Section: UK

The British Government: Bully Boys Inc?

Amanda Robinson

If you’ve read this article in Sussex Bylines by Ginny Smith, you will know that what triggers me into action is someone attempting to silence or ‘pick’ on another, particularly a group.  Last week Rishi Sunak told creatives to consider retraining. This is a man who worked for the investment bank Goldman Sachs after graduating, […]

UK fishing: out of the frying pan into the fire

Anthony Robinson

Somebody once said, when Britain left the EU we didn’t fall into a void but into something far worse. This was in respect of aviation and the thicket of international agreements which preceded the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), but it applies equally to fishing and the common fisheries policy. Leaving the common fisheries policy, […]

The scale of our national agony in 2020 needs a radical vision

John Harris

On 1 October, the UK2070 Commission published its latest report, ‘Go Big Go Local; a new deal for levelling up the UK’. We can compare the ambitions of this report with the speech of the prime minister at the virtual Conservative Party conference and whether the government shares to any extent at all the idea […]

King John and Boris John-son: the parallels are uncanny

Andrew Milroy

As Richard Corbett noted in his recent Yorkshire Bylines article – ‘The government’s attack on Magna Carta undermines the foundation of our constitution’ – the iconic Magna Carta is over 800 years old but still has analogies and resemblances to the present day. Boris Johnson himself has many similarities with reputedly the worst king in English […]

Coming up Trumps

Andy Brown

I’m feeling optimistic about the United States of America. Which is not something I have been able to write for some time. It also might seem a touch naïve when night after night we see people on our screens expressing their extreme loyalty to Donald Trump. I even saw a TV clip last week where […]

Our food from our farms

Salli Martlew

James sits on my doorstep and has a cuppa and a chat when he delivers my supplies from Blacker Hall Farm. He’s good company as we talk through how the increased trade is affecting his work life and the farm shop. He reminds me that the vast majority of their vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat […]

Magna Carta: a dream to cling to for the common people?

Dr Pam Jarvis

So Boris Johnson is in trouble with the Tory Party, principally for his handling of the covid restrictions, but also with a section of his party over the internal market bill. Will he stay or will he go? Will he go willingly, or will he be pushed? As Richard Corbett comments, this issue arises again […]

Bordering on the ridiculous

Jane Thomas

With fewer than 90 days to go before we complete the transition period and leave the EU completely, the government has finally published its Border Operating Model to explain how the borders will work for freight after Brexit. The 138-page densely packed document details the paperwork and formalities that will be required due to Brexit. […]

Protecting our nation’s interests from corporate sharks

Natalie Bennett

You might not think that you would ever settle down to read a short article on investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedures. You probably didn’t think the UK would Brexit. You might also be bitterly thinking of how the nation no longer wants to Brexit, but is now stuck with it. But please, stay with […]

‘Spy Cop’ laws and the disproportionate surveillance of left-wing groups

Jacob Taylor
black binocular on round device

On Monday, the second reading of the covert human intelligence sources (criminal conduct) bill passed in the commons. The bill, if it becomes law, would provide extra legal protection for agents of the state who commit crimes whilst undercover. Organisations such as Amnesty International and the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign have expressed their concerns […]

International legal body expresses deep concern at actions of UK government

Andrew Milroy

The International Bar Association (IBA) is a worldwide body, founded in 1947. It is the global voice of the legal profession. Bar Associations of lawyers from across the world are members. The IBA investigates national issues of distortion and miscarriage of justice. Respect for the law is a world concern. It was logical therefore that […]

Being human in the time of covid: heart and soul

Dr Pam Jarvis
silhouette of man touching woman against sunset sky

Many, many words have been written and broadcast about the confusing nature of the government’s Covid-19 regulations, probably most succinctly and amusingly summed up by Matt Lucas in his introduction to The Great British Bake Off 2020. People are confused and many are angered by the constantly changing and hard-to-follow regulations for different areas, and […]

Shortages in supply chain “terrifying”

Jane Thomas

News that Roche has admitted that processing capacity has seen a “very significant” drop should ring alarm bells. They are the major provider of swabs and reagents to Lighthouse Labs, who are responsible for processing the majority of Covid-19 tests. This follows hard on the heels of the technical glitch that delayed the reporting of […]

King John-son, Magna Carta and the breaking of international law

Marc Limon and Dan Magraw

Response to Richard Corbett’s recent article on Magna Carta and the Yorkshire barons Magna Carta is an iconic historic document, regarded by many as the foundation of the English constitution and the rule of law – in other words, the idea that the actions of governments (whether monarchies or democracies, and no matter how powerful) […]

Turns out I’m a ‘lefty lawyer’ who’s ‘woke’

Amanda Robinson

As Johnson’s latest slogan was unveiled as ‘build back better,’ it fleetingly occurred to me that perhaps the Conservative Party does not comprehend that it has been running the country for the past ten years, arguably, well and truly into the ground. Therefore, this latest three-word slogan is potentially an attempt to distance itself from […]

