Section: Politics

Page of 12

Is Boris Johnson losing the plot?

Anthony Robinson

On a visit to Northern Ireland yesterday where he met Irish prime minister Micheál Martin, Boris Johnson made the extraordinary claim that there will be no border down the Irish Sea, saying if there is one it will be “over my dead body”.  This is widely reported in the local media (here and here) and […]

A case for school-led political education

Beanna Olding

Twitter wars; they’re everywhere. Even if you are not on Twitter, you’ve probably still seen a fair few. And even if you haven’t directly seen the venomous, back-and-forth, 280-character limited attacks, I’ll wager that you’ve read the news articles denouncing or encouraging them. It seems that the debate around whether or not these Twitter wars […]

Belarus: disputed victory for ‘Sasha 3%’

Stephen Davis

There were no surprises in yesterday’s presidential election in Belarus with the ‘resounding victory’ of the incumbent, Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has been elected for the sixth time to the office of president of the former Soviet republic. While none of his previous victories could have been described as ‘free and fair’ by western standards, this […]

Planning for profit

Andy Brown
high angle shot of suburban neighborhood

Planning regulations are hugely complex and difficult to understand. It must be very tempting for a new minister to try and make their mark by simplifying and reforming the system. Particularly if they represent a political party that has received huge donations from building developers. So, it comes as no surprise that Robert Jenrick wants […]

Brexiters want Johnson’s oven-ready deal sent back to the kitchen

Anthony Robinson

Iain Duncan Smith is the latest Conservative Eurosceptic MP calling for the Withdrawal Agreement, negotiated at the last minute by Boris Johnson and his adviser David Frost, to be scrapped, thus giving a new twist to the old adage about doing something in haste and repenting at leisure. In his case, having voted in favour […]

Imran Ahmad Khan: International Man of Mystery?

Juvenal

When Anthony Calvert, perennial Conservative candidate in Wakefield and its environs, had to step down in November 2019 following the emergence of racist, misogynist and just plain nasty tweets from the time he’d been candidate in Morley and Outwood, many wondered which loyal Brexiter would step in. The seat was marginal, mainly as a result […]

Walls come tumbling down

Jane Thomas

Last week I visited Keighley – my first foray into the non-Sheffield outside world since lockdown restrictions were lifted. The last time I visited was on the eve of polling day in the 2019 general election to help the sitting Labour MP John Grogan. Professional to a tee, John was maintaining an air of quiet […]

What happens when ‘the chaps’ are no longer ‘good’?

John Cole

Radio 4 has a most amusing comedy programme: ‘The Unbelievable Truth’. In this, four panellists take it in turns each to spin an amusing yarn that is all lies – except for five truths hidden in the tissue of falsehood. Boris Johnson is clearly a fan of programme and has managed to turn prime minister’s […]

The fat of the land

Andrew Leach

“Eat Out to Help Out”, the government says. A phrase that comes oven-ready with a side order of “Ew”. In essence, it’s a scheme whereby Westminster will pay fifty per cent of the cost of your meal out up to a £10 contribution. So a £20 surf ‘n’ turf will come in at a measly […]

The truth: bending it like Boris

Anthony Robinson

Johnson has been rapped over the knuckles by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) for repeatedly quoting erroneous and misleading figures on child poverty. The OSR is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority watchdog, and they were responding to a complaint from the End Child Poverty Coalition (ECPC). The story is all over […]

Covid-19: early reopening worse than lockdown

Amanda Robinson
bank notes bills cash commerce

It is clear that the government’s preparations for a pandemic were lacking, despite Exercise Cygnus in 2016 which reviewed the UK’s preparedness by simulating a flu outbreak and contained 26 recommendations. It is alleged that the Cygnus report was buried “for fear workers would be alerted to the immense dangers posed by a pandemic”. The […]

Trump’s presidential legacy – a redundant constitution

Isabel Ralphs

Last week, Donald Trump signed an executive order to send federal troops into Portland, in yet another attempt to clamp down on the free speech of his opposition. This is only the latest in a string of events over the last four years that have violated the very principles on which the United States’ constitution […]

We must stand up for democracy against Boris Johnson’s ‘dictatorship’

