Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor is a writer and business columnist in London.

Tony Blair’s Comeuppance

 

The Chilcot report into Britain’s part in the 2003 Iraq war, which was finally published on Wednesday, is three times the size of the Bible. The executive summary alone runs to 150 pages. It took seven years to write, comprises 2.6 million words, comes in 12 volumes, and costs more than £750 to buy. And […]

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To the Victoria Station!

 

When Britain’s Labour Party elected arch left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as its leader last weekend, it waved goodbye to any hope of forming a government anytime soon. Corbyn’s supporters may have aped President Obama by chanting “Jez we can!” but the reality is that they won’t, can’t, and are kidding no one but themselves. This is […]

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Sorry, Mr. Obama, the Falklands Will Stay British

 

Britain has fought side by side with the U.S. for the last decade in Iraq and Afghanistan. So you would have thought that President Obama might offer Britain a little support on its most urgent foreign policy objective — the on-going efforts to stop Argentina swallowing up the Falkland Islands, lying vulnerably just 300 miles […]

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How British Conservatives Rose from the Dead

 

A charismatic liberal candidate convinces voters to reject the center-right as “uncaring extremists,” and carries the election. The conservatives are confused and demoralized. The party battles internally about whether to blame the defeat on too much ideological purity, or not enough. This may sound familiar. But I’m referring to the British Conservative Party in 2005, […]

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Oxford Embraces Cross-Dressing

 

Students returning to Oxford this term after their summer vacation will have a new privilege to enjoy. Although they’ll still have to wear dark, formal academic clothing (called “subfusc”) for taking exams, they will now be permitted to cross-dress. Women will be free to wear a dark suit and white bow tie, and men may […]

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The British Are Coming

 

Olympic athletes and spectators arriving in London last week might have felt a tad underwhelmed by the attitude of the locals towards the world’s greatest sporting spectacle. But they needn’t have taken it personally. The British respond in the same sequence to all major events, and the Olympics are no exception: indifference mixed with cynicism, […]

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Her Majesty’s X Factor

 

When the Queen marks 60 years on the throne with her Diamond Jubilee celebrations this week, millions of Britons will pay their respects, and party with her, during a four-day holiday weekend. We’ll forget about our double-dip recession and European economic crisis, and revel in fêtes, fairs, royal toasts, bunting, fly pasts and souvenir supplements, […]

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London’s Cool Conservative

 

When the people of London re-elect the Conservative Boris Johnson as their mayor on May 3, as is now almost certain, they will inadvertently be voting for a brand of politics that is so new to Britain that few commentators, not even Boris himself, have yet recognized it. It’s not compassionate conservatism of the George […]

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In Praise of Euroskeptics

 

LONDON — Europe’s problems may yet spin us towards a depression, but at least they offer a sweet catharsis for “euroskeptics” — those of us who have always thought the euro a misguided project. Euroskeptics have been through it, both in Britain and elsewhere. The haughty laughter, the insults, the patronizing comments, like “little Englander,” […]

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A Broken David Cameron

 

LONDON — Is David Cameron a great Conservative leader in the making, or a shallow PR man without the guts to change Britain? His response to anarchy on our streets will tell us. When he became Prime Minister Britain had no great appetite for a Conservative-led government. He won power more because of the failings […]

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