Hardline Centrist James Kirkup on the Dangers of the New Two-Party Consensus

James Kirkup’s insight into the danger of a two-party centrist consensus…

“Conservatives and Labour these days seem to agree a fair bit about economic policy.

The centrepiece of this unspoken consensus is the state: neither party is proposing to change significantly its role in the economy. While a few Tory hawks still dream of shrinking the state, most Conservatives are now keener to talk about the things they can do with state power and public money to serve the voters who will decide the next election. And Keir Starmer’s Labour is determined to banish the ghost of Corbyn and his expansionist programme: witness Labour opposition to increases in corporation tax.

As someone who runs a centrist think-tank, I’m mostly cheered by this. But at the same time, I worry. Because if politicians aren’t going to fight over economics, there’s a risk that the key political dividing lines are around culture and values instead.”

mdi-timer 2 March 2021 @ 11:17 2 Mar 2021 @ 11:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Former Cameron Adviser Seeking Ultra Safe Seat Predicted Corbyn Will Win Election

This weekend, one of the safest Tory seats in the country will be selecting its next MP – Michael Fallon’s former seat of Sevenoaks. On the shortlist are a local councillor, Graham Clack; former Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson; and former Cameron adviser Laura Trott.

Trott may have work to do rowing back from her Newsnight prediction during the leadership election. This summer Trott predicted that Boris would fail in his renegotiation, saying Europe doesn’t like Boris and that there isn’t time to get it done. She then predicted that a general election would follow and lead to a Corbyn government. Nice and faithful…

Trott is clearly worried about not being selected for the true blue seat, fortunately her friend James Kirkup has used a Spectator blog as a thinly-veiled forum to lobby for her selection

 “Ms Trott would make an excellent MP: intelligent and hardworking, she was a force for good in the Cameron government”

Where he also takes the opportunity to extensively slag off her Brexit and Boris-backing competition. Trott by name, Trot by nature…

mdi-timer 8 November 2019 @ 12:30 8 Nov 2019 @ 12:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Kirkup Leaves Telegraph Again

James Kirkup, who quit the Telegraph in 2014 only to change his mind and stay, has left again, this time probably for good. He’s leaving his post as Executive Editor (Politics) to become Director of the Social Market Foundation think tank. Did he leave for the influence or the money? The Telegraph politics desk is like the Marie Celeste of Lobby journalism, now without a pol ed and an executive pol ed, whatever that is…

See also: Telegraph Politics Team Launches Attack on Editor.

mdi-timer 25 January 2017 @ 17:24 25 Jan 2017 @ 17:24 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Telegraph Pol Ed Runners and Riders


Peter Dominiczak’s departure to the dark side leaves a vacancy as Telegraph political editor. As ever, MediaGuido brings you your runners and riders…

Steve Swinford, Telegraph – Currently deputy pol ed, Swinford is the immediate favourite to get the succession. Some say his should be the only name on Guido’s list. The job has been compared to the Western Front, join as a private and you’ll be a general in no time. Swinford came as a general reporter only a few years ago and is now the most senior member of the lobby team.

Chris Hope, Telegraph – Would ‘Chopper’ want to make the step up? Well-liked, a masterful story-getter with a sense of mischief, his talent at spotting original angles is almost unrivalled. Even when it’s about the Royal Yacht Britannia or something Arron Banks said on the phone.

James Kirkup, Telegraph – Was due to leave the paper in 2015, but a reverse ferret has seen him stay to write comment and analysis. Tipped by colleagues as a name in the frame.

James Forsyth, Spectator / Sun – Pol ed at the Telegraph’sSpeccie stablemate, Forysth is an outside bet. Though his Spec job and Sun column mean he is well-paid and the Telegraph has no money. Writing a couple of columns a week is a great gig, would he want to do the 30 story-a-day meat grinder for less money? The Telegraph job is a Henry Ford production line of story-making.

Jason Groves/Daniel Martin, Mail – If it’s an external hire it could be from the Mail. Groves is unflappable with good contacts, Martin is a pro. At the Mail they’ll have developed sound political judgement, a grasp of conservatism, how readers see the world and a feel for what is going on. None of which are necessities at the Telegraph.

Tim Ross, Bloomberg – Recently escaped the Telegraph to write about Brexit for Bloomberg, would he want to return? Will be on big cash now and they say no one returns to the Telegraph once they’ve left.

Rowena Mason, Guardian – Also formerly of the Telegraph, Rowena is deputy pol ed at the Guardian though it may be some time before she can break up the dream team job share at the top there. Comfy at Kings Place though.

Matt Chorley, Times Red Box – His famous wit and fun stories surely deserve a wider airing than they currently receive on the Little-Read Box.

Good luck…

mdi-timer 22 November 2016 @ 11:44 22 Nov 2016 @ 11:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
James Kirkup Telegraph Reverse Ferret

A ray of sunshine for the Telegraph at last. James Kirkup, who decided in November to leave the paper this year, has changed his mind. MediaGuido understands his planned departure in the spring has been reversed and he has now agreed to stay to write comment and analysis online.

Did they make him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

mdi-timer 8 January 2015 @ 17:00 8 Jan 2015 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Exclusive: James Kirkup Leaving Telegraph

MediaGuido can reveal the Telegraph’s Executive Editor (Politics) James Kirkup is the next big name out.

Despite only recently being promoted following Ben Brogan’s departure, Kirkup will be leaving in the spring.

Another senior figure out…

mdi-timer 7 November 2014 @ 09:37 7 Nov 2014 @ 09:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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