William Wallace

Serious people on all sides of politics now worry about the way Boris Johnson is undermining the British constitution. Decisions have been centralised in No. 10 Downing Street, with a team of unelected advisers under Dominic Cummings pushing the Cabinet to one side. They expect the Commons to do what they tell it, relying on obedience from […]

Polish government accused of risking “a serious breach” of the rule of law

Wiktor Moszczynski

In the October 2015 elections for the Polish parliament, the Law and Justice Party (PiS) won an outright majority with an ambitious Poland First programme of so-called “good renewal”, which included a generous social welfare programme and a desire to overturn their predecessors’ social and economic policies. PiS is ultra-nationalist and socially conservative, opposing (indeed reversing) […]

The Irish Sea border: Brexit’s own iceberg

Anthony Robinson

Northern Ireland was barely mentioned during the referendum, but since 2016 it has consistently proved the most insoluble problem. Theresa May’s plan to resolve it by keeping the whole United Kingdom in the customs union eventually proved her undoing. Johnson’s answer, to erect a border down the Irish Sea, could soon be his. Northern Ireland […]

The dubious “expert” driving the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy

Richard Sadler

We’ve all heard of Dominic Cummings – but what about Shanker Singham? This obscure industry lobbyist has penetrated the inner circles of the deregulatory, free-trade ideologues at the heart of government. Like Cummings, he is unelected and unaccountable. Yet he has developed close contacts with ministers from the prime minister down, and is playing a […]

Johnson puts a troubled year behind him and faces a winter of discontent

Jane Thomas

If a week is a long time in politics, then a year seems interminable. On 24 July 2019 Boris Johnson entered Number 10 having comfortably won the Tory leadership election with a pledge to recruit 20,000 more police officers and “fix the crisis in social care”, as well as deliver extra funding for schools and […]

Scots welcome the “crime minister”

Hecate

Joy oh joy! The prime minister grabbed his rubber ring, stuffed his budgie smugglers into his pocket and flip-flopped around the room, packing his case ready for his hols. Briefly stopping to douse his joss sticks, slap on some self-tan and check the latest Tory sex scandals, he did a press-up to celebrate his success […]

Government’s £400m purchase of bankrupt OneWeb looks doomed to fail

Anthony Robinson

There is growing curiosity and another potential scandal surrounding the government’s £400m purchase of the bankrupt satellite company OneWeb. Dominic Cummings believes that in the UK we need something like the US DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) where the government pumps money into blue skies projects in the hope of getting a lead in […]

Another MP in the sexual spotlight

Rick Dillon

What is it about politicians and their sexual urges? The latest scandal involves a Tory MP allegedly propositioning an intern, but the history of indiscretions goes back a long way, and despite the chance of being caught out now almost a given in our media age, our political class doesn’t seem to be behaving any […]

Russian influence in the UK: is this the ‘new normal’?

Charlie McCarthy
st basil s cathedral

The first act of the newly formed international security committee (ISC) under the leadership of former Tory Julian Lewis, was to publish the long awaited Russia report. It is important to remind ourselves of the primary aims of the government when considering our relationship with a potentially hostile power such as Russia. The government’s aim […]

Is this the beginning of the end for Vladimir Putin?

Stephen Davis

The end of the USSR in 1991 came as a surprise to most western observers and even to the majority of Soviet citizens. Now, nearly three decades later, the man credited with returning stability to the USSR’s successor state, the Russian Federation, appears in increasing trouble. In power since January 2000, Vladimir Putin has technically […]

UK single market white paper: “irony so bitter it makes your eyes bleed”

Anthony Robinson

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 […]

God’s own county comes good

Jane Thomas

News that Boris Johnson has proposed moving both Houses of Parliament to York while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished will be met with glee by Yorkshire devolutionists. In a letter seen by The Times the prime minister casts doubt on the £4bn renovation project that was agreed in 2018. Esther Webb, reporter for the […]

Minister demands local government restructure despite the current crisis

Andy Brown

Every reasonable person understands that government is harder than opposition and making choices between competing priorities in the middle of a crisis can be challenging. Deciding on whether to prioritise the NHS or care services, how to open up the economy whilst keeping people safe and how to cope with the pressure of rushing through […]

More articles filed under Section: Politics Older Newer