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About Peter Oborne

Peter Oborne is the former chief political commentator of the Telegraph and reports for Channel 4's Dispatches and Unreported World. He has written a number of books identifying the power structures that lurk behind political discourse, including The Triumph of the Political Class. He is a regular on BBC programmes Any Questions and Question Time and often presents Week in Westminster. He was voted Columnist of the Year at the Press Awards in 2013.

Articles by Peter Oborne

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

An inconvenient book? Read Miles Goslett on the death of David Kelly – not Aaronovitch's caricature

The case for a full coroner’s inquest to find out the truth regarding the tragic death of a government scientist in the wake of the Iraq war has been trashed for no good reason. Why?

100 years after Balfour: the reality which still shames Israel

Two very different parts of Palestine highlight the injustice still inflicted on Arabs by Israel.

No, Channel 4: Islam is not responsible for the Islamic State

“I am a longstanding admirer of Holland. However, the arguments he makes in his film are intellectually dishonest.”

Recuperemos nuestros medios

Periódicos racistas, noticias falsas - ¿ya has tenido suficiente? openDemocracy se enfrenta a los déspotas del mundo, da voz a los más débiles y promueve un debate sensible e inteligente. Únete a nosotros hoy.

Let's take back our media

Racist newspapers, fake news – had enough? openDemocracy takes on the world’s bullies, gives voice to the powerless and hosts sensitive, intelligent debate. Join us today.

The dangers of exposing corruption in Russia’s jails


Campaigner Vladimir Osechkin, who has exposed corruption and torture in Russian prisons, fled the country after being targeted by Russia’s secret police. But life outside Russia hasn't been easy.

David Cameron truly is the heir to Tony Blair

Despite being widely despised by almost everyone, Blair is Cameron's role model – he worships him.

We don't need to wait for Chilcot, Blair lied to us about Iraq. Here's the evidence.

With the help of the BBC and Dr David Morrison, I carried out my own inquiry. The facts are devastating for Blair, for parliament and for all of us.

The siege of Damascus: an account of everyday life in Syria’s savage war

Peter Oborne spent two weeks in Damascus and gives a compelling account of people's struggles and steadfastness in government-held territory.

Time to fight for the BBC

George Osborne and his neoliberal backers are not just attacking the BBC. They're launching a concerted assault on Britain’s democratic public culture.

Fair business for Muslims?

Counter-terrorism regulation is having a corrosive effect on charity banking worldwide. International banks, under punitive US anti-terrorism laws, are increasingly terrified. And the real losers are Muslims.

Does Britain have a free press?

Not quite. Here’s one thing you can do about it.



Uncaging the Charity Commission

The regulator’s unprecedented moves to block funds to the Muslim advocacy group Cage raises troubling questions for public debate in Britain.

Why I have resigned from the Telegraph

The coverage of HSBC in Britain's Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.

The hypocrites have jumped aboard the Magna Carta bandwagon

Neither the Government nor the VIPs celebrating the historic charter's anniversary give a damn about its principles.

Open for business?

The timing of HSBC’s decision to shut down the bank account could not have come at a worse moment for the Ummah Welfare Trust, one of Britain’s largest Muslim charities.

US scuppered deal with Iran in 2005, says then British Foreign Minister

Talks foundered because the US insisted that Iran must not have uranium enrichment facilities on its own soil in any circumstances, and the EU3 bowed to this diktat from Washington. This time, we must do better.

Does the BBC not trust US intelligence on Iran?

If the BBC wants to speculate on Iranian nuclear capabilities and the potential for conflict, why is it ignoring the clear consensus of US intelligence, and for what purpose?

Myths, falsehoods and misrepresentations about Iran

Chapter seven of ‘A Dangerous Delusion: why the west is wrong about nuclear Iran’ by Peter Oborne and David Morrison, takes up the basic facts in the public domain regarding Iranian possession and planning for nuclear weapons which mainstream media ignore, and asks why they do this. 

The disastrous HQ of Britain's secret service

The government is persisting in its efforts to pass the so-called Justice and Security Bill. Through the introduction of secret judicial processes, it would permit the cover-up of illegal activity by the State. The attempt should be abandoned.

