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Author: CycleFree

That Was The Week That Was

That Was The Week That Was

It was Anti-Bullying Week. It was also 17 years since the notorious Section 28 was repealed. The  government came out and admitted that last March it stopped funding schools anti-LGBT bullying programmes, despite knowing the harm that such bullying can cause. Perhaps they misunderstood what the “anti” bit actually means. After all the Home Secretary had some difficulty understanding what counter-terrorism meant. Maybe her staff were too scared to tell the fragrant Priti for, yes, she was found by an independent…

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A Vaccine against Stupidity

A Vaccine against Stupidity

The government must hope that Pfizer’s vaccine announcement will overshadow the continued rumblings about Kate Bingham, Chair of the Vaccine Task Force and her expensive (and, judging by results, useless) PR consultants. She is due to leave in January, as originally planned. If you believe Hancock, that is. He’s fast becoming this government’s Marie-Antoinette. According to his latest interview, people paid £670,000 for 6 months’ work in government should be thanked as they have “given up” six months of their…

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Was Jack Cade Right – would society be better with fewer lawyers?

Was Jack Cade Right – would society be better with fewer lawyers?

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” A cheer from half the audience at that and its response (“that I mean to do”); a groan from the other half followed. Whoever would have thought a Barbican audience would consist of lawyers and their clients!  Would society be better with fewer laws and lawyers? Lawyers’ concerns at recent Ministerial comments led to a letter signed by 800 of them – to the Guardian, neatly reinforcing the “lefty lawyers” caricature….

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Why Isn’t Labour Cutting Through?

Why Isn’t Labour Cutting Through?

The Shadow Chancellor’s response to Sunak’s updated support package this week was well made. Ms Dodds has been saying much the same these past few months, if sotto voce. Perhaps because of this – and despite Starmer generally getting the better of the PM at PMQs – Labour has not broken through in the polls. The Tories’ large leads have largely evaporated so that is something. But the question remains. Why hasn’t Labour made more of an impact? This government…

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What is Sunak up to?

What is Sunak up to?

Sunak is seen as a possible successor should Boris decide to spend more time painting buses (assuming he’s not pushed under one first). Little wonder: a fresh face, unflustered, articulate and brilliant at PR, with a friendly nickname already (“Mr Yorkshire Tea”). Importantly, he has been in charge of the one government department which has behaved competently during the Covid crisis. The original plan may not have been adequate but Sunak was able to respond to concerns quickly, alter course…

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And the Answers Are ….? The circuit breaker proposal

And the Answers Are ….? The circuit breaker proposal

“Circuit breaker”, “Lockdown 2”, “Tier 3 restrictions” – there’s no end to the descriptions being given to the steps being proposed by politicians in all 4 corners of the kingdom to the steps they want taken to stop the virus spreading further. So, presumably, they have clear answers to the following questions:- How Long For? The last lockdown was initially stated to be for 3 weeks. It ended up nearer 4 months and has yet to be lifted for some…

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Enemies within?

Enemies within?

Not so long ago we had Islamists spouting vile rhetoric inspiring the young to slaughter innocents. The Choudhury’s and Abu Qatada’s of this world were quick to say they weren’t responsible. They carefully positioned themselves – just – on the right side of the line dividing hateful words and incitement to violence. Those doing the attacks came to their own views and, anyway, were only reacting to the bad stuff they had seen done to their “brothers”. Decent people (including politicians) were…

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Hollow Men – the sidelining of parliament during the biggest health/economic crisis in modern times

Hollow Men – the sidelining of parliament during the biggest health/economic crisis in modern times

In the film “Mrs Brown” there is a scene in Parliament where MPs are passing around a Tomahawk cartoon showing an empty throne captioned “Where is Britannia?” It’s a reference to widowed Queen Victoria’s long self-imposed isolation and its effect on good governance and support for the monarchy. A similar criticism could be made now – not of her great-great-grand-daughter – but of Parliament. During the biggest combined health and economic crisis of recent times, where is Parliament? Some Tory…

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