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Author: CycleFree

Two Lessons Learnt

Two Lessons Learnt

7 years ago this month the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse was first announced. Cameron was PM, May Home Secretary and the Brexit referendum not even the teensiest cloud on the horizon. How time flies! After three Chairs, the Inquiry – under the chairmanship of its 4th Head, Professor Alexis Jay (who wrote the report on child abuse in Rotherham, published in August 2014) – has been quietly taking evidence and publishing a series of heart-breaking and devastatingly critical…

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Why are the Tories leading in the polls?

Why are the Tories leading in the polls?

The Tories have been ahead in the polls for months now and by significant margins. Sure, they lost Chesham & Amersham and failed by a tiny number of votes to win back Batley & Spen, both disappointments and, in the case of the former, a possible warning sign. But even so the polls are stuck with the Tories hovering around the 40% mark, sometimes up to 43% and Labour around 30%. Why might this be? Some suggestions: – Boris got…

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Legislation Watch: three planned changes that will limit our freedoms

Legislation Watch: three planned changes that will limit our freedoms

Never mind “Not Quite Freedom Day”. While few have been noticing, the government is busy trying to introduce some pernicious new principles into our laws which will limit our freedoms even as we are finally allowed not to wear masks. The “RNLI Criminalisation” Clause The government denies this of course. But clause 38(2) of the Nationality and Borders Bill amending S.25A(1)(a) of the 1971 Immigration Act makes it an offence to help anyone seeking asylum in the UK. It is…

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If Not Now, When?

If Not Now, When?

There is always a clue. Sometimes more than one. Often hiding in plain sight, if only others used their eyes. On Friday, Wayne Couzens, a former Metropolitan Police officer and member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Squad, authorised to carry a firearm, pleaded guilty to the murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year. He had earlier pleaded guilty to her kidnap and rape. The story of what he did to her is harrowing. Despite his planning and attempts to…

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The Rise (and Fall?) of Cressida Dick

The Rise (and Fall?) of Cressida Dick

It could almost be the title of a Waugh novel. Or perhaps one of those mystery-cum-romances written by upper-class lady novelists in the immediate post-war era – when driving fast cars in the South of France while sparring with strong-jawed heroes with a past was the height of sophistication. It is a bit of a mystery quite why Cressida has risen to become Metropolitan Police Commissioner. She retired in 2015 and was appointed from an obscure Foreign Office security role…

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Controlling COVID – The Three Mistakes

Controlling COVID – The Three Mistakes

The mood music has changed. It seems that Step 4 – the lifting of the remaining legal restrictions – will no longer be happening on June 21st. Indeed, there are some advisors (mostly health professionals of some kind or other) who seem to think that these (social distancing, in particular) should continue indefinitely and for all sorts of reasons: to deal with flu, the backlog in cancer care, other respiratory diseases etc. Quite what sort of society or life they…

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Favoured Voters

Favoured Voters

What’s the difference between bribing voters and fulfilling electoral promises to them?  Outright bribery is now illegal but politicians still promise the earth and try to deliver. How else will they win re-election, after all. The Americans have a down to earth name for it: pork barrel politics. The Italians have an even better description: “clientilismo” – the dispensing of favours, money, jobs, projects to a party’s supporters largely for being a supporter, the public purse seen primarily as a source…

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NIMBY Rishi

NIMBY Rishi

“Fatta la legge. Trovato l’inganno.” (A law is made. A way round it is found.) Sicilian in origin, apparently. Fancy that. Still, who could have thought that barely days after the G7 announcement for a minimum global tax rate for large companies, it would be one of the architects of the proposal who, according to this report, is seeking to get an opt-out for financial services because the proposed tax changes might affect affect global banks headquartered in the U.K….

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