Torture: Who are Britain's guilty?

It seems clear that British intelligence officers were complicit in torture and rendition. Who gave them their orders?

Sorry, gentlemen, but you’re no Roosevelt and Churchill

The British Prime Minister and the American President are a dark shadow of the wartime coalition: well-meaning, weak men overseeing a wicked military machine. The British should not be involved.

Abu Qatada, British justice and human rights

Having allowed a preacher associated with 9/11 to take up residence in the UK, the British government has held him in prison for over 6 years without trial, in an attempt to send him to Jordon. The result is a disaster for justice.

Is Britishness a generous thing, or has it damaged England?

The Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne and Scottish writer Neal Ascherson discuss national identity in light of the approaching referendum on Scottish independence.

This sorry display of self-interest brings shame on the UK parliament

Even after the expenses scandal shook parliament to its core, many British MPs are still putting greed before duty.

Cricket is being destroyed by this indecent obsession with money

By neglecting the Test match, greedy officials are undermining the essence of the game

Wake up, Tories! Ed Miliband has redefined the future of politics

Post-crash Britain faces an enormous challenge: to create a new structure for British governance and public discourse. At the Labour conference, Ed Miliband took the first steps towards accepting that great and terrifying challenge.

The moral decay of British society is as bad at the top as the bottom

The response of Britain's political elite to the riots that engulfed England last week was phony and hypocritical. The problems exposed by the disturbances do not only exist in inner-city housing estates.

Sycophantic Kingdom: Cameron and company creep to Obama

The UK's premier breaks his word and apes Tony Blair as he subordinates British foreign policy to the US while imitating its trappings of power and hypocritical rhetoric abandoning self-belief and independence for a place in America's sun.

Tom Bingham: Britain is right to honour a champion of the rule of law

Among the few establishment figures who resisted Tony Blair's corruption of British politics was the country's senior law lord. We salute his role.

Known as the book of the expenses scandal, The Silent State has much more to say on Britain's culture of secrecy

In writing 'The Silent State', Heather Brooke planted a giant bomb under the British parliamentary system. After years of diligent enquiry, blocked at every point by the Speaker and Commons officials, it was Brooke who forced into the open the squalid details of the systemic theft of public money by our venal and greedy MPs.

Selling baked beans – why David Cameron failed

Why didn’t Cameron win an outright election victory over Labour earlier this year? Peter Oborne finds Lord Ashcroft’s view that ‘negative campaigning’ and an emphasis on immigration wouldn’t work more compelling than the traditional argument from Conservative Home

The pro-Israel lobby in Britain: full text

The authors ask for transparency in Britain's policy towards Israel

The political system is broken, make Parliament the focus

This is the first of a series of responses to Anthony Barnett's post on the possible strategies for democrats post-expenses.

Anthony Barnett > Peter Oborne

Anthony is correct to say that the political system is broken, that the expenses scandal is a manifestation of this, that trust in politics is now smashed, and that the Political Class nevertheless believes that the situation has returned to normal ie the ‘mixture of top down controls and populist manipulation serviced by a venal political elite' described by Anthony. But I would go further than this analysis and add that unless we remedy the structural crisis at the heart of our public life some kind of political accident will take place - the Westminster equivalent of Black Wednesday in the City. This may be a return to the violent, extra-parliamentary politics of the 18th century, accompanied by a near total collapse of traditional liberalism and the emergence of a hard, populist right.

The mission to mend our politics is therefore commendable and urgent. I also agree with Anthony's prescription - reengagement with civil society, honesty, independence, accountability. He then deals with a host of competing objectives. My feeling is that all our energies should focus on one objective only: parliament, cleaning it up and making it more democratic. There is nothing peripheral about parliament: it has always been at the heart of British freedom, democracy and governance.

That doesn't mean that we can't do the other things - ie an online force for change such as Move-on (though when I examined Move-on during the Kerry campaign five years ago it had certain rather sinister aspects). But they should be all directed to the same place - ie parliament. It is also obvious that all these extra-parliamentary organisations - 38 degrees, Real Change, openDemocracy have to work together if they are to be significant and produce massive change.

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