Food for thought

Andy Brown
sliced fruits on tray

Last week I went into Morrisons in Skipton to do my weekly shopping. That’s not exactly the most exciting opening line I have ever written, but stick with me. They were selling organic broccoli (all credit to them). But they had wrapped it in plastic that couldn’t be recycled (no credit at all to them). […]

Campaigners say current voting system is a “dangerous outrage”

Sarah Hudspith

People living in Yorkshire and across the UK are signing up to a national campaign to change the voting system for the benefit of voters everywhere, writes Sarah Hudspith. They’re passionate supporters of Make Votes Matter (MVM), the movement for proportional representation. MVM was started in 2015 by a small group of campaigners fired up […]

EU “to call Johnson’s bluff”

Anthony Robinson

It is being reported that the EU is getting ready to call Johnson’s bluff. Bloomberg say the EU has no plans to offer any concessions to the UK ahead of next week’s 15 October deadline set by the prime minister. This follows Barnier’s visit to Berlin yesterday where he met with Angela Merkel and German […]

Senior DBA responds to latest track and trace fiasco

Rob Tomkins

“It’s just not a database!” I have worked in IT for thirty years now, including many years as a senior database administrator (DBA) for some big businesses. Databases have been a passion of mine for years and always will be. As a child, I’d organise Smarties by colour for goodness sake. I take a lot […]

Sheffield coronavirus cases triple in a week: where does the buck stop?

Jane Thomas

As Health Secretary Matt Hancock took to his feet yesterday to explain to parliament, again, what had gone wrong with the government’s ‘world-beating’ system to defeat the virus, it emerged that the number of those testing positive for Covid-19 in Yorkshire had risen sharply.  According to Yorkshire Live, analysis based on Public Health England (PHE) […]

For the chancellor, charity begins at boarding school

David Goff

What’s your favourite charity? Oxfam? Amnesty International? Maybe you keep your spare change closer to home, helping out the Air Ambulance or the Big Issue seller. Either way, the financial accounts of Eton, Harrow or Yorkshire’s own Pocklington School are unlikely to be high on anyone’s list of deserving causes. Rattling a collection tin for […]

Quarantine quadrille: remembering the foreign travel allowance

Ray Kershaw

Quarantine here, quarantine there; quarantine maybe, maybe quarantine not. A game from Alice in Wonderland? Can you, can’t you, can you, can’t you, can you … well, can you bleeding go or not? Another fine mess you got us into, Johnson (slap!). But is there method in this misery? A Cummings world-beating wheeze (for once […]

Cummings vs Ferrier: why the left’s fragmentation is its strength

Alex Toal

“If only the left could be more united” – a dozen columnists lament each year, whilst proposing Lib-Lab electoral pacts, progressive alliances, or a “new En Marche-style centre party to unite the left”. The political fragmentation of the British left is often cause for concern, particularly when faced with the monolith that is the Conservative […]

Brexit: the Digby Jones Jobs Lost Index is launched

Yorkshire Bylines

Note: This article has proved so popular that Yorkshire Bylines has now added it as a permanent feature and we will continue to update the index as the impact of Brexit begins to make itself felt across the country. See it HERE. As before if you know or hear of jobs being lost and attributed […]

Up in front of the beak? Or the break-up of the Union?

Juliet Lodge

In a month’s time, the UK could be before the European Court of Justice for breaching the withdrawal agreement. Yesterday, the EU commission president sent a letter of notice to the UK, starting infringement proceedings against us. This states the EU’s view that, by unilaterally trying to change the terms of the agreement signed last […]

Is this the week that reality came knocking at Number 10?

Anthony Robinson

As the trade talks continue in Brussels, Britain’s desperation to enter the so-called “tunnel” is becoming all too clear. The Guardian reports that the UK government has this week tabled no fewer than five new draft negotiating documents containing legal texts on fisheries, the level playing field, law enforcement and judicial cooperation, civil nuclear cooperation […]

Home office evictions of asylum seekers to resume

Dr Stella Perrott

The government wrote to voluntary sector organisations on 18 September to say it is restarting evictions of asylum seekers in England and will consult with the devolved nations before starting them again in the rest of the UK. As reported in the Independent, “Individuals who have claimed asylum and had their cases refused will begin […]

News from the Alps: Switzerland and the EU

Graham Avery

“We want free movement with the other Europeans!” That’s the message that Swiss voters sent to their politicians in a referendum a few days ago, when the idea of scrapping their agreement with the EU on free movement of persons was rejected by 62 percent. During the British debate on Brexit we heard a lot […]

A tale of two countries: a comparison of Trump and Johnson’s pandemic policies

Paige Yepko

Two political power heads, one ideology – both politicians possess a naïve and passive understanding of Covid-19, while testing and PPE issues have plagued both countries. Luckily, many state governors, as well as the first ministers of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, have had more freedom to enact their own policies that contradict their top […]

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