Section: Politics

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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 […]

White feathers for Tory cowardice

Beanna Olding

“We request that our elected representatives speak out about foreign interference in our democracy and take a stand against the government’s ongoing attacks on our democratic safeguards. Through peaceful means, we intend to hold all of them to account for their cowardice.” This is the message from Three Point Five Percent, a movement devoted to […]

Johnson’s approval rating among Tory party members nosedives

Anthony Robinson

The regular monthly survey of party members carried out by the website Conservative Home shows Boris Johnson’s satisfaction rating slumping into the bottom third of his own cabinet. The prime minister is not so much first among equals as nineteenth out of twenty-six. In a cabinet stuffed with mediocrities and incompetents he doesn’t even make […]

Is there a way back to the EU?

Michael Hindley

As a Lancastrian European, let me begin by taking my hat off to ‘Leeds for Europe’ for recently getting the EU flag hoisted over Leeds Town Hall. However for any ‘rejoin’ campaign to gain traction, those who wish to have remained members of the EU must surely realise that even if Brexit proves to be […]

The end of democracy or the big reveal?

Juliet Lodge

Something stinks and it’s not just the fish. Britain is rotting from its heart, as its democratic institutions and processes are eroded from within. It’s not just individual things, like cutting the number of days parliament sits, and thereby cutting the time available for MPs to make the government publicly accountable (we know that if […]

Why is Johnson so uniquely awful at PMQs?

Anthony Robinson

By consensus, even among right-wing commentators, the prime minister was systematically dismantled by Keir Starmer at yesterday’s prime minister’s questions (PMQs). It was his worst performance in a series where he has consistently struggled against the new Labour leader and former barrister. John Crace, in an excoriating piece for The Guardian, says many Conservative MPs […]

A glimpse down the Brexit rabbit hole

Anthony Robinson

As part of the check, change, go campaign to alert citizens and businesses about the huge adjustments coming down the track in just four months’ time, the Cabinet Office proudly tweeted last week about being “committed to growing the customs sector” as part of the preparations. We are committed to growing the customs sector for […]

Last past the post

Marcus Cain

The UK’s voting system, like many other elements of its democracy, is stuck well and truly in the past. The first past the post (FPTP) system currently used in Westminster and local council elections in England is profoundly undemocratic and the calls for it to be reformed and updated are growing louder and louder by […]

The unholy alliance – it’s only economics keeping the UK united, for now

Charlie McCarthy

Scotland’s a small country, both in terms of its economy and population, though it’s big in ambition and vision. The country’s economic numbers are hard to bear for all those with independence ambitions. The journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil recently become embroiled in the independence debate following a response to a tweet from an independence […]

Failures of leadership: charisma vs delivery

Isabel Ralphs

In a political climate awash with polarisation and populist anger, it is big ideas that are the most likely ticket to electoral success. However, leaders elected on the basis of their ‘charisma’ and promises of big structural change have a tendency to neglect the finer details of governance and policy-making. In the UK, preoccupation with […]

Boxed in Johnson given two weeks to save EU talks

Anthony Robinson

The future relationship talks are “reaching the end of the road” and a moment of truth is looming for the prime minister. The Times claims Johnson has been told that he has just two weeks to save the future relationship talks, with the EU refusing to “move forward” until Britain sets out its state aid […]

Nigel Adams – leapfrogging backwards


On the surface there is little to connect the son of a school caretaker from Goole with an old Etonian and former president of the Oxford Union. Yet Nigel Adams is one of the loyal band of lickspittles MPs who have stuck close to the prime minister through thick and thin. Johnson I assume, regards […]

Whoops democracy!

Carol Weaver
city view at london

Just like that! Magic! Now you see it, now you don’t. The sleight of hand of this government probably knows no equal. Our prime minister can even make himself disappear for long periods at a time – or indeed be in several places or states at a time, like a Schrödinger’s PM. Note the regular […]

A tale of two cities: the state of Sheffield

Jane Thomas

This Friday sees the annual State of Sheffield event, an opportunity for Sheffield City Partnership to showcase its work of the last year, and for people across the city to identify and shape plans for the future. Unsurprisingly, the unprecedented challenges of coronavirus have meant this year’s report is focusing on what life has been […]

The fight for democracy in Belarus continues

Stephen Davis

The stand-off between the official ‘winner’ of Belarus’s rigged presidential election, Aleksandr Lukashenko, and the growing coalition of opposition groups has been continuing this week in Minsk and other towns and cities throughout the country. While the opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has begun to set up a broad-based coordination council to oversee a peaceful transition […]

Julian Sturdy – on reflection?


Julian Sturdy is Conservative MP for York Outer and also a farmer.  On 22 June 2016 he revealed on his website that he intended to vote to leave the EU which he describes in the same post as either on its way to becoming a super state or alternatively, might not survive at all. Mr […]

Government blunders: learning from the past

Dr Stella Perrott

In their book, published in 2013, The Blunders of Our Governments, Ivor Crew and Anthony King explore 12 examples of government blunders, all of which took place prior to the majority Conservative government of 2015. Their examples are from Conservative, coalition and Labour administrations. A summary of the findings can be found here. They define […]

Gavin Williamson has failed his test

Andy Brown
auditorium benches chairs class

Every reasonable person knows that government isn’t easy. Particularly in a pandemic. Making real time decisions when events are unfolding at speed inevitably produces mistakes. Yet the vast majority of the mistakes made in the exam fiasco don’t fall into that category. They were avoidable and there was plenty of time to look properly into […]

Johnson is heading for the elephant trap he has dug himself

Anthony Robinson

Sir Ivan Rogers was our ambassador to the EU (known as UKREP) until Theresa May forced him out in January 2017 for having the temerity to suggest she should have a clear plan ready before triggering Article 50. Since then he has made a series of incisive speeches, all of which have proved remarkably prescient. […]

Trouble in Tory paradise?

Jacob Millen-Bamford

Conservative backbench MPs are an unhappy group at the moment. Number 10 is struggling to manage them and is seen to be ignoring their concerns. When the Conservatives won an 80-seat majority in the 2019 general election this majority was widely seen to be impenetrable. The government, and therefore Number 10, would be able to […]

Escalating crisis in Belarus

Stephen Davis

One week after the election that, according to the regime, saw Aleksandr Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term, the political crisis continues to escalate. On the morning after last Sunday’s vote, the main opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, lodged a complaint at the offices of the Central Electoral Commission in Minsk, challenging the result which gave […]

Let’s celebrate the real wealth creators

Jacob Taylor
silver round coins

Cast your minds back two months, to a time when every Thursday evening you would step out your front door or lean out of your window and join your neighbours in clapping for the “wealth creators” of Britain. That’s not who you were clapping for? Well according to Boris Johnson we were as much clapping […]

Refugees are neither migrants nor illegal

Jon Danzig

By making such a chancy crossing the only way to seek asylum here, the prime minister and home secretary are complicit in aiding and abetting odious gangsters who are making millions out of desolate people.

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