Who Hired Cock Robin?

It’s something of a running open secret about British politics that being a politician is one of those jobs with no actual job description, and for which you need no qualifications. Another aspect of this open secret is that the higher up a statesman or -woman climbs the greasy pole, the less they ultimately have to do for their job.  This characteristic of our constitution Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn famously noted in their acclaimed 1980s sitcom Yes Minister, which …

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Ted Heath is the latest and most senior Tory to be named in paedophilia claims. But how do you prove a negative?

Growing up in the 1960s with a precocious interest in politics, the main UK party leaders Harold Wilson and Ted Heath were among my role models. The new term  “meritocrat” might have been invented for them . Both of them came from modest backgrounds and made it to the top.  Politically I admired Heath’s decisiveness compared to Wilson’s waffle and to some extent I still do.  At the time, entering Europe and introducing  power sharing in Northern Ireland required bold leadership, however mixed …

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Labour Party: “Making no progress on welfare has financial implications. It is not a cost-free choice…”

As Mick mentioned, the repeated attempts to blame the fallout from the Northern Ireland Executive’s deadlock on Welfare Reform on “the right wing Tory/DUP austerity agenda“, or “the British Tory Government“, or, more frequently, “a cabinet of Tory millionaires“,  have been dealt a blow by clarification of the Labour Party’s position by the Shadow NI Secretary of State at the party’s conference. From the Irish Times report (23 Sept) The disagreement, said [Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis], is “a denial” …

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UK Prime Minister: “Let me reassure the right hon. Gentleman that there is absolutely no question of an imposed solution.”

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, and followed up by the BBC.  For the benefit of the more excitable commenters [and politicians! – Ed] among us, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, spelt out the political realité on the Haass proposals during PMQs in the Commons today [Added Permanent link]. Mr Nigel Dodds (Belfast North) (DUP): Does the Prime Minister accept that the remarks of the Irish Foreign Minister about the Haass talks and the possibility of some kind of intervention by …

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Cameron: “it’s local politicians who have to deliver on that”.

Prime Minister David Cameron was in Northern Ireland today, as part of a UK-wide tour to promote the Olympics.  But despite their recent complaints, neither the NI First and deputy First Ministers appear to have been able to schedule a meeting.  According to Martina Purdy, The first and deputy first ministers were not on hand to meet the prime minister as both are on holiday. [Both!?  At the same time? – Ed]  Indeed.  And, as I said in slightly different circumstances, that’s why you …

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Cameron: “politics here will need to move beyond the peace process…”

After yesterday’s Joint Ministerial Committee meeting in Downing Street, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, was in Northern Ireland today.  The Belfast Telegraph has an article on NI by the Conservative Party leader.  And his address to the NI Assembly is here. Some sections worth highlighting – for the benefit of certain members of the Northern Ireland Executive… Whether you serve here as a Minister, a member of a committee or as a backbench member, all of you carry the responsibility …

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“it’s something that certainly never happened under the stewardship of Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.”

The visit by the British Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, to Stormont today may have come as a surprise to the press [and the NI Labour Party… – Ed], but the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers were ready with their latest whinge.  Apparently the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, isn’t prepared to meet them just to listen to their special little pleading. From the breakingnews.ie report Also accusing the coalition British government of backtracking on financial commitments made during the peace …

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Brown resigns as PM, Cameron to be invited to form government

The BBC report says it all Gordon Brown has announced he is resigning as UK prime minister. Mr Brown is on his way to officially tender his resignation to the Queen, and recommend that Conservative leader David Cameron should succeed him. Adds As the Guardian’s live-blog notes, Brown’s resignation as leader of the Labour Party “will take effect immediately”. And Full resignation statement here Update David Cameron becomes the new UK prime minister. Cameron’s statement on arriving at Downing St. Real …

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