Patrick O’Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn is a former MEP and political editor of the Daily Express

This national service plan is a patronising gimmick

The idea of bringing back national service to knock into shape teenage tearaways and long-haired layabouts was a staple of my youth. Peppery comment articles along those lines in the old, broadsheet Sunday Express or News of the World would crop up intermittently through the ill-disciplined 1970s. Typically they would then be countered by the response that ‘the army

Rishi’s Rwanda row back shows he is hopeless at politics

Rwanda removals policy, for so long an anticipated cornerstone of the Tory re-election effort, has today officially become an ‘over the rainbow’ idea wide open to mockery from opposition parties. Not only will the deterrent impact on small boat crossings of the ‘regular drumbeat’ of flights that the Prime Minister promised us not have had

Are Labour really nailed on to win?

What happens when a resistible force collides with a moveable object?  Such is the nature of the imminent battle between Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak for the keys to No. 10. Given the underwhelming appeal of both men and the extent of public disillusionment with politics in general, it is hardly likely to be a

Patrick O'Flynn

Voters want safe streets, not small changes to inflation

For Rishi Sunak, today amounts to another instalment of the fantastic success story of his premiership: that ‘the plan is working’. A new key statistic about the rate of inflation shows that consumer prices are rising much less quickly. Taming inflation is the singular success among the five key targets he set out at the

Could Farage save the Tory right?

Talk to almost any right-wing Tory MP these days and one of the first things they raise – with me anyway – is whether or not the Reform party is going to cost them their seats. ‘It makes no sense getting rid of people like me. The way we are going, we will only send

Keir Starmer won’t stop the boats

Labour’s new ‘stop the boats’ policy is a risible exercise in deception that will only ever fool the truly gullible. The centrepiece, announced by Keir Starmer today, is to set up a new ‘Border Security Command’, which will be an elite force empowered to use anti-terror laws to ‘smash the people-trafficking gangs’. Funding for the

The local election results hold few crumbs of comfort for Sunak

Given the universal forecasts of the Tories taking a proper pasting in yesterday’s elections, it is quite something for Rishi Sunak’s party to have done worse than expected. But a truly dismal result in the Blackpool South parliamentary by-election, coupled with early council results indicating the party could end up losing half of the thousand

Rwanda could still be Rishi’s saving grace

There is an old Rowan Atkinson joke about the secret to good comedy timing in which Atkinson says the word ‘timing’ at just the wrong moment. Timing is important in politics too. As Harold Macmillan observed of Anthony Eden’s brief and unhappy premiership: ‘He was trained to win the Derby in 1938. Unfortunately, he was

Whisper it, but Rishi Sunak has had a good week

If you have been doing as badly as Rishi Sunak has as prime minister, then it doesn’t take much to register a notable improvement. Yet there is no point in his detractors denying that over the past week he has done just that. First, he got stuck into the issue of Britain’s burgeoning ‘sick note

Sunak’s bungled Rwanda scheme won’t save him

Like a cowboy builder sucking his teeth about unanticipated complications on the job, Rishi Sunak has just pushed back another deadline. The Prime Minister was meant to get flights off to Rwanda this spring but has now given himself until July. And this isn’t even the main job. The actual grand design he is supposed

Why a Labour super-majority is unlikely

In economics, there is a phenomenon known as ‘automatic stabilisers’, which kick in at the onset of a recession. Without politicians having to do anything, state spending on out-of-work benefits increases while the amount of money taken off private citizens in taxes decreases, thereby preventing the economy from going into freefall. Hence wild fluctuations in

Never forget the politicians who pushed gender politics

The great trans hoax is coming to an end. The idea of thousands of people being ‘trapped’ in the wrong body is an interpretation of gender dysphoria that is increasingly being seen as damaging nonsense. The invasive treatment regimes, particularly for teenagers, carried out by the NHS, are unravelling too. And so is the claim

The Tories are resigned to an almighty defeat

The herd of Conservative MPs is on the move again, this time obediently setting off towards the abattoir in which the careers of most will meet a grisly end. When historians come to write their accounts of the Conservative administrations of 2015-24, they will have a bewildering variety of ‘worst weeks’ to choose from, but

Rishi Sunak’s empty human rights threat

Is there anyone in Britain who believes that Rishi Sunak will take us out of the European Convention on Human Rights? If there is then that person may also still think they got an absolute bargain when they paid a man in a pub £10,000 in cash to take ownership of Tower Bridge. For the

Farage at 60: there’s more to come

Were I to tell you that the most significant political figure of his age celebrates a landmark birthday this week, you’d probably work out that I could not be referring to Rishi Sunak or Keir Starmer. There would be an argument for suspecting I might be talking about Boris Johnson, given that he was born

Keir Starmer is right to ignore Doreen Lawrence

Is Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer right to have limited the access to and sway held over him by Baroness Lawrence, the mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence? Lady Lawrence, a Labour peer who was made the party’s race relations adviser by Starmer after he became leader early in 2020, is in no doubt