We look at our fourv’People of the Year’ for 2020: telling the stories of Marcus Rashford, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Charlie McCarthy writes on the SNP’s opposition to the government’s damaging Brexit deal: “The alignment of international events and incompetence of Westminster leadership is a conjunction of forces that the nationalists in Scotland could only ever have dreamt of”.
Graham Avery looks at the impact of the Brexit trade deal on fishing in the UK. “It offers the British fishing industry a significant increase in quotas over a five-year period, but little hope of further increases after that.”
Labour MPs and peers need to be very careful about supporting a deal which will inevitably result in blue wall communities suffering extra hardships. The government has a comfortable majority and there is no compelling need for Kier Starmer to support the bill tomorrow. Labour should keep their hands clean and abstain.
Andy Brown looks at some of what we now know we will lose from leaving the EU on the terms negotiated by the government. “The best that can be said is that the UK dodged the bullet of no deal with one week to spare. As the Conservative Michael Heseltine said, the prisoner has escaped death row only to face a life sentence.”
Liz Truss claimed this week that at her comprehensive school in Leeds, she was taught more about racism and sexism than she was about English and maths. Daphne Franks, who also attended this school (as did her brother and her son) offers this response.
As Dr Stella Perrott outlined on Christmas Eve, reviews of disasters and serious incidents provide ample warning signs about the way Brexit is being handled. This is Jimmy Andrex’s take on her article.
Andy Brown looks at how humanity’s collective stupidity has peaked at the same time as its oil consumption. “The idea that the world needs to be managed with greater environmental sensitivity has much more traction with the young than the concept that we need to look backward and try to recreate a golden age that never existed.”
The closure of P&O’s Hull to Zeebrugge services marks the start of post-Brexit difficulties for Yorkshire, Lord Newby writes. The move shows just how important it is to ensure regional representation for Yorkshire, as the devolution project stagnates.
With suspicious timing, the government finally landed a free trade deal at the eleventh hour. Is it the freedom promised or has Boris Johnson negotiated Britain into a strait jacket and what will it mean for our future relationship with the EU?
Natalie Bennett offers her initial response to the news that a deal has been agreed with the EU. A deal that overlooks services, which represents 80 percent of our economy. A deal that highlights so much that we have lost.
Jimmy Andrex looks at what the last year has meant for the Labour Party, through the lens of the 5 stages of grief. The question is, which stage has the party reached?
Stella Perrott was a civil servant from 1996 to 2007 and has undertaken a number of inquiries and reviews following public sector failures. Here she assesses what we already know from previous inquiries into serious incidents, and what these lessons should be telling us about the lack of Brexit planning.
Andy Brown asks, is Boris Johnson on the way out? The PM’s irresponsible behaviour over the past year has led to an erosion of trust, which may well be irreparable. Now, having put parliament in an impossible situation, and taken the country to the brink of no deal – in order to negotiate a very bad deal – will he lose his job as prime minister?
“Doing more work on your car then, Tim?” “Nope.” “But – ” “Not this time.” “Quite a few modifications there, though.” “Yep.” “So…?” “Nothing to do with me, Steve.” “Really?” “I’ve learned my lesson…” “That’s great news, Tim.” “…and I’ve got an expert in.” “Music to my ears, Tim. Who is it?” “Spaffa.” “Spaffa??!!” “Yep, […]
Compare the European parliament with the UK parliament. The EU parliament has 705 members, all directly elected by the citizens of 27 European countries. The UK parliament, however, has two chambers – one with 650 elected members, and the other now with 837 unelected members.
In the first of our review series for 2020, Charlie McCarthy looks at the shocking rates of food poverty in the UK. The Trussell Trust predict that this winter will be their busiest period ever and have warned that their figures represent just the “tip of the iceberg, as many people will have been helped by other community groups”.
Jane Thomas reviews the impact of the French blockade on UK ports, following the UK’s warning of a more virulent strain of Covid-19 now out of control in London and the South East.
As the clock ticks ominously down, the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has updated EU ambassadors on progress in the trade talks. He told them the latest UK offer on fish is unacceptable. It is a growing sign that Downing Street is making the final concessions needed for a deal.
For Brexiters the trade talks have always been about achieving a victory over the hated EU. The final high stakes game will be played out in Brussels with both sides intent on not breaching any red lines. But there can only be one winner, as Johnson will soon discover.
Boris Johnson staked what remained of public trust in him in the idea of ‘saving Christmas’. Now, Andy Brown writes, this has been lost. “Like so many rash bets, it hasn’t worked out. We’ve ended up with a cabinet full of boastful yet inadequate ‘yes men and women’, just at the time when the nation most needed quiet competence.”
Air pollution is deadly. That is a fact we can’t hide from any longer. This week, a coroner ruled that dangerous levels of air pollution “made a material contribution” to the death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah in Central London. Before her death of a severe asthma attack in February 2013, Ella endured numerous seizures and […]
John Grogan, co-chair of One Yorkshire, outlines what we expect to hear in Sir Keir Starmer’s speech in Scotland on Monday. He’s likely to propose a constitutional convention to look at creating a federal UK.
Dr Pam Jarvis summarises the anger within our schools over the government’s chaotic response to the pandemic. Many schools are now shut for Christmas, having just been told they’ll be responsible for delivering testing to schoolchildren in the new year. And this follows months of poor and inconsistent advice.
Sarah Sonne from the Refugee Council, talks about her group’s efforts to champion the basic rights of asylum seekers in the UK. Working to provide food, legal aid, and basic support to those in the most need in the country.
Dr Stella Perrott outlines new changes to the asylum system which make it harder for those fleeing war to come to the country. The new system would look first if there was a “third country” which might accept asylum seekers, essentially gearing the system to send them elsewhere, in a cruel move likely to make lives harder for thousands.
Juliet Lodge looks at how the European Union is moving its docucmentation processes online with e-visas, and the challenges this presents. “So the new e-visa procedures illustrate the importance to successful policy implementation of ascertaining, anticipating and addressing potential concerns at the outset. “
The Lords environment sub-committee yesterday heard concerns about the increased paperwork, the lack of vets to sign off health certificates, and the impact on foodstuff with likely delays at the ports. Jane Thomas summarises what was said.
Local firms in Hull have launched the Hull Together survey, on behalf of Hull Council, giving residents a voice in the city’s affairs.
“Whether you were born in Hull or you’ve recently arrived in the city, your opinions, praise, concerns and grumbles about the issues that matter in your community – safety, employment, education, migration, integration and more – are needed to contribute to positive change.”
The government spin machine is cranking into gear to sell the UK-EU trade deal to Tory Eurosceptics who are suspicious of anything European, many of who prefer no deal at all. It threatens to be an impossible job.