Section: UK

Plymouth and South Devon Freeport – the official response

Editor-in-chief

As those who attended last night’s session, either in person or via YouTube, will know, we empty-chaired representation from the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport. Towards the end of the session, a Liberal Democrat councillor pointed out that an official response had been sent at 15:50 on the day of the event , which started […]

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 […]

Oh Lord! ‘Call-me-Dave’ is back, Dallas-style

Sadie Parker

Rishi Sunak’s long-anticipated reshuffle was less significant for its scale than for its surprises. The news broke at 8.35am: Suella Braverman had been sacked. It later emerged there would not be the customary exchange of letters, where the outgoing minister says it has been the honour of their life to serve and the prime minister […]

Have a laugh! Here is a prize email from the numpties who have been in post for ten minutes (and in government for thirteen years…)

Clare Knight

Here’s the Year 6 (11 year olds) ‘writing-for-a-purpose’ attempt from this week’s new chairman of the Conservatives. So proud is Richard Holden of his party that he decided to skip pasting in the logo. Astonishingly, it appears that ministers have all been endowed with magical powers which have made them instantly successful in all their […]

The week in Tory – and, yes, it’s only Monday

Russ In Cheshire

Warning: contains strong language. Somehow, it’s time for #TheWeekInTory again, even though it’s still only Monday. Four more days of this week to go, and we’re already up to 74 points. F*ck-a-doodle-doo! Anyway, do a quick snort of glue, and then let’s get stuck in.  1. Suella Braverman took a break from kidnapping dalmatians to say […]

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 […]

This should have been more than enough to sack Braverman…

The Highcliffe Guy

The Braverman story is developing by the hour and there is still a (remote) possibility that Sunak will discover a scrap of moral fibre and fire her but, to be honest, she should have gone for the homeless/lifestyle callousness. The Highcliffe Guy explains why. How Propaganda Works:Suella Braverman’s attack on homeless people is possibly her […]

The week in Tory…it’s an absolute casserole

Russ In Cheshire

I apologise, but try as I might, I can’t find any material for #TheWeekInTory. Only kidding. It’s an absolute casserole. Let’s down a pint of absinthe and get stuck in. Also – trigger warning. [Contains strong language] 1. We begin with the Covid inquiry, which revealed the shocking news that everything we all knew three years […]

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 […]

Where are we with Covid and flu, as we go into winter?

Emma Monk

In October 2023, the BBC published an article titled Changing Nature of Covid: Is it just a regular winter bug now? The TL/DR (too long; didn’t read) answer is ‘No. It really isn’t’. That’s not what the article would lead you to believe. It caused a lot of comment on social media, with some wanting […]

There’s a positive side to all the pumpkins

Mick Fletcher

A few years ago, we broke a flight to Australia with a short stopover in Singapore. It was Halloween when we arrived and impossible not to know it. Bright orange pumpkins, black silhouettes of bats and tangles of giant spiders’ webs had invaded public spaces, shops and restaurants. It was the same plastic tat as […]

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 OTHER boat people…

Mike Zollo

Boat people: glory … or infamy? “Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves!” As a maritime nation, surrounded by sea, it is hardly surprising that boats and ‘boat people’ of one form or another have figured so prominently throughout British history … for better and for worse. We shall use the term ‘boats’ rather than ‘ships’, […]

Fine words but few new ideas for further education

Mick Fletcher

It was a surprise when one of the big new announcements made by a desperate Rishi Sunak at the Conservative Party Conference was a reform of further education. It was less of a surprise that the proposal was hastily conceived and not thought through. Calling a qualification designed for England an Advanced British Standard illustrates […]

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 […]

Mulling on Mull

Anna Andrews

As the ferry crossed from Oban on the west coast of Scotland to the Isle of Mull, we were shadowed by a pod of porpoises, their dark grey backs gleaming as they leapt, arching from the water. Further out we saw gannets fishing; beautiful big white birds, they fold their long, pointed, black-tipped wings against […]

Taxing private schools: coherent strategy or counterproductive?

Emma Monk

Since Labour announced their plans to either remove the charitable status of private schools, or add VAT to school fees, social media and right-wing outlets have been awash with people claiming it wouldn’t raise any money in reality, or it would cause untold private schools failing and ‘flooding’ the state sector with students. I thought […]

A climate referendum – the battle for truth

Jim Funnell

“First, we need to change the debate. This debate needs more clarity, not more emotion. The test should be: do we have the fairest credible path to reach Net Zero by 2050, in a way that brings people with us?” Rishi Sunak, Sept 20, 2023 Shhhhhhh! Don’t blow the choreography. Sunak’s speech on Wednesday September […]