The new ‘levelling-up fund’ is not fit for purpose, writes Alex Toal. Failing in three key areas: size, corruption and lack of direction, the fund is emblematic of the Johnson government’s key flaws.
Former Conservative MEP John Stevens discusses the ticking clock overshadowing the Brexit deal process. Stevens looks at Ireland, the Scottish parliamentary elections, and the view from Europe as the deadline approaches. He concludes that above all, time is running out for pro-Europeans to make the case for rejoining the bloc.
Meryl White shares the recipe she has for Petits Fours biscuits, given to her by a family in the Auvergne a few years ago.
The next four years will be dominated by the damaging results of Brexit. As the harm becomes clear, the public will be looking for an alternative. Labour needs to be in a position to offer it – not hampered by voting for a deal that it knows already is bad for Britain.
David Goff reviews Michael Ashcroft’s new book on the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. In the review, David criticises Ashcroft for going easy on the chancellor, and not mentioning any of the potential scandals of his career.
The EU-UK trade talks are at a tipping point. A breakthrough or a breakdown is imminent. If talks do breakdown the “level playing field” will be the stumbling block
Jane Thomas breaks down the announcement of Tier 3 for much of Yorkshire, and the impending chaos of the UK’s departure from the transition period. Will there be a national lockdown to help ease the congestion at ports on New Year’s Day? We’ll have to wait and see.
Marcus Cain examines the movement for electoral reform throughout the Labour party. With groups like Make Votes Matter and Unlock Democracy pushing for for a more representative system, momentum may be changing within the party.
How a Holmfirth musician battled the Brexit Blues with electronica and a sense of community. A new book tells the story of an underground revolution in music where no-one got rich or famous but everyone got happy. “The early days were like turning over a stone and finding this whole new world of music-making crawling underneath.“
Munira Mirza, who denies the existence of institutional racism, was picked as the government once again sidelines issues of race in the country. As Dawn-Maria France argues, “it seems unlikely that Munira Mirza’s commission, reporting to Johnson and overseen by Badenoch, will do more than kick the can down the road.”
After a decade of peddling a badly flawed set of economic policies, the latest Conservative Party chancellor has had to ditch many of his most deeply held convictions in the face of the economic and social realities of a genuine crisis. Yet he remains stubbornly determined to ensure the country persists with a hugely damaging Brexit at the worst possible of times.
Chancellor Rushi Sunak delivers his 2021 spending plan against a backdrop of unprecedented risks financial and, for some, existential. These are detailed in what looks like an updated and more apocalyptic version of Operation Yellowhammer about to become reality.
Politics in the UK is fossilised in an earlier time. With a setting which encourages confrontation and is hostile to women. Natalie Bennett writes: “politics needs to catch up with the modern world, and speak to all of our citizens.”
The ‘Covid Recovery Group’ is nothing to do with helping the country, and is pursuing a reckless strategy. Helen Davidson examines what the group wants, and how their end-game may be nothing to do with the controlling the virus, but instead controlling Boris Johnson
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.”
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.
New Irish Consulate General planned to open in the North of England next year, to strengthen the UK-Irish relationship. The consulate, based in Manchester, is planned to open in early 2021.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Boris Johnson’s refusal to fire Priti Patel has shown why unrest in the ranks of Tory MPs matters. Here Alex Toal looks at the broader consequence of the Prime Minister’s weakness, and how it might hurt his efforts to rebrand.
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.
Helen Davidson looks at what needs to be done to get us out of lockdown.
The prime minister – already facing the twin peaks of the covid pandemic and Brexit – has just given the Scottish Conservatives another mountain to climb next May. It remains to be seen how fit they are with six months to go.
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.
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?