The new ‘levelling-up fund’ is not fit for purpose, writes Alex Toal. Failing in three key areas: size, corruption and lack of direction, the fund is emblematic of the Johnson government’s key flaws.
The next four years will be dominated by the damaging results of Brexit. As the harm becomes clear, the public will be looking for an alternative. Labour needs to be in a position to offer it – not hampered by voting for a deal that it knows already is bad for Britain.
David Goff reviews Michael Ashcroft’s new book on the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. In the review, David criticises Ashcroft for going easy on the chancellor, and not mentioning any of the potential scandals of his career.
After a decade of peddling a badly flawed set of economic policies, the latest Conservative Party chancellor has had to ditch many of his most deeply held convictions in the face of the economic and social realities of a genuine crisis. Yet he remains stubbornly determined to ensure the country persists with a hugely damaging Brexit at the worst possible of times.
Alex Toal looks at the reasons behind the formation of the Northern Research Group. Is this about protecting the seats of its members, about boosting the levelling up agenda, or about control of the Conservative Party?
The National Lottery is a state-franchised gambling enterprise, which has been on our televisions for nearly three decades, the first draw taking place in May of 1994. Like other national lotteries it represents an opportunity to ‘get rich quick’ for ordinary citizens. It justifies its existence by using some of its profits to fund projects […]
The Northern Research Group makes its Westminster debut On Wednesday, members of the Northern Research Group took part in a Westminster hall debate called by Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis to quiz the government (represented by exchequer secretary to the Treasury Kemi Badenoch) over economic support for the North. NRG chair Jake Berry followed […]
Whether or not a deal comes good with the European Union, one thing is certain – the government has failed to prepare despite the fact the decision to leave was made over four years ago.
The good news is FOUR TRUMP-FREE YEARS. The American people have rejected Trump and all he stands for by a majority of four million in a record turnout. That is a huge defeat for the far right.
In less than a week, the government’s Job Retention Scheme will end, putting as many as five million people’s jobs at risk, according to Sheffield’s Festival of Debate organisers. The Cliff Edges and Safety Nets online debate, organised for 29 October, will bring together Citizens Advice Sheffield and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to discuss the […]
Ali was out for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales with her Uncle John. She was looking forward to picking John’s brains, because he was head of economics at a school in West Yorkshire and she’d recently started an A level in economics. “John” began Ali, “What do you make of Moody’s downgrading the UK […]
Top investigative journalist Ivan Inckling has blown the cover of a government department that up to this point was unknown outside the top Civil Service and government ministers. This is the Ministry of False Economy (mission statement “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish”). This department is quietly mothballed if Labour is in power, but then swings into […]
A disorderly exit from the European Union’s (EU) single market without a trade agreement would have a “major negative impact on trade and jobs”, says a new survey published on Wednesday. We will face a double-whammy economic hit if the effects of the pandemic are coupled with the effects of a disorderly exit without a […]
If you’ve read this article in Sussex Bylines by Ginny Smith, you will know that what triggers me into action is someone attempting to silence or ‘pick’ on another, particularly a group. Last week Rishi Sunak told creatives to consider retraining. This is a man who worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs after graduating, […]
Why a universal basic income could be a better alternative to universal credit and the current welfare system The coronavirus crisis has caused a major upheaval within the UK welfare system, with a surge of people applying for universal credit amid staggering rates of unemployment. With the furlough scheme coming to an end, the government […]
Figures released yesterday by the Social Mobility Commission reveal that five local authorities in the Yorkshire and the Humber region are among the 24 least socially mobile in the country. Bradford is listed in 2nd place, behind only Chiltern in the South East, with Hull, Rotherham, Kirklees and North East Lincolnshire all featuring on the […]
Last week’s Extinction Rebellion protests once again saw images in the media of climate campaigners protesting in city centres while people tried to do their work around them, look after children or find somewhere peaceful to have a sandwich in their lunch break. The protests shone a spotlight on the increasing divisions in our society. […]
Fighting a global pandemic is rather like fighting a war. If you are naïve about your tactics or indulge in wishful thinking you tend to meet with some very nasty surprises. Many people who are from the right of centre have been busy indulging in the fantasy that the covid problems are going to be […]
Just about everyone is aware of the huge increases in government spending in the last seven months, as the government bankrolls the economy in a world where many workers have been furloughed or made redundant. Not only has government expenditure increased, but the 20 percent reduction in economic activity means that tax receipts have fallen […]
Just how well placed are UK businesses for Brexit on 1 January 2021? A Brexit readiness survey conducted among supply chain managers and published today has revealed a disturbing picture, with just 18 percent of UK businesses said to be prepared for a no-deal Brexit. The survey, with work carried out in July for Descartes […]
Part two of a three part series on social change. Part one – Decade of dissonance – is available HERE. One hundred years ago, there was World War One and the Spanish Flu that killed over 50 million people and infected a third of the world population. In 2020, we have a global pandemic with Covid-19 […]
UK economic output shrank by 20.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020, the worst quarterly slump on record, pushing the country into the deepest recession of any major global economy. Caused by the UK government’s lacklustre response to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are worrying signs that this unprecedented economic crisis could quickly morph into […]
Labour’s shadow business and consumer minister has slammed the government for costing small businesses millions of pounds in wasted preparations after they were given just 24 hours’ notice to scrap a planned reopening. Lucy Powell set out yesterday how bowling alleys, casinos and beauty salons across the country had all spent time and money preparing to […]
Too many people have yet to recover from austerity mark I, and the effects of the pandemic will be felt for a long time to come. With the Bank of England warning that we are about to face the “worst recession for three hundred years”, and with the full impact of Brexit still to hit, the thought of austerity mark II is almost too much to bear.
As the British government launches its advertising campaign to help businesses and individuals prepare for the end of the transition period, with the inevitable three-word slogan “Check – Change – Go”, the European Banking Authority (EBA) had a message of its own to Britain’s financial institutions. In a lengthy and uncompromising statement published yesterday on its […]
Charles Dickens invented the Circumlocution Office in Little Dorrit, a fictional government paper-shuffling department which never achieved anything but, “in the spirit of national efficiency” gradually led to it having “something to do with everything”. Dickens talked of people “who in slow lapse of time and agony” became lost inside it. It appears from the […]
Only a government as intellectually incoherent as this one could publish in the same week two important documents with absolutely no consistent philosophy underpinning the policy objectives behind them. Worse, the objectives themselves seem diametrically opposed. On Monday, we got the border operating model setting out all the new barriers to trade the government intends to […]
Yorkshire looks set to get more devolution deals next year, according to Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth and local government. This could see the whole of Yorkshire soon having some form of devolution settlement. Speaking at the Northern Powerhouse education, skills and employment summit this week, the minister said, “In the North of England, […]
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) released its latest fiscal sustainability report for July 2020 yesterday. The report was finalised before the chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yet more spending measures, so the figures were out of date even before the report saw the light of day. The OBR was set to forecast that government […]
The belated news that wearing face masks is so important that we have to wait another ten days before it comes into force is another example of how we are being played by this government. Interviewed by Andrew Marr last Sunday, Michael Gove said he did not think face coverings should be compulsory in shops […]