Section: Politics

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Loathe it or hate it, lockdown 2.0 is around the corner, and it’s the government’s ideology of crisis-management that’s to blame

Alex Toal
serious young ethnic lady in medical mask standing near window and looking away on street

Get your hair cut and stock up on yeast: if you’re lucky enough to not be one of the ten million Britons already under increased coronavirus restrictions, then you are likely to join that number soon. Whilst the prime minister emphasised that he was “deeply, spiritually reluctant” to infringe on people’s freedoms in his announcement […]

Teetering on the brink

Anthony Robinson

Yesterday marked 100 days to the end of the transition period and the beginning of an omni-crisis for the government. Coronavirus is once again on the rise, threatening a second peak over the winter, with 6,208 new cases reported, virtually the same as at the height of the pandemic in May. At the same time, […]

Farming protest planned for Northallerton tomorrow

Charlie McCarthy

For generations, sheep and cattle farmers have shaped the upland Yorkshire landscape we all cherish. Now many traditional farmers, so vital to the fabric of our rural communities, are at risk of being put out of business. Uplands farmers – particularly sheep and beef cattle farmers in the Yorkshire Dales and on the North York […]

Thousands face winter of homelessness as eviction ban ends

Natalie Bennett

Yesterday (Wednesday) the House of Lords debated motions expressing its – and many others’ – grave concern about the plight of many facing the threat of a winter of homelessness, with the Covid-19 emergency eviction ban ended. It was noted, in the dry, formal terminology of such things, that the legal change “will permit evictions […]

The disastrous reign of King Dom, the “dart throwing chimp”

Anthony Robinson

Those who voted for Johnson in the belief that inside the clown was a serious-minded politician trying to get out, are slowly being disappointed as his government staggers through a parade of fumbling incoherence, from one disaster to the next. The near constant succession of missteps, U-turns and policy mistakes are not even punctuated by […]

Lord of lockdown in thrall to vindictive innuendo

Hecate

The prime minister was in a bad mood. His settee was full of children’s plastic toys and when Gandalf’s staff spiked his rear as he sat down to savour his Coco Pops before bed, his satanic retaliatory reflex kicked in. He ordered a national lockdown to teach everyone a lesson and kill two birds with […]

Johnson’s mysterious Russian links continue to dog him

Anthony Robinson

The prime minister seems unable to shake off his mysterious connections to Russians and their money. The BBC is now reporting an $8m transaction between a Russian politician and the husband of Lubov Chernukhin, who is famous for donating £1.7m to the Tory party and paying handsomely for the privilege of playing tennis with David […]

The inspirational RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

John Harris

It is such sad news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. This is obviously not going to be an obituary (there will be plenty of those for us to read); it is intended as a personal tribute by someone who never met her, never heard her speak in person, never even saw her in person; […]

Home Office risks immigration decisions being driven by “anecdote, assumption and prejudice”

Dr Stella Perrott

On 18 September, the Conservative-dominated public accounts committee (which examines the value for money of government projects, programmes and service delivery) published its report: ‘Immigration Enforcement’. The findings are damning, concluding that the Home Office’s approach risks making decisions on “anecdote, assumption and prejudice”. The directorate responsible for immigration enforcement has, as its vision: “to […]

Wakefield’s MP seems confused by the Brexit bells and whistles

Anthony Robinson

The new Tory MP for Wakefield may well be an ardent supporter of Brexit, but his understanding of it varies between shaky and non-existent. His article in the Yorkshire Post only demonstrates his own shortcomings. Imran Ahmad-Khan says he has spent many years in distant, sometimes dangerous, places and thinks Britain had ceased to be […]

Biden fires warning shot across Johnson’s law-breaking plan

Anthony Robinson

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last night tweeted a clear warning to Boris Johnson that he will not allow the Good Friday Agreement to become a “casualty of Brexit”.  The former vice president, whose Irish roots are in Ballina Co Mayo, has strongly supported the peace process and was quick to condemn any move that […]

Excuses, weakness and mendacity: the shambolic approach to Brexit continues

Lord Newby

As the government tries desperately to limit the domestic political damage caused by its plans in the internal market bill to break international law by unilaterally tearing up the withdrawal agreement, it has used a series of excuses to justify its position. Of these, perhaps the most pathetic was the agreement could be broken because […]

Johnson never intended to stick to the withdrawal agreement

Anthony Robinson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with President of the European Parliament David Sassoli for a meeting at Downing Street.

