See the February edition of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The February issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Acting Captain George Henry Tatham Paton VC, MC, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War. (more…)

Why today is such an important milestone

First published in the Daily Mail on Monday, 05 February 2018.

Today is a landmark occasion for the people of Scotland as their Government launches a national campaign against a “silent killer”: sepsis.

I applaud the Scottish Government’s decision to begin raising awareness of the dangers of sepsis because it will undoubtedly save hundreds of lives in the future.

Furthermore, I congratulate those, particularly the Scottish Daily Mail, who lobbied so passionately and effectively against people who claimed that a new campaign was unnecessary. (more…)

How one soldier’s valour touched Victoria’s heart

First published in the Daily Express on Thursday, 25 January 2018.

No one could ever doubt the astonishing bravery of young Cornet William Bankes as he three times led a charge against rebel forces during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8.

During the course of the bloody battle fought near Lucknow, in what was then British India, he was eventually hacked to pieces by the enemy, dying from his inevitably fatal wounds 18 days later. (more…)

The Conservatives can’t rely on Brexit to win them the next election

When the Conservatives won their unexpected majority at the 2015 general election many Tories felt it was a return to the natural order of things. Naturally, people had preferred sensible economic management to unaffordable spending plans. Of course they had chosen a Prime Ministerial Prime Minister over one whom they could barely imagine standing outside Number Ten. And if this was the world as it should be, 2017 must have been an aberration: a freak result that could be put down to the election’s unusual circumstances, a terrible Tory campaign, and Jeremy Corbyn’s sudden, bizarre and surely unsustainable status as a cult figure.

Read more …

Where the parties stand – and more on that second EU referendum…

Earlier this week I published the findings of my latest focus groups to explore how voters around the country saw things seven eventful months on from the general election. My new poll underlines that despite what has felt like the frenetic pace of politics for those who follow its twists and turns, surprisingly little has changed. There is little in the numbers to comfort either party.

In my post-election research for The Lost Majority I found only 28 per cent saying they thought the country was on the right track. This week that number is unchanged, with nearly half – including seven in ten of those who voted to remain in the EU – saying things are heading in the wrong direction.

Read more …

“Our cup has overflowed with political stuff. There’s only so much we want to take in”: my latest focus groups

Of the 31 weeks since the general election – an experience most Conservatives would rather forget – how many have been good ones for the government? Much has happened in politics since June, and little of it could be said to have lifted the spirits. Yet the opposition has failed to open up the clear lead they might have expected over what has often seemed a hapless governing party, and surveys show the Tory rating to be all but unchanged since polling day. To help shed light on this curious state of affairs I held focus groups last week in three constituencies as politics once again got underway: Battersea, which the Conservatives lost last year to Labour; Walsall North, which they gained; and Wakefield, which they hoped they would gain but didn’t, despite seeing their vote share in the seat rise by eleven points.

Read more …

See the January edition of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The January issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Lieutenant Colonel Philip Bent VC, DSO, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War. (more…)

The courage of the Reverend James Adams, the first clergyman to win the Victoria Cross

First published in the Daily Express on Wednesday, 20 December 2017.

WHEN James Adams’s mother ordered him to embark on a career in the Church, he described it as the bitterest blow of his life.

Strong, sporty and with a sense of adventure, he had hoped for a commission in the army but instead he found himself heading for Trinity College Dublin to study theology. (more…)

Ashcroft In America podcast: my interview with Robby Mook

Robby Mook was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, securing more votes than for any other candidate in presidential election history other than Barack Obama. I caught up with him at his new perch at Harvard University to talk about Russian interference, fake news, what Hillary was like as a candidate, the prospects for a second Trump term and what Democrats need to do to prevent it.

Listen to PodCast …

“We have to acknowledge that Trump could be re-elected”: my interview with Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook

As Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook has seen the forces at work in American politics more closely than most. I interviewed him last week (you can listen to our full conversation here) at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he is working on a project to protect democratic systems from cyber attacks and defend the integrity of elections, an issue that is close to his heart after the experience of 2016. Did he think the Russians had swung things for Donald Trump?

“I don’t think it matters whether it was a deciding factor in the election or not. The fact of the matter is, some people out there got information the Russians deliberately put into the bloodstream that was misleading, and it was done in an effort to help Donald Trump win.”

Read more …

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