Region Archives: England

Gove, Cameron and the old four year Switcheroo…

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Here’s a classic case of where the polling mechanism breaks down. The question presumes there’s a meaningful difference in interest between Michael Gove and his boss, the British Prime Minister. I’m not convinced there is any such difference. I saw the Indy going to town on the salary loss, but to be frank, career progression more…

Friday thread: Flags make a difference to how we think and feel…

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Via Peter Curran with a h/t to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. Fascinating piece of quick and dirty research on the Scottish Sunday Politics Show regarding the effect of flag displays during a detailed online questionnaire from last week… It’s well worth watching the whole way through, but the findings themselves are at the beginning and more…

Irish and English election results so different, so much the same

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Similar trends and outcomes are apparent when the British and Irish elections results are compared. They are of course part of a common European picture. But the immediate effect on the coalition governments  at Westminster and in Leinster House differs. The Irish coalition is rocking. The Irish Times is even speculating that pressure from Labour may more…

The Tory Press? It’s complicated…

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Daily Mail 24 May 2014

The local elections in England provide a fascinating glimpse into the way that newspapers interact with electoral politics. Take a look at today’s the front pages; “The Savaging of Red Ed” says the Mail. “Surge by UKIP throws Labour into poll crisis” says the Telegraph. UKIP’s share of the vote actually fell this year. We more…

Theresa May’s political earthquake

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This week has already seen a political earthquake nothing to do with UKIP or elections. On Wednesday Theresa May addressed the Police Federation annual conference in Bournemouth. Frequently Home Secretaries have received a tough time form the Police Federation: heckling, laughter, slow hand claps and other forms of open scorn have all been inflicted on more…

#EP14 campaign squeezing the Labour vote in Britain?

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Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting…  My reading is that EdM and his team are paying the price for not having a clear message for the Euro elections. Their campaign has almost totally avoided any mention of the EU unlike the other three parties competing for votes which each have specific and relevant positions.

Open Government Partnership: How to start the ball rolling…

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After Tuesday’s #DigitalLunch on Open Government Partnership and ahead of Friday’s event in Belfast, for those of you thinking of how you might roll up your sleeves and get involved in making government smarter and more open, here’s your Survival Guide to OGP in Six Memos: Paul Braithwaite sets the scene on where we are… Fred Logue  on what OGP is more…

Abortion turndown is a constitutional issue

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The ruling in the English High Court against free abortions for Northern Ireland women in England comes as no surprise. Have campaigners legally examined the situation in Scotland? This now seems like a case for  the Supreme Court where the issue would be: Are devolution powers superior to  UK  equal citizens’  rights? An aspect of the judge’s comments intrigued me: He more…

Commons [empty] threat to remove Royal Assent from Prince Charles?

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I cannot think this is serious, except as a rhetorical warning across Prince Charles’s bows for not being good constitutional monarch in waiting… The role of the Queen and Prince of Wales in signing off new laws is “arcane and complex” and could be abolished, MPs have said. The Commons’ Political and Constitutional Reform committee more…

In modest praise of… Bob Crow, RIP

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If Bob Crow had had an Irish double in the trade union movement he would have found a way to duck any sort of social partnership that limited his capacity to negotiate for his  members, and shrug off the inevitable offence taken by his union colleagues. He kept it simple. He was out for everything more…

Green Party propose sacking climate deniers: Vegetarian Stalinism?

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Northern Ireland may have been spared the absolute worst of the weather this year (though the last couple of days have been bad) but the South West of England and South Wales have been extremely badly affected with the Somerset Levels heavily flooded. Then more recently the Thames Valley has been affected. Whether this flooding more…

David Cameron and love bombing the Scots

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The tempo is picking up at last with maybe just a hint of panic?  The BBC, the Times£, the FT, even the Sun are splashing David Cameron’s defence of the Union in the patriotic venue of the Olympic Park.  The future of the United Kingdom is up in the air, David Cameron will warn today more…

United Ireland’s struggle against gay rights wins RTE damages

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  Is it defamatory to accuse opponents of same sex marriage of homophobia? Or are they fairly exercising their consciences in declining to recognise equality with heterosexuals?   Irish Times columnists are on opposite sides of an argument which is part of the Republic’s slow emergence into the modern era. Sadly though the columnists haven’t gone head more…

Road Traffic Accidents: Accidents not crimes

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A few weeks ago I noted the slight rise in road deaths in NI during 2013. I also noted the worrying tendency to regard all accidents as someone’s fault: often criminally someone’s fault. Hence the inappropriate change in routine terminology from Road Traffic Accident to Road Traffic Collision. A couple of tragic cases have recently more…