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Category: Guest Contribution

What sort of future do we want?

What sort of future do we want?

The events of the last three weeks aren’t ones many of us are likely to forget. It started with footage of a senseless murder taking place in real-time: a man pleading for his life and crying for his mother as the life is gradually squeezed out of him by a police officer whilst the pleas of by-standers are ignored. The fact the Minneapolis police initially put out a statement that glossed over this, whilst the union president stood-up for the…

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Reporting from the front Lyme

Reporting from the front Lyme

From the PBer who could be an MP in 17 days time As regular readers will know, I am the Conservative candidate for Newcastle-under-Lyme, a seat that has been Labour for a century and has not elected a Conservative since 1880. However I am now facing a majority of just 30, in a seat that voted around 63% to Leave. That’s the official Borough figure – Professor Chris Hanretty has the constituency a touch lower at 61.6% but observers who…

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Endgame. The death of the referendum mandate draws near

Endgame. The death of the referendum mandate draws near

I am just re-reading the @michaelgove Brexit speech of April 2016. It is simply breathtaking. If there is a single speech, in all of British political history, that has aged this badly I would love to see it. It is pure, pure bollocks. pic.twitter.com/ww4rGOa0ZM — Tom Peck (@tompeck) September 2, 2019 Leavers have an apparently compelling pair of arguments. Certainly, those arguments completely satisfy them. First, they argue that everyone agreed that the referendum result would be implemented. Secondly, they…

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Changing the Prime Minister might be the only way

Changing the Prime Minister might be the only way

One thing the existing House of Commons can agree on (it can’t on anything else) is that it doesn’t want No Deal. It’s now voted several times to this effect and, in fact, it’s as determined to prevent No Deal as the Government is to deliver Brexit by 31st October at all costs. It has been trying to do everything it can to stop it: delaying a General Election, challenging the proroguing of Parliament, and, now, passing the Hillary Benn…

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Michael Gove – the case against

Michael Gove – the case against

From a PBer teacher who remembers when Gove was EdSec Michael Gove has many admirers – most notably, several on this forum, including a former Labour MP and a number of Conservative and UKIP voters. He is an experienced minister, having held office for nine years (one of them outside the cabinet). He is able, articulate, polite, and from a very modest background. He is well connected in the media, has a remarkable imagination and drive, and stands out, frankly,…

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The next generation: the best outside bet for the Tory crown?

The next generation: the best outside bet for the Tory crown?

To win the Conservative leadership – and quite probably the office of Prime Minister – the successful candidate is assumed to need three things. 1) Sufficient support to get into the final two A third of MPs (105) would guarantee this. In practice around 80-90 is likely to be enough, but going into the final two a long way behind, as Andrea Leadsom did (199 – 84) could prove a problem. Ideally a candidate would be able to reach across…

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Rendering unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar

Picture credit: Rights Info At a recent IQ² debate on Brexit, Ian Paisley Jr MP, explained why the DUP was so against the backstop. He was a British citizen entitled to the same rights as all British citizens. This brought the inevitable retort from a certain Jess Phillips about Northern Irish women and gays not having the same rights as other British citizens. Paisley’s answer smoothly placed the blame elsewhere: Westminster had devolved certain social matters to Stormont and therefore accepted…

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At this critical time a look at matters of Confidence in the political arena

At this critical time a look at matters of Confidence in the political arena

In both senses of the word, confidence lies at the heart of politics. It is certainly the preference of this habitual voyeur of Westminster life. Yet the concept has been distorted beyond recognition by the stresses of Brexit. Brexit positions cut across most parties, and MPs are clearly torn between their loyalties to their party, their electorate, their local members, the nation, the referendum result, and their consciences. But it is hard not to be cynical about how a number…

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