Section: Politics

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The arrow of time and Brexit

John Stevens

Former Conservative MEP John Stevens discusses the ticking clock overshadowing the Brexit deal process. Stevens looks at Ireland, the Scottish parliamentary elections, and the view from Europe as the deadline approaches. He concludes that above all, time is running out for pro-Europeans to make the case for rejoining the bloc.

Yorkshire needs Labour to oppose Johnson’s Brexit deal

Mike Buckley

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.

Fears for tiers

Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas breaks down the announcement of Tier 3 for much of Yorkshire, and the impending chaos of the UK’s departure from the transition period. Will there be a national lockdown to help ease the congestion at ports on New Year’s Day? We’ll have to wait and see.

Interview with: Hugh Goulbourne – lawyer and activist running for nomination to be Labour Party candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor

Alex Toal

Alex interviews Hugh Goulbourne, one of three candidates shortlisted to be Labour’s nominee for West Yorkshire mayor. Goulbourne has an experience in grassroots activism and business leadership, and has worked on a number of mayoral campaigns before his own. His plans for the region include a cycle superhighway, citizens assemblies, and an authority-wide transport app.

Institutional-racism denier forms government race commission

Dawn-Maria France

Munira Mirza, who denies the existence of institutional racism, was picked as the government once again sidelines issues of race in the country. As Dawn-Maria France argues, “it seems unlikely that Munira Mirza’s commission, reporting to Johnson and overseen by Badenoch, will do more than kick the can down the road.”

Operation Yellowhammer is playing out as black comedy

Anthony Robinson

Chancellor Rushi Sunak delivers his 2021 spending plan against a backdrop of unprecedented risks financial and, for some, existential. These are detailed in what looks like an updated and more apocalyptic version of Operation Yellowhammer about to become reality.

The nature of the debate

Natalie Bennett

Politics in the UK is fossilised in an earlier time. With a setting which encourages confrontation and is hostile to women. Natalie Bennett writes: “politics needs to catch up with the modern world, and speak to all of our citizens.”

Covid chumocracy chugs along

Jane Thomas

During the covid crisis, the government has spent millions of pounds of taxpayer on firms owned by their associates, often without experience of providing what they had been offering, and often without a competitive tender process. Jane Thomas presents a catalogue of corruption.

Is the nation being gaslighted by another psychopath in No 10?

Anthony Robinson

With 38 days to go before the greatest instantaneous shock to our overseas trade in history, there is apparently a total void at the highest levels of government where policy direction normally starts, while we await the mercurial mind of Johnson to be made up. Psychopaths tend to lie, be socially irresponsible, disregard or violate the rights of others, cannot distinguish between right and wrong, have difficulty showing remorse or empathy, manipulate people and have problems with the law. Does this seem familiar?

A brief history of ministerial responsibility

John Cole

In the 26 years since publication of Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life, standards have progressively fallen – with a near-vertical plunge since Johnson became prime minister. Johnson, Cummings, Gove and the rest of the government fail the test on each of the seven principles: integrity, objectivity, accountability, honesty, openness, selflessness and leadership.

Ireland, a shared island: Brexit and a Celtic future?

Geoff Martin

Geoff Martin was the inaugural head of the European Commission in the North of Ireland and has advised the Commonwealth on strategic relationships worldwide. Here he looks at what Brexit will mean for the island of Ireland, and the potential collective future for Celtic nations post-Brexit.

Devolution dilemma in North Yorkshire

Charlie McCarthy

The government’s plan for new unitary authorities is causing division in North Yorkshire, where no agreement has yet been reached on how this will look. Various proposals have been submitted, with NYCC and York City Council agreeing on one structure, while the shire councils mostly agree on another.

Johnson’s climate plan needs less talk, more action

Andy Brown

Andy Brown analyses the PM’s new climate plan, which sounds good, but needs action to back it up. Sadly this action has so far been missing. There is a big difference between ambitions and reality. It remains very easy to criticise.

Who will be Biden’s best friend in Europe?

Michael Hindley

Former MEP Michael Hindley looks at Biden’s burgeoning relationships with European leaders and the race to find the new ‘special relationship’ across the Atlantic. International relations abhor a vacuum and Brexit has created one for others to step into.

Brexit: why a deal and an extension to the transition is coming

Anthony Robinson

Why Boris Johnson’s choices are limited to securing a deal at any price and an extension to the transition period. The next few days will be crucial in setting the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU but circumstances mean the prime minister’s choices are strictly limited. A deal at any price and an extension to the transition period is the only option.

Researching the Northern Research Group (part 2)

Alex Toal

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?

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