Section: UK

Brexit: no trade-offs, no deal

Brendan Donnelly

This is a political dilemma striking much deeper than the details of fish, governance or a level playing field, and deeply rooted in the incoherent nature of the referendum mandate. Brexit was spawned by the internal politics of the Conservative Party. Its forthcoming temporary denouement will inevitably be dictated by these same internal politics as well.

EU trade negotiations: beware the tall stories

Richard Corbett

Outsiders attempting to gain a cost advantage on the back of workers, consumers or the environment, or getting unfair subsidies, will get short shrift. Former MEP Richard Corbett explains why the EU’s position has remained unchanged throughout the Brexit process. It is the same position is takes with all potential trading partners.

“Primarily drinking British gin”: admissions to an 18th century York asylum

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway looks at the history of The Retreat, an 18th century Quaker-run asylum in York which pioneered treatment for the mentally ill. Hemingway writes about some of the patients admitted to the hospital, and how they were treated. “The Retreat may well have been a pioneer in terms of its treatment of its patients, but many of us will be grateful of being born in somewhat more enlightened days that allowed us to avoid ending up there.”

Arrest of Liverpool mayor: corruption, or something else?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks at the news of Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson’s arrest. Anderson has been a prominent critic of the government, continuing in Liverpool’s long tradition of being a centre of resistance. McCarthy looks at the complicated dynamics of corruption in the city, and what Anderson’s potential resignation might mean.

The nation awaits as Johnson decides what’s best for Johnson

Andy Brown

Throughout this whole final saga of real Brexit negotiations we have only been able to be sure of one thing: whatever Boris Johnson does, will be in the best interest of Boris Johnson this week. That isn’t remotely the same thing as what is in the best interest of the British people. Either this week or for the next generation. Whichever faction of the Conservative Party gives Johnson the best chance of staying in power has been the true test of what policies he has championed.

Apple Latkes for the Festival of Lights

Meryl White

In every celebration, it’s customary to eat traditional recipes which have been passed down the generations. Hanukkah follows the same pattern with an amazing feast of foods to celebrate the Jewish ‘Festival of Lights’. Hanukkah is the Hebrew and Arabic word that means ‘dedication’ and it’s often called the ‘Festival of lights’, as a candle […]

Food boss: “Vulcan mind-meld” needed to make Brexit preparedness campaign work

Jane Thomas

With just about 14 working days to go to the end of the transition, a food trade organisation boss attacks the “chaos and confusion” surrounding the NI protocol and the lack of preparedness for new trading arrangements starting in January, saying “If you are still trying to negotiate a deal 14 working days before it actually is supposed to come into effect, even the most brilliant communication is not going to work … You would need a Vulcan mind-melt to make it work, if it’s going to work in time”.

Idiotic blunders and catastrophic confusion

Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones surveys the ways in which Boris Johnson has squandered the support he enjoyed from the Tory press. Detailing the blunders made by the government, Jones demonstrates how Johnson’s honeymoon with the press was ended abruptly by the prime minister’s own mistakes.

Can we get ‘back to normal’ when normal was failing so many?

Andy Brown

Andy Brown questions the desire to get ‘back to normal’, looking at how this normal was leading the human race to catastrophe. Looking at our economic and environmental failures before the pandemic and our lack of collaboration and empathy during it, he shows how returning to normal simply isn’t good enough.

Brexit, fish and the sovereignty chimera

Anthony Robinson

The battered Brexit can took another kicking down the road last night as Johnson and von der Leyen, instead of making decisions, agreed to order their negotiators to carry on talking. Unless Downing Street gets real and very soon, we could get a no deal Brexit by default.

Brexit brings little Christmas cheer for British business

Jane Thomas

Brexit, not coronavirus, may be about to dent many people’s holiday season. By choosing to leave the single market and the customs union, we are making huge structural changes to the transportation of our goods because of the new customs arrangements now necessary at the border. For just-in-time produce such as food that is perishable, or medicines, or manufacturing components (where timing is everything) the delays could be catastrophic.

Is Priti Patel radicalising ‘do-gooders’?

Dr Stella Perrott

Dr Stella Perrott talks to some of the “do-gooders” stigmatised by the home secretary, Priti Patel. “No wonder Patel feels she must denigrate and undermine do-gooders but, in doing so, she is attacking the very heart of British society and values.”

“Cramping my inalienable right to determine my own destiny as a free man”

Steve Pottinger

“Working on your car again, Tim?” “Yep.” “Checking the spark plugs? Topping up the oil?” “Nah, mate. Taking out the airbags.” “The airbags??!!” “That’s right.” “But why on earth…?” “Don’t want anything to do with them, mate.” “Well, none of us want anything to *do* with them, Tim. They’re just there for emergencies.” “They’re a […]

Johnson and Sunak vs the international brigade

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks at the internal politics of the Conservative party surrounding the foreign aid budget, which the chancellor has cut in the Spending Review. The cut will have consequences, McCarthy writes, for Britain’s standing abroad, and for our own prosperity as a country.

Boris Johnson and the British public: a case of coercive control?

Dr Pam Jarvis

Dr Pam Jarvis breaks down the prime minister’s attempts to gaslight the nation, making us question our own reality. Using her background in psychology, she explains how the ‘power and control’ wheel can be used to “control their citizens by pumping out information about how people should think and behave, whilst encouraging them to judge each other against such objectives”.

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