Section: UK

My experience of Test and Trace

Yorkshire Bylines

A Sheffield resident details her experience with coronavirus, and the incompetence of track and trace, detailing “threatening and unnecessary phone calls, misleading and inaccurate information, and enquiries about health matters from people with no healthcare expertise.”

UK fishing industry rows back on Brexit

Anthony Robinson

A group of fishing industry organisations have written to DEFRA Secretary George Eustice warning that plans from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), an executive non-departmental public body responsible for our coastal waters, will threaten the viability of many businesses.

Covid chumocracy chugs along

Jane Thomas

During the covid crisis, the government has spent millions of pounds of taxpayer on firms owned by their associates, often without experience of providing what they had been offering, and often without a competitive tender process. Jane Thomas presents a catalogue of corruption.

Is the nation being gaslighted by another psychopath in No 10?

Anthony Robinson

With 38 days to go before the greatest instantaneous shock to our overseas trade in history, there is apparently a total void at the highest levels of government where policy direction normally starts, while we await the mercurial mind of Johnson to be made up. Psychopaths tend to lie, be socially irresponsible, disregard or violate the rights of others, cannot distinguish between right and wrong, have difficulty showing remorse or empathy, manipulate people and have problems with the law. Does this seem familiar?

Lewis Hamilton: a genuine British world-beater

Michele Mele

Lewis Hamilton has had a record-breaking career, with seven Formula 1 world championships, a slew of Grand Prix wins, and now a knighthood. Michele Mele looks at not just his career but his struggles as a black Formula 1 driver, as she looks over his career.


Too big a fish to fry?

Martin Gellermann

Can Brexit negotiations collapse because of fish? Although a tiny part of our economy, their symbolic value has meant that lack of agreement on fishing could scupper a potential Brexit deal. Martin Gellerman breaks down the sacrifices needing to be made on both sides to achieve a deal

A brief history of ministerial responsibility

John Cole

In the 26 years since publication of Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life, standards have progressively fallen – with a near-vertical plunge since Johnson became prime minister. Johnson, Cummings, Gove and the rest of the government fail the test on each of the seven principles: integrity, objectivity, accountability, honesty, openness, selflessness and leadership.

Explaining cricket to three foreigners

John Cornwell

Like most cricket enthusiasts, John Cornwell has tried at various times to explain cricket to people from non cricket playing countries, but with little success. Here he recalls three wonderful examples.


Ireland, a shared island: Brexit and a Celtic future?

Geoff Martin

Geoff Martin was the inaugural head of the European Commission in the North of Ireland and has advised the Commonwealth on strategic relationships worldwide. Here he looks at what Brexit will mean for the island of Ireland, and the potential collective future for Celtic nations post-Brexit.

Johnson’s climate plan needs less talk, more action

Andy Brown

Andy Brown analyses the PM’s new climate plan, which sounds good, but needs action to back it up. Sadly this action has so far been missing. There is a big difference between ambitions and reality. It remains very easy to criticise.

Brexit: why a deal and an extension to the transition is coming

Anthony Robinson

Why Boris Johnson’s choices are limited to securing a deal at any price and an extension to the transition period. The next few days will be crucial in setting the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU but circumstances mean the prime minister’s choices are strictly limited. A deal at any price and an extension to the transition period is the only option.

Researching the Northern Research Group (part 2)

Alex Toal

Alex Toal looks at the reasons behind the formation of the Northern Research Group. Is this about protecting the seats of its members, about boosting the levelling up agenda, or about control of the Conservative Party?

Brexit: prepare for the worst, hope for the best

Jane Thomas

Another day, another parliamentary select committee hearing just how unprepared we are for Brexit. On Monday, it was the turn of the Lords EU goods subcommittee to hear evidence from industry experts. This is the same committee that last week heard industry experts express concerns that the Brexit Customs Declaration Service will not be ready […]


The National Lottery: a gamble for prosperity

James Powell

The National Lottery is a state-franchised gambling enterprise, which has been on our televisions for nearly three decades, the first draw taking place in May of 1994. Like other national lotteries it represents an opportunity to ‘get rich quick’ for ordinary citizens. It justifies its existence by using some of its profits to fund projects […]

UK covid stats make for grim reading

Jane Thomas

We are in the grip of the second wave of the pandemic. Yesterday, the government announced another 24,962 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and a further 168 deaths within 28 days of a positive test. Average daily deaths in the last seven days are now 413 per day, with a total of 51,934 deaths since the […]

Global warming: the point of no return?

Andy Brown

These days almost every politician in Britain likes to claim that they are green. They want us to believe blue is the new green. Which is progress. Now all we have to do is to get their actions to line up with their words. It hasn’t been a good year for the environment. Covid is, […]

Beyond the headlines: education in England post-lockdown

Dr Pam Jarvis

So, according to the popular media, England’s children have forgotten to eat with a knife and fork and have regressed into nappies during lockdown. These were apparently the most important findings made in a series of reports by the government schools inspection body OFSTED, according to a range of news outlets. But beyond the clickbait, […]

Celebrating Diwali with a treasured family recipe

Meryl White

This year, Saturday 14 November is the third day of Diwali, the festival of lights. Celebrations take place over five days known as Dhanteras (Day of fortune), Naraka Chaturdashi (Day of knowledge), Diwali (Day of light), Annakut (New Year) and Bhai Duj (Day of love between siblings). Diwali is considered the main day of the […]

Researching the Northern Research Group (part 1)

Alex Toal

The Tory party of late seems to have descended into multiple competing and overlapping factions, including the Common Sense Group, the Covid Recovery Group, and the Northern Research Group. Here, Alex Toal takes a look at the NRG, asking – who are they, what do they believe in, and why have they come together? This […]

Cummings jumps ship, leaving Johnson tethered to the mast of Brexit

Anthony Robinson

News that Dominic Cummings will be leaving Downing Street before the end of the year has been followed by a typically fawning piece from James Forsyth at The Spectator, the political magazine where Cummings’s wife works as a commissioning editor. Forsyth has frequently been a mouth piece for Cummings in the past, so it was […]