In what may be regarded as the ultimate in bad faith, last October – as the UK and EU teams were engaged in intensive final negotiations in Brussels – Johnson is alleged to have taken legal advice about repudiating the withdrawal agreement even before the text was completed. He was never committed to keeping the […]

From Operation Moonshot, to Project Overshot

Jane Thomas

Many were gripped by the shenanigans in parliament on Monday, and as the details unfolded so too did the government’s dilemmas. While I doubt they’re talking much about the internal market bill down the Dog and Duck, it’s certainly giving the government a headache – and one very much of its own making. The political […]

Take a walk in Theresa’s shoes

Andy Brown

Imagine that you could put yourself in Theresa May’s shoes for a short while. I realise that this may not be easy for those of you who don’t normally favour designer kitten heels, but stick with me for a while as it is worth the effort. It is a year ago and you are the […]

US election 101: everything you need to know

Jack Walker

Tuesday 3 November will see incumbent President Donald Trump of the Republican Party square off against former Vice-President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential election. There are a number of differences between elections in the United States and those in the United Kingdom, so read on for everything you need to […]

Not at all Good, seriously Bad, and incredibly Ugly: government game-playing is immature, disrespectful and downright dangerous

Amanda Robinson

As Anthony Robinson (no relation) highlighted on the 14 September, the UK government announced last week that they intend to break international law. Perfectly stated by David Allen Green, “the government of the United Kingdom is proposing to enact legislation that is deliberately intended to make it possible for ministers to make regulations that would […]

UK internal market bill: Henry VIII powers on steroids

Natalie Bennett

Unless you’ve just splashed down from Mars, you’ll have noticed that the government has got itself into a great deal of hot water over the internal market bill. Former prime ministers, of various hues, have lined up to express their horror at its cavalier, casual dismissal of international law and repudiation of a treaty that […]

Rebels with a clause: now the fun and games will start

Jane Thomas

Ester Weber, reporter at The Times told twitter this morning: “One Tory MP in a big Leave constituency tells me: ‘In a patch like mine I think almost anything would be tolerated in the name of Brexit … Except fly-tipping.’” This may well be true, and the expectation that the government is about to fall […]

Will the Sochi summit herald the end-game for Lukashenko and Belarus?

Stephen Davis

Russia’s President Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed victor of Belarus’s disputed election of 9 August are meeting today (14 September) in Sochi, in a bid to agree how closure can be brought to the accelerating demands of the Belarusian people for the incumbent president to go. Despite a campaign of intimidation and brutal violence […]

Circling the wagons in Downing Street

Anthony Robinson

The furore about the UK proposing to break international law has every potential to grow into a full-blown constitutional crisis. If the UK internal market bill, which will override Johnson’s EU withdrawal agreement, passes the Commons this week it may well be blocked by peers, setting the two chambers against each other. However, the extraordinary […]

The revolving door of money and politics

Karl Francis

During the 1990s, the Conservative government was dogged by the fallout from the infamous ‘cash for questions’ scandal. Lessons were learned, or so we are always told. However, the release of the Russian report highlighted that those lessons may now have been forgotten again. A leading player in political donations and a good friend of […]

Johnson now heading for his own Suez moment

Anthony Robinson
Boris Johnson in Downing Street

In 1956, prime minister Anthony Eden conspired with France and Israel to invade Egypt and recover control of the Suez Canal, which had been seized by president Nasser. It was an act of monumental hubris and Britain was eventually forced to withdraw under pressure from the USA and Russia. It was a seminal moment and […]

Grenfell: the price of property profiteering

Andrew Leach

At around 1am on the 14 June, 2017, an apocalyptic inferno engulfed a residential apartment block in unimaginable horror. The block was Grenfell Tower, a 23-storey building. An electrical fire that began in a flat on the fourth floor quickly consumed the entire structure. Some 72 people died that night. The primary reason for the […]

Johnson is trashing Britain’s international reputation

Anthony Robinson

The Telegraph claimed in a banner headline this morning that the prime minister is to tell the EU that the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) he renegotiated and signed last year “never made sense”.  A senior government source is quoted as saying some of the consequences “were not foreseen” at the time. Simon Nixon, chief leader writer […]

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