Section: Politics

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The SNP calls it right: “the emperor has no clothes”

Charlie McCarthy

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”.

Labour needs to insulate itself from a bad deal

Yorkshire Bylines

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.

Be careful what you wish for: the reality of Brexit

Andy Brown

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 and “my comprehensive school”

Daphne Franks

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.

Peak stupidity and peak oil use

Andy Brown

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.”

Brexit: the year-end review

Anthony Robinson

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?

Brexit: learning from disaster inquires

Dr Stella Perrott

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.

The end of the affair: will Britain now fall out of love with Johnson?

Andy Brown

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?

“He’s following the science, mate”

Steve Pottinger

“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, […]

We can’t ignore our air pollution crisis any longer

Andrew Cooper

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 […]

Suffer the children: Christmas UK, 2020

Dr Pam Jarvis

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.

Cruel and costly revised asylum guidance

Dr Stella Perrott

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.

Hull leaders give their residents a chance to have their voices heard

Yorkshire Bylines

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.”

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