Category: Democracy

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Time to recall this government!

Sarah Cowley

Two by-elections are scheduled for 15 February 2024: one (in Kingswood) triggered by a member of parliament resigning, and the other (in Wellingborough) as the result of a recall petition – to succeed, such petitions have to be signed by more than 10 per cent of eligible voters. Constituents have the right to ‘recall’ their […]

Liz Truss’s dangerous agenda

Richard Murphy

Truss is promoting an agenda that explicitly permits the powerful with a grudge to abuse anyone they wish with impunity. I should be grateful to GB News. They appear to be the only news organisation that was willing to carry verbatim extracts from Liz Truss’s speech to the so-called Popular Conservatives yesterday. They report her as […]

Bribe and rule – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the NHS is falling apart. Doctors are striking, but the government say their salary demands are unaffordable. I don’t what the roads are like where you live, but round here there are huge potholes that risk taking your wheel off. But the county council have no […]

Stopping the slide

Mark E Thomas

In many elections, the key issues are living standards and the state of the economy. In the UK today,  voters are (rightly) concerned that their living standards are lower today than they were in 2010 and that public services (especially the NHS) are in crisis. These valid concerns can however obscure an even more fundamental […]

The first ‘Week in Tory’ of 2024

Russ In Cheshire

Brace, brace for the first ‘The Week In Tory’ of 2024. Also, please read the information at the end, which my publisher insists I add, and which helps to pay for my dog to eat things (other than rotting pigeons he finds on the field). Ta. 1. Boris Johnson, once voted “worst PM ever”, heroically volunteered […]

Time to put an end to this Tory chaos and destruction

Editor-in-chief

Enough is enough. Time to stop the destruction of the fabric of our society. Brexit has been the unmitigated failure it was always destined to be. Ideologues, fantasists and proto-fascists are taking the country in a disastrous direction. Corruption is rampant. Sickness and poverty are rife. Victorian diseases of poverty and malnutrition are back – […]

US election could cause fireworks in November

Eric Gates

When you wake up on the morning of 5 November, you can reasonably expect fireworks during the evening. This year, they may arrive somewhat earlier, if it turns out that the United States has just elected Donald Trump for a second spell as president. Add to the mix that the UK may also be in […]

Hopes and fears for 2024

Sarah Cowley

Each new year brings hopes and fears – hope for good changes, fear that bad ones might arise. Mostly, we hope things will improve for family and friends who are struggling but worry about how events outside their control will prevent progress. All our personal futures are bound up with the wider world, so here […]

Thirteen years of Tory governance – manifesto promises vs reality. Part 4: 2019

Iratus Ursus Major

Welcome back, readers, to our scorching series where we’ve previously dissected the 2010, 2015, and 2017 Tory manifestos. Today, we turn our critical eye to the 2019 Tory manifesto, continuing our journey through a decade of Conservative rule marred by unmet promises and political chaos. Our previous analyses have laid bare the stark reality of a party struggling with […]

Johnny Mercer’s Question Time defence of the Rwanda refugee exchange plan

Sadie Parker

One of the south-west’s MPs has been in action on BBC Question Time, defending the increasingly expensive refugee exchange scheme officially known as the UK-Rwanda Migration and Development Partnership, or the Rwanda Plan for short. Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View, was given free rein to waffle on about what has become the current […]

PART II: Has South Hams District Council lost credibility?

Jim Funnell

As the reality of the libertarian Freeport experiment unleashed on Plymouth and South Devon comes to weigh heavily on the shoulders of South Hams Council, the Task & Finish Group internal report (which will be discussed in Council Executive on Thursday 30 November) highlights issues of substantial concern. I unpack the concerns in detail in […]

The dark side of the boom

Tony Afanasiew

If the world’s super-rich were to hold a conference, their anthem might well be Pink Floyd’s Money, track 1, side 2 of their Dark Side of the Moon album. The beneficiaries of globalisation and the internet might hear talks on tax avoidance from offshore bankers, attend seminars on ways to influence national governments, participate in […]

Suella Braverman’s last stand

Sadie Parker

Suella Braverman’s ‘exit’ letter to prime minister Rishi Sunak was a bombshell, but perhaps not in the way she intended. After the usual platitude of it being a privilege to have served as Home Secretary and a list of what she considers to be her achievements, she made some jaw-dropping admissions. First, she reminded Sunak […]

Sunak’s strategy with Braverman…not as astute as he might think

Daniel Sohege

All this talk about how “Sunak is waiting for the verdict on the Rwanda policy” before sacking Braverman isn’t quite the politically astute move some seem to think. Here’s my analysis of the pointlessness of the Rwanda policy and why Sunak’s best option is to fire Braverman before the verdict is out.  First off, fairly […]

Rishi closes his eyes to think…

Richard Haviland

Rishi closes his eyes to think. This time next year he’ll have left this all behind. California. Sunshine. No annoying questions from annoying journalists. Surrounded by people he can relate to. Despite all the damage, Rishi knows he has the chance to do one good thing today. This culture war stuff was never really his […]

Nobody loves us

Tony Afanasiew

Many people have tried to analyse the secret of Sir Alex Ferguson’s success as a football manager over so many years, first with Aberdeen, then with Manchester United. What was clear, from many interviews with the man, was that he consistently adopted a siege mentality, suggesting repeatedly that ‘they’ were out to get United, that […]

How can we restore confidence in government?

Richard Murphy

One of the questions in a rather dull edition of Question Time last night was, “How can we have confidence in the running of our country?” A number of aspects of this question were interesting, with the most significant being that it was asked. The BBC do appear to be permitting a more subversive form […]

He’s back! The week in Tory…

Russ In Cheshire

Delighted to be publishing Russ again. This episode of the week in Tory is a cracker. Contains strong language. 1. Britain faces a crisis in health, education, farming, energy, housing, childcare, social care, imports, exports, manufacturing, services, debt, growth and infrastructure, so Rishi Sunak announced his grand plan to slightly alter A-Levels. 2. As Sunak finished […]

The Polish election – a fabulous ad for proportional representation

Anthea Simmons

Proportional representation delivers the right kind of Donald! “Poland won! Democracy won! We removed them from power! […] This is the end of bad times.” Donald Tusk, 15 Oct 2023 When we put out Tomasz Oryński’s piece setting out the significance of Sunday’s vote outcome for his country, we shared his anxiety about a further […]