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Author: CycleFree

A Personal View of Sunak’s plans from a Lake District Pub

A Personal View of Sunak’s plans from a Lake District Pub

Let me be blunt. Sunak’s package does not help the hospitality sector, certainly not its small businesses. Perhaps he never intended to. Perhaps he has taken the view that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, VAT cut (of no use to those on the fixed rate scheme) and other help was enough. Or that there is not enough money left. Or that it does not matter – being unskilled, low value and unnecessary in a post-Covid world. If this…

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Does the Internal Markets Bill Compromise Work?

Does the Internal Markets Bill Compromise Work?

That rather depends on what the aim is But first, what does it actually do? The government’s compromise with Sir Bob Neill on his amendment does the following:- It gives the House of Commons (but not the Lords) the right to vote before the government triggers the clauses disapplying the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Act implementing it. It might even be (but hasn’t been – yet) called a Meaningful Vote. In a week when: – (a) regulations…

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A Question

A Question

This morning the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland, said in TV interview on the BBC in a response to a question from Andrew Marr: “If I see the rule of law being broken in a way I find unacceptable then of course I will go.” Tomorrow – in a matter of hours from now – the Government has announced – but not yet published the necessary regulations – that any socialising at home or elsewhere…

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Promises, promises – then and now

Promises, promises – then and now

In The Big Chill two characters have this exchange:- Michael: “I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalisations. They’re more important than sex.” Sam: “Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.” Michael: “Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalisation?” If ever you needed proof, this week has provided a plethora of examples, with doubtless more to come. They’ve come from the PM and all those new Red Wall Tory…

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That was then. This is now.

That was then. This is now.

Cyclefree on attitudes to obeying the law “Britain does not break treaties. It would be bad for Britain, bad for our relations with the rest of the world and bad for any future treaty on trade we may wish to make.” – Margaret Thatcher , Leader of the Opposition, April 1975 “The first duty of government is to uphold the law. If it tries to bob and weave and duck around that duty when it’s inconvenient, if government does that,…

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Fisking the PM – examining the background to his controversial EU move

Fisking the PM – examining the background to his controversial EU move

There used to be (may well still be) an enjoyable pastime for readers of Robert Fisk’s articles: a point by point rebuttal of the factual errors and other idiocies contained in them. Other journalists can be fisked with equal pleasure. At one point there was a veritable cottage industry dependant on Polly Toynbee’s output. So on a rainy day starting a new week of political fun and games, it is time to revive this practice and apply it to another…

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Lamenting Dido*

Lamenting Dido*

Since 2006 there have been, on and off, 7 anti-corruption champions, many of them well-known former Ministers in the twilight of their careers (Straw, Clarke, Pickles). It’s not clear what they have actually done or are meant to do, beyond fine words. Some clarity has since been provided here. The focus is on supporting the government’s international strategy – teaching others how to be as incorruptible as Britain – and reviewing what departments and agencies are doing here. It is…

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If You’re in a Glasshouse …..

If You’re in a Glasshouse …..

During Corbyn’s leadership, Labour was relentlessly attacked by the Tories, their supporters and cheerleaders in the press for the many failings which, they said, made Labour unfit to run the  country. Worth dwelling on the accusations for what they tell us about today’s Tories. A sympathiser with IRA terrorism: well-worn, repeated on every possible occasion and, combined with his associations with various dubious Palestinian groups and past statements about the causes of Islamist terrorism, the Tories happily painted a picture of…

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