mountain of evidence and the final report is pretty darn hefty.
We're used to reports like this saying 'X is a disgrace and we will fix it' or 'this is how we will improve things'. But the central message of this one is basically 'it's a bit more complicated than that' - which obviously makes it harder to land.
Read 10 tweets
17 Mar
This Uber announcement is fascinating - a big test of how well Britain's new 'worker' status (which AFAIK is still unique) plays out, in which you're not a pure contractor, but not employed either 1/? apnews.com/article/minimu…
As I pointed out in a thread just the other day, one of the really weird things about the debate on the gig economy is that it ignores the fact that most people in it are there by choice (and that actually full-time work has been going up not down...)
See for example this academic study of Uber's own drivers - which involved Uber's co-operation, but was done by some pretty respectable academics - oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/acad…
Read 8 tweets

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