Tag: Opinion

Dad dancing at 6am

Hecate

Dad dancing to YMCA after a pint of wallop and a whiskey cider chaser at 6am to test-drive independence day had left the prime minister feeling decidedly razzled. It was all Jabber-the-Raab’s fault for sending their Uber to Soho’s Old Compton Street instead of Chequers. It was an easy mistake for someone so geographically challenged […]

Fit as a butcher’s dog

Hecate

Having escaped, down but not out, from another prime minister’s questions, Johnson breathed a sigh of relief and made a dive for the exit … If you’re out-gabbed by that “left-wing agitator”, you know your number’s up. Mark Sedwill had an uncanny knack for saying stuff the PM really didn’t want to hear. So did […]

Pants on fire!

Hecate

This was the week of the great cover-up that didn’t work. There weren’t just bats in Big Ben’s belfry but sloth-sized rats running amok in the Commons. Prime ministers’ questions had become just an ad break in a very British farce masquerading as democracy. The prime minister understood neither the concept nor the practice. Hit […]

A romp in the park

Hecate

The week before the 4th birthday of the Brexit referendum hasn’t been a walk in the park for Tories escaping lockdown. The now-you-see-him-now-you-don’t prime minister has proved he can remember things after all. After schoolchildren demonstrated how to keep him at arm’s length, he got Father’s Day done and ducked for cover when Prince William’s […]

Bottom-beating Blighty

Hecate

Mid-summer’s eve and the former Australian prime minister’s verdict on UK trade deals couldn’t have been more apt if Bottom had uttered it. Had Malvolio pranced into a Cabinet meeting cross-gartered, no one would have blinked either. The president of the USA didn’t know the UK had nuclear capabilities. The UK foreign secretary, renowned for […]

A very Tory Eton Mess

Hecate

And a very blasé tiger in the tank. After the click-and-collect school of government had run out of bait, it was perhaps unsurprising that the blancmange-like prime minister claimed to have been inspired by an email about bubbles from a constituent. Wedded to his ear-buds and never one to ponder risk and impact assessments, he […]

Absinthe-induced fantasy island

Hecate

It’s hard to say precisely when the government sold its collective soul to the devil. But it was way before Theresa May did her Faustian dance in the shadow of Cameron, busily bent on decimating decency with indecent speed. Not a shred of honesty remained by the time the government and BBC repeatedly displayed an […]

Pandemic, protests and prejudice

Amy Holdsworth and Chris Onuoha

Chris Onuoha, 22, medical student Amidst the ongoing pandemic, we are reminded yet again that systemic racism is a serious problem in the world we live in today. The murder of George Floyd and many other black men and women before him should not be swept under the carpet, should not be treated as a […]

Who gave the “bloviating beshagged puddingbowl” permission to trash the UK?

Hecate

Asking for the great British public. In Belgium, King Leopold II’s statue was taken down as part of the global response to #BlackLivesMatter. In Belgium, the prince who went on a lockdown-breaking jaunt to Spain was fined over €10k. But in barmy Britain, the public was told to get over the lockdown-breaking Barnard Castle affair […]

The myth of meritocracy

Grace Pritchard

I’m working-class and I’d like to stay that way. Looking across a smoky room at my Nanna buffing the dance floor of our local working men’s club, St. Johns Terrace. Sodden beer mats, cheesy eighties music on repeat. This is her third job of the day. This is one of those stand-out memories from my […]

The hypocrisy and incompetence of the US and China

Clarissa Leung

“A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven; hands have no tears to flow.” (Dylan Thomas) Government buildings and police stations set ablaze, multinational businesses wrecked with bricks, enraged protesters on the streets being tear-gassed and shot at by police officers. Are these the symptoms of the 2020 pandemic? I’m not talking about the […]

Poke it and it wobbles

Hecate

It was one of those days. C4 Dispatches had revealed the turpitude, disdain and incompetence of the government over Covid-19, doing its best to ensure the UK’s daily death rate was still higher than the combined total of the 27 EU member states. Barry Gardiner had taken the knee in a socially undistanced George Floyd […]

Why the UK does not have Jacinda Ardern as its prime minister

Stella Perrott

Measured by the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths, countries led by women have done better than other comparable countries led by men. In the advanced economies Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand), Tsai Ing-wen (Taiwan), Sanna Marin (Finland), Mette Frederiksen (Denmark) and Angela Merkel (Germany) have been praised for their management of the crisis. The US, […]

Stop gaslighting the US protesters

Beanna Olding

Full disclosure. I am a white British woman benefiting white privilege. Ever heard of the term ‘racial tone policing’? I hadn’t until a few days ago, nose buried in Layla Saad’s fantastically eye-opening book Me and White Supremacy. Racial tone policing is the act of taking offence when a person of colour talks with emotion […]

Where’s Boris with the hurty knee, Hecate?

Hecate

It’s not just that something stinks. It’s that consensus is growing that, as @DerekJames150 puts it, “Corruption in the UK is alive and well and living at 10 Downing Street!” Commentators around the world boldly remark on what they see as something rotten at the heart of British government. Twitter juxtaposed Trump, Putin, Johnson and […]

Cowan’s plague journal

Alistair Cowan

So recently I learned from “Everything I Do I Do it for You” hit-maker Bryan Adams that coronavirus was definitely caused by Chinese wet markets. Lockdown hasn’t even lasted as long as that song was No 1, and I know which seemed to last longer. Bryan Adams has an interesting face in that, much like […]

The two-party system is strangling our democracy

Sam Slater

The British Parliament, long held as a bastion of government – which inspired enlightened thinkers such as Montesquieu and is the framework for other parliaments worldwide – needs an overhaul. The first past the post (FPTP) electoral system is the rot. It promotes and reinforces our two-party system; two complacent, comfortable, mainstream parties that fail […]

Watch out for Boris Johnson’s imminent Churchill impersonation

Martin Brooks

The stage is already being set by this discredited prime minster and his government. They are positioning themselves as victorious leaders of the country’s emergence from our disastrous encounter with the Covid-19 virus. Moreover, they are already using the pandemic to argue for the UK’s isolation from the rest of the world, by holding to […]

Coronavirus: is it becoming the Brexit argument continued by other means?

Anthony Robinson

Brexit continues to be the unseen thread that runs through everything happening in this country, even coronavirus. The pandemic has somehow become a proxy for Brexit and for some people it is the continuation of the European campaign by other means. Brexiteers are clearly worried about the impact Covid-19 might have on the government and […]

We have the Government we deserve

Helen Davidson

Even before Covid-19 has finished wreaking havoc across the world, commentators and politicians have started to point fingers and apportion blame for the crisis. So far in the dock we have the Government (primarily Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock), China, the World Health Organisation, the NHS, No 10 political advisors (particularly Dominic Cummins) and the […]

Coronavirus and Brexit: double austerity on steroids is coming up

Anthony Robinson

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently warned that the economic shock from the present coronavirus pandemic was already bigger than the financial crash of 2008–09. It means we are almost certain to be looking at another ten years of austerity at least, but this time on steroids. Angel Gurría, OECD secretary general, […]