In this first of two articles, we focus on four of the West Midland’s wealthiest billionaires. What is a billion? At this point, it is important to put a billion pounds into perspective. I do not want to give the impression that anyone who earns a high figure salary or does well for themselves doesn’t […]
On Monday, Shirley Williams, the ‘undisputed godmother of the Liberal Democrats’, died at the age of ninety.
A dear colleague who travelled with me on a British council expedition spent many weeks of the summer in Yemen. Alison was a teacher and she spent her holiday time in the Yemen sewing, chatting and enjoying the camaraderie. In 2014 that all changed as civil war took over the country and the Houthi armed […]
Staffordshire in the West Midlands has a population of over 1.1 million, contains extremes of wealth, inner-city poverty and everything in between and is spread over historical market towns, rolling farmland, and post-industrial cities. Divided into twelve parliamentary constituencies, in the 2019 general election 40% of the Staffordshire electorate voted Conservative and all twelve constituencies […]
A blog post by a UK Government adviser, arguing there are ‘no reasons’ to believe an independent Scotland wouldn’t be economically successful, was deleted shortly after its publication on the LSE website on 30th March.
The Commitment is a rapidly growing organisation dedicated to putting climate change and biodiversity higher up the political agenda.
For decades, EU citizens had the right under EU free movement law to live their lives in the UK but now must ask for permission to continue to do so by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. From today, they only have 90 days left until the application deadline of 30 June, after which many […]
In 2019, political processes and opposition seemed to have crashed. The idea of rebooting to counter the blue screen of death was born. Talks about a possible intervention began during the autumn of chaos 2019 when the Johnson/Cummings/Bannon/Alt-Right agenda became apparent. After the GE in 2019, things got serious. It was clear that the political […]
Home Office hubris, hulks and cutting off your nose to spite your face. Why are we treating asylum-seekers so badly?
We used to dump convicts in Australia. Now Australia isn’t available, our Home Secretary first wanted to dump asylum-seekers on ship hulks. Now a remote island somewhere is favoured, where they can be neither seen, heard nor helped. So we’re going back hundreds of years!
In 2019 Serco was found to have “engaged in quite deliberate fraud against the Ministry of Justice.” It had already repaid £68.5 million to the government in overcharges and was subsequently fined £19.2 million for fraud and false accounting over its electronic tagging service. It also had to pay the Serious Fraud Office’s costs of £3.7 million. It still has the contract.
Today, the Chinese government has announced sanctions against a number of UK individuals and organisations – including MP for Harbrough, Neil O’Brien who leads the China Research Group and advises the Prime Minister on policy. These sanctions are a tit-for-tat response to similar sanctions brought against a number of Chinese officials four days ago by […]
Northamptonshire is not somewhere you would expect to make world wide news. Yet in 2018 the New York Times (more used to doing an exposé on Donald Trump’s finances than reporting on English local government) reported the headline ‘As Austerity Helps Bankrupt an English County, Even Conservatives Mutiny’. The legendary incompetence of the Conservative run […]
For many of us, it is axiomatic that leaving the EU was a huge mistake that will damage our country and diminish our rights as citizens. Our future, we believe, must be as part of the EU so we can work together to address the very real and massive issues we face nationally and internationally. […]
Climate change is hurling the planet towards oblivion, yet investors continue to finance “dirty” industries. Politicians introduce only relatively minor measures to address the crisis. Industrialists push ahead with environmental destruction in the name of profit – in spite of the fact their own children and grandchildren will be among those to bear the most severe consequences.
Have you ever organised or joined a demonstration over something you felt strongly about? If the new Policing Bill being rushed through Parliament this week comes into law, in the future you could find yourself facing a jail term of 10 years if you do.Why? The reasons are set out by Chris Daw QC in […]
It has not come as a surprise but with the recent revelations about the monarchy, the republicans are having a field day. #Abolish the Monarchy soon began to trend on twitter. Republic, the main lobby group for UK republicans tweeted with glee: “The monarchy has just been hit by its worst crisis since the abdication […]
When I was 16, I witnessed a sexual assault. At school, of all places. This was in the 1980s, early on. I knew this was wrong but I had no idea how to deal with it. There were several of us around, mostly male. Most of us were probably as uncomfortable as I was. A slightly older boy grabbed a young woman who was passing by, touched her, pushed her. Laughing. Said she was asking for it.
The company owner now is Stellantis, a merger of Fiat-Chrysler and Peugeot. The plant could be left empty. They could go for an electric car but the future looks as grim as it has for some time. Just in time supply chains won’t necessarily work with Brexit and Covid-19.
“War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!” Many of us will relate to this sentiment, but when we look at the history of war, we see that there are many complexities of human life reflected in these ultimate situations. And when we look closely it gets ever harder to say what’s absolutely right […]
Like many of my fellow Britons, I love a good pub quiz. I think back fondly to the pre-pandemic era when I was able to see my friends weekly for a chance to name obscure capital cities or try and eke out a song title from listening to music over a crackly speaker system. My […]