Obituary for Baroness Shirley Williams, who defined democracy for the UK. Her work and wisdom inspired generations to question the way politics worked.
The Festival of Debate 2021, is starting in a few weeks. Its purpose? To increase political discourse, encourage local voices to speak up, and come up with solutions to the most pressing issues in society right now. All events are free and welcome to anyone interested.
Aidan Enright describes his battle, as an Irish in Britain, between his ‘British’ and ‘Irish’ identity. After being submerged in both cultures, he feels drawn to both. After heavy debate around Brexit in Britain though, he often yearns for his Irish home.
Dr Pam Jarvis draws to light the future problems and questions about the monarchy now that Prince Philip has passed away: will Prince Charles have the appetite to be king when his mother dies? Dr Jarvis asks whether there could be a referendum to peacefully decide who will be the king.
Is there an oppressed minority on the political right who have been dominated into silence? Will no-one stand up for them? Cometh the hour, cometh the Fox. Roger Winterbottom wonders what it is they really want to say.
Steve and Tim have been discussing the importance of flying the Union Jack, and the troubling issue of crisis actors at protests. Catch up on their previous conversations too!
Sapphire Boast looks at the response on Instagram to the rules women have to follow to stay safe from male aggression
Alex Toal argues that we should hate the institution of the monarchy, not the monarch. With the monarchy a block on constitutional reform and a symbol of inequality on several levels, it needs to go.
Steve and Tim discuss the magic money tree that can fund a £37 billion failed test and trace programme, but can’t fund a proper pay rise for nurses.
Alex Toal examines the known unknowns that may well define the Johnson premiership: the NHS pay dispute and the return to schools. Should they fail to go to plan, knock-on effects may disrupt the local elections and hamper either his or Keir Starmer’s leadership.
The big con – that public sector cuts offer the only effective route to debt and deficit reduction, through cutting wages and services – has done immeasurable harm to our country. It is not and never has been about fiscal consolidation, but instead serves a hidden libertarian, right-wing agenda that seeks to shrink government and cut worker rights and protections in the name of illusory and bogus freedoms.
Roger Winterbottom admires Dominic Cummings’ honesty in explaining how the special adviser’s chums somehow came to be the recipients of large government contracts without any competition.
Andy Brown, Green Party councillor on Craven District Council, reviews the recent speech from Sir Keir Starmer and regrets the lack of leadership on issues like Brexit and how to bring progressive parties together to achieve their aims.
Steve and Tim discuss the deep fake behind the recent Mars space mission and the relative cost of the UK’s test and trace programme.
Roger Winterbottom wonders whether Boris Johnson is an experiment in a new field in robotics and machine learning: Artificial Gormlessness. Can he pass the Turing test and convince us that he’s human?
Welcome to Schroedinger’s Border. This is the border in the Irish Sea which the UK government negotiated and which the UK government says doesn’t exist, and which is both there and not there as long as it’s kept in a box and nobody looks at it.
As Martin Brooks notes, fish are not subject to the freedom of movement restrictions that Britain’s people now are. “It’s questionable if the notoriously independently minded fish can be persuaded to change their attitude and behaviour.”
Green Party peer Natalie Bennett argues that we clearly do need, post-Brexit, a Financial Services Act but as it stands the financial services bill is nothing like what we need.
To demonstrate the urgency of the government action, the new border implementation has even been given its own codename: ‘Operation Close Stable Door And By The Way Has Anyone Seen My Horse, I’m Sure I Left It In Here Somewhere’.
Steve’s friend Tim suspects his plumber may be part of the Big Plumbing corporate machine, controlling his life.
Jimmy Andrex reviews our pie of the week – a mushroom and leek pie from Denby Dale, West Yorkshire. “It’s warm, it’s got a crust and it tastes comforting and fabulous.”
Norky recalls his most embarrassing moment, which occurred during a German exchange visit in 1955. ” I’m embarrassed about it even now, I can hardly bring myself to put it down in writing, perhaps doing so will after 63 years lay it down to rest.”
Steve’s friend Tim believes the protests in Washington DC were organised by Antifa and were not the work of Trump supporters …
The BBC faces a rocky road ahead, with the Dowden enquiry and the appointment of the new chairperson – former Goldman Sachs banker, and Conservative Party donor. Richard Sharp. And Cummings’ departure will not make a difference to its survival, the damage has been done. The lies spoken and the criticism will continue.
Dr Pam Jarvis looks at how Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor has been treated differently to her male on-screen predecessors. While an advancement for gender equality in science-fiction, Whittaker’s character has been plagued with maternal stereotypes, gendering the treatment of the character in a role which had the opportunity to escape such shoehorning.
John Cole reviews Ian Dunt’s book, How To Be a Liberal. The book stretches back as far as Aristotle to draw a history of liberalism over millennia, examines the personal lives of many of the early liberals, and offers advice for all readers to help create a better world.
s we begin 2021, it is absolutely critical we have a plan that will ensure the sector can bounce back more strongly once enough people are vaccinated, to ensure that we are through the worst of the pandemic. The first part of that plan must involve working with the government to form a common understanding as to how and when the sector can safely reopen as early as possible in 2021.
Peter Norcliffe reminisces about biplanes, old money, and ‘Doctor Dan’s Health Drink’ in his latest column. ” Not for me a train driver or firefighter – both very noble causes, of course, but I’m sure you will agree, not in the same league as a milk man with a black and white horse.”
Way back in the summer of 1979 there was mass unemployment that was heading up towards three million, and the strident divisive politics of Margaret Thatcher were just about to be inflicted on the nation. Instead of staring at the negative, Ian Dury got together with his band the Blockheads and released one of the […]
Jimmy Andrex reviews the pie of the week – this time from Cryer & Stott, at Castleford market. “If you ever had sex better than this pie you’re either a liar or I need to get to know you better. If you ever took drugs better than this pie, you must be on drugs – cheap, bad ones that make you think the traffic in South Elmsall are crocodiles.”