Section: UK

Wapping: a powerful new film tells the story

Granville Williams

Wapping – The Workers’ Story is a film about the momentous year-long industrial dispute which began in 1986 when Rupert Murdoch plotted to move production of his papers overnight from central London’s Fleet Street to a secretly equipped and heavily guarded plant at Wapping, a docklands district in east London.

First they came for the fish…

Jon Worth

Jon Worth asks, how bad does Brexit have to get before the government admits that it made a mistake? “However you look at it, this makes no sense. It’s no longer about whether or not you voted for Brexit, or voted for this government”.

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Northern Ireland protocol: neither Armageddon nor nirvana

Jane Thomas

The fact that the Northern Ireland protocol – designed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland – is being put to the test so early, is no big surprise. It was always going to result in additional customs checks somewhere, and those checks landed firmly at the Northern Ireland ports, for goods crossing from Britain to Northern Ireland.

Johnson the obsessed Dalek

Roger Winterbottom

Roger Winterbottom wonders whether Boris Johnson is an experiment in a new field in robotics and machine learning: Artificial Gormlessness. Can he pass the Turing test and convince us that he’s human?

UK fails its world-beating test on border control

Jane Thomas

As an island we really have no excuse. But our border policy has been elusive, at best. The government’s responses are invariably too little, too late or subsequently get dumped or changed. The most recent response around border controls will take effect next Monday, 15 February, 382 days since the virus first appeared on our shores.

The implications of Grenfell for homeownership: the right to buy, or the right to lie?

Andy Brown

People who have done all things that Conservatives traditionally value, have been put in an impossible position by a series of government decisions. Most of these people have worked hard, saved their money and after years of struggle finally got to the point in life where they can afford to buy a small place at the bottom of the property market. Only to find that their bills for insurance and for repairs have gone through the roof and the value of their home has collapsed.

Rising tensions over the Irish Sea border

Anthony Robinson

As the practical impact of the bureaucracy and red tape agreed as part of the NI protocol become clear for businesses and citizens in the province, there are worrying signs of tensions rising between London and Brussels.

UK border control: inaction, confusion and threats

Andy Brown

Finally, in the last few weeks the government has got round to deciding that it really should do something about trying to control borders properly and has announced a system of enforced quarantine at hotels close to airports. Only to quietly decide that this only applied to a small number of countries where there is a dangerous outbreak.

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Julian Assange trial and the impact on investigative journalism

Barry White

We need to keep the pressure up for Julian’s release, the US charges to be dropped and the right to report strengthened in the light of the judge’s ruling. Julian’s struggle is far from over and neither are the threats against investigative journalism highlighted in Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling.

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Green grant chaos

Charlie McCarthy

The government’s scheme to provide green grants to home owners and landlords has got off to a shaky start. With 65 percent of homeowners applying in the first 2 months alone, the scheme has already run out of money. To make matters worse, contractors who will carry out the improvement work are reluctant to sign […]

Civil service unconscious bias training is not fit for purpose

Dawn-Maria France

Treating people with respect, and celebrating difference, makes economic and financial sense and adds value to any workforce. The DWP is a government department responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. Welfare is part of its remit, yet it is failing its own employees. Certainly, unconscious bias training for its civil servants appears to have largely fallen on deaf ears.

3rd Open letter to Boris Johnson

Sue Wilson

I look forward, with interest, to see what japes you might come up with next. Having a jester for a prime minister doesn’t always look wise, but it sure can be a lot of fun in these depressing times, so keep up the good work!

Welcome to Schrödinger’s Border

Steve Pottinger

Welcome to Schroedinger’s Border. This is the border in the Irish Sea which the UK government negotiated and which the UK government says doesn’t exist, and which is both there and not there as long as it’s kept in a box and nobody looks at it.

Johnson’s music-hall act leaves his audience cold

David Goff

Kenneth Branagh is to play the prime minister in a sky drama, set during the pandemic. I’d hesitate to give such an outstanding Shakespearian notes, but he may wish to dust off his copy of Twelfth Night. In the steward Malvolio, he’ll find an arrogant character convinced that cavorting about in an oafish manner, preferably while wearing an outlandish outfit, will win him the approval he desperately seeks.

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Tory cabinet ministers’ car crash return from their Good Morning Britain boycott

Ellie Rainsley

A series of disastrous political interviews has had viewers cringing in their seats, as Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid have grilled Conservative leaders into utterly embarrassing states of confusion and denial. Good Morning Britain (GMB) has rightly engaged in great journalism, holding power to account correctly as the government continues to consistently fail the nation

Brexit deal loophole leaves fish with free movement

Martin Brooks

As Martin Brooks notes, fish are not subject to the freedom of movement restrictions that Britain’s people now are. “It’s questionable if the notoriously independently minded fish can be persuaded to change their attitude and behaviour.”