Heathrow Britain 

It’s ministers not judges who are skidding off the policy runway

The Court of Appeal’s ruling over Heathrow airport’s mooted third runway has reignited in some quarters the already highly combustible fury in Britain over judicial activism. The court has ruled that it was unlawful for the government to have given its approval to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow without taking into account its own obligations under the Paris agreement to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. Cue outrage from commentators who believe that, without a third runway to expand Heathrow, the UK will gravely damage its…

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Sky Britain Videos 

Holocaust memorial and BoJo on The View

I took part this week on Sky TV’s The View, the politics show hosted by Adam Boulton. Because of Boris Johnson’s government reshuffle that morning, the show was broadcast from outside 10 Downing Street to capture all the comings and goings. That would have been great, except for the small fact that it was raining and freezing cold! We were also plagued by a man in the street who, during the Brexit agony, had constantly interfered with outside broadcasts by bellowing through a megaphone about stopping Brexit and now seemed…

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revolutionary Britain Culture wars 

Tory policies don’t look much like conservatism

When Boris Johnson delivered his effervescent encomium to free trade at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich conservatives were ecstatic. At last, they cried, a real Tory prime minister! Just one week later, a great wailing has gone up from the same quarter. Horror and woe, they lament; we’ve got yet another fake Tory in No 10! People in the so-called “red wall” constituencies that used to be solidly Labour are down to earth. They are hard-working and thrifty. They greatly dislike money being thrown down the drain. Red…

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huawei Britain Global conflict 

Will Boris fail his first big test over Huawei?

Is Boris Johnson about to fail his first big test?* Reports suggest that he is about to give the Chinese technology company Huawei the contract to install at least parts of the UK’s upcoming 5G network. This would be an appalling decision. Huawei is not so much a company as an arm of the Chinese state. Its purpose in embedding itself in the communications systems of other countries is to extend the power of the Chinese communist party into those countries for the purposes of surveillance and possibly even sabotage.…

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Boris Johnson Hanukkah message Britain Israel 

A Boris bear-hug against British antisemitism

Is the British government beginning to change its century-old attitude of ambiguity towards Israel and come out instead as its unequivocal friend? Don’t get too excited just yet. It’s certainly true that, fresh from his thumping election victory, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered an extraordinary Hanukkah message to the country’s antisemitism-beleaguered Jewish community. Going far beyond predictable seasonal bromides, he delivered a very pointed profession of heartfelt support. The festival of lights, he said, was a time to celebrate the Jews’ unique identity. “When the Maccabees drove the forces…

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no-deal Britain Videos 

Magical thinking by British politicians – again

I was on BBC TV’s Politics Live, where a series of politicians from all three main parties said a series of extremely silly and unbelievable things. They were grilled by presenter Jo Coburn, assisted by myself, Matthew D’Ancona and Miatta Fahnbulleh. You can watch the show here, if you can access BBC iPlayer. The Tory on the show, Paymaster-General Oliver Dowden, tried to insist that, assuming Boris Johnson would gain a workable majority in next week’s general election, the Conservatives would finally end Britain’s Brexit nightmare by bringing the UK…

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UK Britain 

A numbed electorate between devil and deep blue sea

In this most dismal and dispiriting general election, a numbed British electorate desperate to end the Brexit nightmare is instead being corralled with its hands tied behind its back towards the likely continuation of that nightmare. One of the many fundamental negotiating errors made by Theresa May in trying to settle the terms of the UK’s Brexit withdrawal deal with the EU was to rule out leaving with no deal. At a stroke, she thus guaranteed that any terms agreed with the EU would not be in Britain’s interests. That’s…

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no-deal Britain 

Nigel Farage’s agonising calculation

Anthony Wells, director of political research at YouGov, says: “Nigel Farage is sending a message that you can trust Boris Johnson to deliver Brexit”. This is untrue. Farage is not sending that message at all. Yesterday he repeated that “the direction we are going in is simply not Brexit”. He has not retreated from his opinion that the Johnson deal is a trap for the UK which, after it has left the EU will remain remain bound to it by destructive ties. Although Farage said he was encouraged by Johnson’s…

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Israel 

Britain’s deepening political nightmare

So here’s how things appear to stand at this point, 34 days before the Brexit general election which is being fought principally on the issue of whether or not Britain wants to get Brexit done. The Labour party is imploding, with Labour loyalists saying Labour voters should vote Conservative in order to save the country from the unconscionable threat of Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister. The Brexit party is disintegrating, with even a number of its own former candidates backing the EU deal done by Boris Johnson. This although their…

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Britain 

The blue-on-blue onslaught on Nigel Farage

The last few days have seen the eruption of a ferocious, no-holds-barred, blue-on-blue onslaught on Nigel Farage by Conservative party Brexiteers and others including members of his own Brexit party. See, for example, here, here, here, here, here and here. The essence of the Tory Brexiteers’ case against Farage is that his strategy is likely to stop Brexit by depriving Boris Johnson of a workable majority, and that the split it may cause in the Conservative vote could let Jeremy Corbyn achieve power. The latter scenario is a real possibility…

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