Section: UK

The circuit breaker has just fused the system

Jane Thomas

As the test and trace fiasco unfolds there is more unwelcome news: we may be two years off a mass vaccination programme for the whole country. The i reported yesterday that the mass rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine in the UK could be delayed for two years by the government’s failure to get to grips […]

Gove travels to Brussels to begin the climb down

Anthony Robinson

The fact that Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is accompanying Lord Frost, chief UK negotiator, to Brussels this week for the ninth round of talks says everything. Gove is said to be representing the UK at more “joint committee” talks about still unresolved issues on the Northern Irish border but make no mistake, crunch time […]

Test and Trace failing to either test or trace

Jane Thomas

As if to confirm what most of us already know, tonight’s BBC Panorama programme, Test and Trace Exposed, will reveal the extent to which test and trace simply is not working. Alex Lee, who worked for the BBC four years ago, is the programme’s on-screen reporter. Lee was hired as a clinical contract caseworker to […]

The “taking back control” slogan is starting to wear thin

Yorkshire Bylines

Can there have ever been an emptier slogan in the history of political campaigning? Blaming others for its own mismanagement has become the defining characteristic of this government. A concerted attack on EU ‘intransigence’ in an effort to shift responsibility to Brussels for the chaos that a no-deal Brexit will bring in just 66 working […]

Young people: another convenient covid scapegoat

Isabel Ralphs

At a virus briefing earlier this month, Matt Hancock warned the UK’s young people “don’t kill your gran”, following a rise in Covid-19 cases in Spain and France that was attributed to young people socialising. His warning came just weeks after his own government had implored people to go out and “save the economy” by […]

Loathe it or hate it, lockdown 2.0 is around the corner, and it’s the government’s ideology of crisis-management that’s to blame

Alex Toal
serious young ethnic lady in medical mask standing near window and looking away on street

Get your hair cut and stock up on yeast: if you’re lucky enough to not be one of the ten million Britons already under increased coronavirus restrictions, then you are likely to join that number soon. Whilst the prime minister emphasised that he was “deeply, spiritually reluctant” to infringe on people’s freedoms in his announcement […]

Teetering on the brink

Anthony Robinson

Yesterday marked 100 days to the end of the transition period and the beginning of an omni-crisis for the government. Coronavirus is once again on the rise, threatening a second peak over the winter, with 6,208 new cases reported, virtually the same as at the height of the pandemic in May. At the same time, […]

Farming protest planned for Northallerton tomorrow

Charlie McCarthy

For generations, sheep and cattle farmers have shaped the upland Yorkshire landscape we all cherish. Now many traditional farmers, so vital to the fabric of our rural communities, are at risk of being put out of business. Uplands farmers – particularly sheep and beef cattle farmers in the Yorkshire Dales and on the North York […]

Thousands face winter of homelessness as eviction ban ends

Natalie Bennett

Yesterday (Wednesday) the House of Lords debated motions expressing its – and many others’ – grave concern about the plight of many facing the threat of a winter of homelessness, with the Covid-19 emergency eviction ban ended. It was noted, in the dry, formal terminology of such things, that the legal change “will permit evictions […]

The disastrous reign of King Dom, the “dart throwing chimp”

Anthony Robinson

Those who voted for Johnson in the belief that inside the clown was a serious-minded politician trying to get out, are slowly being disappointed as his government staggers through a parade of fumbling incoherence, from one disaster to the next. The near constant succession of missteps, U-turns and policy mistakes are not even punctuated by […]

Lord of lockdown in thrall to vindictive innuendo

Hecate

The prime minister was in a bad mood. His settee was full of children’s plastic toys and when Gandalf’s staff spiked his rear as he sat down to savour his Coco Pops before bed, his satanic retaliatory reflex kicked in. He ordered a national lockdown to teach everyone a lesson and kill two birds with […]

Going to Europe next year?

