Katy Balls is Deputy Political Editor at The Spectator magazine. Prime Minister Johnson was editor there before becoming an MP. Johnson’s new spokesperson Allegra Stratton is married to a senior Spectator journalist. The Spectator website says, ‘We uphold strict standards of accuracy’. It is clear therefore that they report accurately what is going on in […]
Author: Paul Ryder
. Paul is a retired Civil Servant.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org Populism Populism has a democratic-appearing, people-oriented, inclusive-sounding name, but there is nothing cuddly about it. It is exploitative, divisive demagoguery, relying on lies, slogans and scapegoating of an invented enemy. It garners support for a movement, Party or Leader to enable power to be acquired and minority interests and policies to […]
The Inauguration of Biden Joe Biden is a politician with decades of experience at the highest level of US politics. With the energetic support of his Democratic Party, its senior politicians and its supporters, and despite all the rancour, anti-democratic and hateful un-American behaviour of the Republican Party, he has risen to the occasion of […]
The Donald Trump Presidency, the US Presidential election and its aftermath prompt thoughts about the UK. How and why have US politics gone this way? Could it all happen here in the UK? How secure is UK democracy?
There has been some excellent journalism in recent days and weeks, particularly from the Guardian and Independent newspapers summing up events in 2020. Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty recently drew attention to the parallels between the current crises and the so-called Winter of Discontent in 1978-79. Then, it was public disaffection and anger with the Labour […]
In the beginning. When animals and homo sapiens were emerging from very early life forms, millennia ago, nature evolved male and female separately so that creating offspring would need two parents. This contributed enormously to their security and life chances. Later, humans formed groups and tribes, which further improved their safety and well-being, as the […]
President Trump’s “Deal” with the American people was: “I will lie to you and you will vote for me”. According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker Trump spoke over 20,000 lies during his term as President. Some of them were very big indeed, and very influential like: ‘Climate change is a hoax’, ‘Wearing a mask […]
Back in 2017, the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, told us that No Deal was better than a Bad Deal. May triggered Article 50 and set the clock ticking. She ruled out membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union. This created the Irish border problem, which she was unable to solve. Thus the […]
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand (NZ) Prime Minister, celebrated her Labour Party’s success in the recent elections, winning 61 of the 120 seats in the House of Representatives. This is the first single-party Government since the new system of proportional representation voting system replaced the first-past-the-post system in 1996. Before now, and since 1996, coalition Government […]
There is madness, stupidity, destruction and bloody-mindedness all around us. Brexit itself almost amounts to a crime against the British people (West England Bylines Issue 6), if you include in all the associated losses and pain, which the new hard right wing Conservative Party are responsible for. The latest news is that Johnson is preparing […]
Part Two – Referendum Lies Ed: After Paul’s popular review of the saga of the EU Referendum Leave Campaign, he lists the lies that sustained it. Here is some of what, informally, I remember from the Leave campaign during the Referendum: ‘£350 million every week for the NHS’ (Cummings, Johnson etc.). Clearly untrue from the […]
Part One – How it all happened The United Kingdom has left the European Union, after around five decades. On December 31 2020 we will be at the end of the Transition Period. All our existing national mutual arrangements, treaties and deals with the EU on all matters will end. Unless there is a Deal. […]
During the First and Second World Wars, we had Governments of National Unity to guide us through those awful times and rise to the challenges of those dreadful crises. By and large, these governments worked successfully. We are now faced in this country with four major crises which together are of comparable severity and difficulty, […]
When the outgoing Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor Sir Mark Sedwill confided to a colleague in reference to the Johnson-Cummings duo now leading in Downing Street that “they really want a presidential system”, it was a comment which needed to be taken seriously. The presidential system operating in the United States is supposed to […]