no-deal Britain 

Will prime minister Johnson put lipstick on the pig?

Today’s Sunday Times reports that various EU countries are panicking so badly over Britain leaving the EU with no deal they are willing to offer a new one. At its shallowest, this proves the point some of us have been making from the get-go: that the only way the EU would ever offer withdrawal terms in Britain’s interests would be if the UK credibly threatened to leave with no deal at all. However, there is a far less rosy way to look at this reported development. Boris Johnson has positioned…

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The BBC’s hilarious new comedy production

The BBC has produced a new comedy which is an absolute roll-on-the-floor, laugh-out-loud side-splitter. It’s called the revised Editorial Guidelines. Here are some comic highlights. “In our journalism in particular, we seek to establish the truth and use the highest reporting standards to provide coverage that is fair and accurate… We are impartial, seeking to reflect the views and experiences of our audiences – so that our output as a whole includes a breadth and diversity of opinion and no significant strand of thought is under-represented or omitted. We are independent of outside interests and…

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Britain Global conflict 

The real scandal of the Darroch leak

Today’s papers are full of the political fall-out from the leak of undiplomatic messages which caused Britain’s former ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, to resign after President Trump went ballistic. While people are understandably focused upon the hunt for the leaker and the way in which Boris Johnson, the favourite to become Tory party leader and Britain’s next prime minister, has been attacked for failing to support Darroch before he resigned, virtually no attention has been paid to the second tranche of Darroch’s leaked remarks which appear in…

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Labour party antisemitism Britain 

Why the Labour party can’t deal with its Jew-hatred

In recent days, plotting within the British Labour Party to get rid of its far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn has moved up a gear as deep concern over the party’s precipitous plunge in the opinion polls has burst into the open. Corbyn is being blamed for the two causes of this meltdown. The first is the party’s ambiguous stance over Brexit, in which it is trying simultaneously to please its working-class Brexit supporters and its metropolitan, educated liberals who want the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union — and…

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darroch Britain USA 

As our man in DC falls on his keyboard, the question is: cui bono?

Sir Kim Darroch, the UK ambassador to the US whose undiplomatic memos about President Donald Trump were leaked to a British journalist, has now resigned. He said his job had become impossible. Boris Johnson, the front-runner to become Tory leader and prime minister, refused to say during his televised debate with his opponent, Jeremy Hunt, whether he would keep Darroch in his job or sack him. As a result, Johnson’s enemies have accused him of throwing Darroch “under a bus”. By contrast, Hunt went out of his way to defend…

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UK Britain 

Why Brexiteers don’t trust Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson insists that he’s not bluffing when he says he’s prepared to take the UK out of the EU with no deal if, as is now widely predicted, he becomes Britain’s next prime minister later this month. Do we believe him? Maybe; maybe not. Many don’t. One reason why there’s so much suspicion is that he has consistently said he will try to get a better deal from the EU – and expects to do so. Since the EU has shown itself implacably opposed to any renegotiation, some might…

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Holocaust Britain 

This giant toast rack won’t help us fight hate

Why aren’t more people speaking out against the misconceived plan to build a Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens? The proposal, currently being considered by Westminster Council, has attracted wide support across the political spectrum but staunch opposition over its impact on the gardens from environmental and heritage groups such as Royal Parks, the Victorian Society and Historic England. A cross-party group of Jewish peers has also spoken out. There are other opponents but they are keeping quiet – almost certainly because they fear being accused of antisemitism. On every level,…

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judges Britain 

More secrecy in our justice system is not the answer

A petition was launched yesterday by Sir Cliff Richard and the DJ Paul Gambaccini to provide anonymity to those accused of sexual offences unless they are charged. Their reasons are entirely understandable. They believe their own reputations have been irredeemably besmirched as a result of being falsely accused of historical sexual crimes. Richard, Gambaccini and others fell victim to a climate of hysteria after the Savile revelations. The police and prosecutors, abashed by the failure over such a long period to detect Savile’s monstrous crimes, then massively overcompensated by suspending…

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Tories Britain 

How the Tories can save themselves and Brexit

A general election in Britain in the near future is surely well-nigh inescapable. Whoever wins the Conservative leadership election — and as we can see from the histrionics of the past few days, Boris Johnson may end up destroying himself — both Johnson and his rival, Jeremy Hunt, have committed themselves to leaving the EU with no-deal on October 31 if they cannot renegotiate the withdrawal terms. Since it seems overwhelmingly likely — regardless of Johnson’s claims to the contrary — that the EU will not offer any concessions, the…

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vanity Britain Culture wars 

Acting out of vanity when all the world’s a stage

The actor Sir Mark Rylance has resigned from the Royal Shakespeare Company because it accepted a subsidy from BP to support £5 theatre tickets for young people. BP’s sponsorship, he said, allowed it to “obscure the destructive reality of its activities” as a major oil producer that threatens the future of the planet. Virtue signalling has become the default position among the “luvvies” of the arts world. Based on their belief in their own ineffable rightness, it often makes them look absurd, as when in April the actress Dame Emma…

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