Sue Wilson

On 18 September, the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office launched a public information campaign for post-Brexit travellers to Europe – Going to Europe next year? The campaign is designed to “help British travellers prepare for changes when visiting Europe from 1 January 2021”. Any new government campaign usually warrants a catchy new slogan, […]

Johnson’s mysterious Russian links continue to dog him

Anthony Robinson

The prime minister seems unable to shake off his mysterious connections to Russians and their money. The BBC is now reporting an $8m transaction between a Russian politician and the husband of Lubov Chernukhin, who is famous for donating £1.7m to the Tory party and paying handsomely for the privilege of playing tennis with David […]

Home Office risks immigration decisions being driven by “anecdote, assumption and prejudice”

Dr Stella Perrott

On 18 September, the Conservative-dominated public accounts committee (which examines the value for money of government projects, programmes and service delivery) published its report: ‘Immigration Enforcement’. The findings are damning, concluding that the Home Office’s approach risks making decisions on “anecdote, assumption and prejudice”. The directorate responsible for immigration enforcement has, as its vision: “to […]

Boris through the looking glass

Dr Pam Jarvis

In this upside-down, looking-glass world, Johnson plays the role of Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty to perfection, attempting to deceive an increasingly confused and anxious population that only he can correctly interpret his past statements. The prime minister has a track record of bending the truth, fabricating quotes and spreading disinformation about the EU, as well […]

Wakefield’s MP seems confused by the Brexit bells and whistles

Anthony Robinson

The new Tory MP for Wakefield may well be an ardent supporter of Brexit, but his understanding of it varies between shaky and non-existent. His article in the Yorkshire Post only demonstrates his own shortcomings. Imran Ahmad-Khan says he has spent many years in distant, sometimes dangerous, places and thinks Britain had ceased to be […]

Excuses, weakness and mendacity: the shambolic approach to Brexit continues

Lord Newby

As the government tries desperately to limit the domestic political damage caused by its plans in the internal market bill to break international law by unilaterally tearing up the withdrawal agreement, it has used a series of excuses to justify its position. Of these, perhaps the most pathetic was the agreement could be broken because […]

Johnson never intended to stick to the withdrawal agreement

Anthony Robinson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with President of the European Parliament David Sassoli for a meeting at Downing Street.

In what may be regarded as the ultimate in bad faith, last October – as the UK and EU teams were engaged in intensive final negotiations in Brussels – Johnson is alleged to have taken legal advice about repudiating the withdrawal agreement even before the text was completed. He was never committed to keeping the […]

From Operation Moonshot, to Project Overshot

Jane Thomas

Many were gripped by the shenanigans in parliament on Monday, and as the details unfolded so too did the government’s dilemmas. While I doubt they’re talking much about the internal market bill down the Dog and Duck, it’s certainly giving the government a headache – and one very much of its own making. The political […]

Take a walk in Theresa’s shoes

Andy Brown

Imagine that you could put yourself in Theresa May’s shoes for a short while. I realise that this may not be easy for those of you who don’t normally favour designer kitten heels, but stick with me for a while as it is worth the effort. It is a year ago and you are the […]

Not at all Good, seriously Bad, and incredibly Ugly: government game-playing is immature, disrespectful and downright dangerous

Amanda Robinson

As Anthony Robinson (no relation) highlighted on the 14 September, the UK government announced last week that they intend to break international law. Perfectly stated by David Allen Green, “the government of the United Kingdom is proposing to enact legislation that is deliberately intended to make it possible for ministers to make regulations that would […]

UK internal market bill: Henry VIII powers on steroids

Natalie Bennett

Unless you’ve just splashed down from Mars, you’ll have noticed that the government has got itself into a great deal of hot water over the internal market bill. Former prime ministers, of various hues, have lined up to express their horror at its cavalier, casual dismissal of international law and repudiation of a treaty that […]

Rebels with a clause: now the fun and games will start

Jane Thomas

Ester Weber, reporter at The Times told twitter this morning: “One Tory MP in a big Leave constituency tells me: ‘In a patch like mine I think almost anything would be tolerated in the name of Brexit … Except fly-tipping.’” This may well be true, and the expectation that the government is about to fall […]

Circling the wagons in Downing Street

Anthony Robinson

The furore about the UK proposing to break international law has every potential to grow into a full-blown constitutional crisis. If the UK internal market bill, which will override Johnson’s EU withdrawal agreement, passes the Commons this week it may well be blocked by peers, setting the two chambers against each other. However, the extraordinary […]

More articles filed under Section: UK Older Newer