One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell



Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Niall McCrae

Niall McCrae

Dr Niall McCrae is a lecturer in mental health.
All posts by Niall McCrae

Niall McCrae: Spreadsheets cannot predict an economic crash

‘Amazingly and embarrassingly’, writes Jonathan Portes on his Not the Treasury View blog, a lecturer in his university used an anecdote instead of scientific data! Well, thanks for that, Jonathan. Having valued your contribution in my review of a recent Brexit event, I am provoked into responding to your disparaging remarks. Although I’m wary of […]


Niall McCrae: Have we become the herbivores of H G Wells consumed by the Morlocks?

‘The main current ran rather swiftly, but not too strongly for even a moderate swimmer. It will give you an idea, therefore, of the strange deficiency in these creatures, when I tell you that none made the slightest attempt to rescue the weakly crying little thing drowning before their eyes.’ The Victorian time traveller, having […]


Niall McCrae: Sturgeon is heading for a fall

The Scots had that ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ referendum in 2014, and already – according to Nicola Sturgeon – it’s time for another. Well, we know life expectancy has dipped in the SNP’s sunny uplands, but surely it’s not that bad. Perhaps Sturgeon sees the clear majority that voted to stay in the UK as disproportionately older people, […]


Niall McCrae: Is there a single British don who voted Leave?

The golf club is a regular analogy in the debate on Britain’s departure from the EU. But this time, it was issued from the club’s perspective. I’m at a panel discussion event run by the alumni society at King’s College London: Brexit: What’s Next? The chairman, in his reasoned eloquence, suggested that a mutually-satisfying deal […]


Niall McCrae: Where are the greenies protesting about filthy diesel cars?

Golf is hazardous, but Polo kills. Not the sports, but the vastly popular diesel-engined models of Volkswagen-Audi. For many decades, since the dog days of British Leyland, motorists on these shores have coveted German feats of four-wheel engineering. From the top-end Mercedes Benz to basic run-arounds, these cars have proved robustly reliable, with no Monday […]


Niall McCrae: Marriage-lite is only for the smug and stupid

The patriarch comes homes on the crowded train, weary from his labours. He looks forward to seeing his wife and children, the latter who will need bath and bedtime story. Then at last the masculine monster sits down for a cup of tea, but not for long – there’s odd jobs and tax forms to […]