Browsed by
Author: CycleFree

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…

Read More Read More

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….

Read More Read More

Reaping the Whirlwind

Reaping the Whirlwind

Accusations of lying flew around the Select Committee room – mostly directed at Matt Hancock. A Minister who, if Cummings is to be believed, could not be trusted, indeed was not trusted by the Cabinet Secretary. Or others.(Apparently. We have yet to hear from Mr Sedwill.) Indeed, judging by how often Cummings was asking the PM to sack his Health Secretary, it’s a wonder anyone in government had any time to worry about dealing with the pandemic so busy were…

Read More Read More

Publish and be Damned?

Publish and be Damned?

2 reports into events long ago: 34 and 26 years. The main protagonists are dead. Should anyone care, as the Today programme put it somewhat indelicately, about one murder so very long ago (Daniel Morgan)? Or even about an interview of a troubled Royal? The latter are two a penny these days. Police competence rather than corruption is a rather more pressing issue. We all know about the press’s dubious and sometimes illegal activities; besides the News of the World…

Read More Read More

No More to be Said?

No More to be Said?

No-one cares about Northern Ireland. No-one, bar its inhabitants, ever really has. Not the British Government which washed its hands of the province 100 years ago, leaving it to Stormont’s tender care. Not Britain’s political parties, declining to offer their political vision to its voters. Not United Kingdom voters who ignored Brexit’s consequences for its peace settlement. Not the current Prime Minister who signed up to a Protocol he either did not understand or had no intention of keeping. Not…

Read More Read More

Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of Interest

The concerns (scandal, if you prefer) in the Greensill affair are not primarily about lobbying, convenient as it is for current Ministers, Labour and journalists to describe it thus. Convenient for Ministers because they can stick it to a foolish, greedy ex-PM they don’t much care for and can claim to have it sorted by fiddling about with some more rules on lobbying. Convenient for Labour who can go on about Tory sleaze. Convenient for journalists since it is a…

Read More Read More

Call Me. Dave.

Call Me. Dave.

As non-apologies masquerading as apologies go, Cameron’s must win some sort of Missing The Point Award. Apparently, his correspondence with the Chancellor should have been more formal, as if what’s concerning people is him texting rather than taking out his pen and Basildon Bond paper when asking Ministers to look kindly on his employer, Greensill. Still, with the newly announced inquiry into his actions – though it must surely also be into the actions of current Cabinet Ministers when they…

Read More Read More

Papers, please

Papers, please

The case of Willcock v Muckle should be much better known than it is. In 1950 Mr Willcock, stopped by a policeman for speeding, was asked for his ID card. He refused. The case went to the Court of Appeal where the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Goddard, known for his ultra-conservative views, thundered against the idea that the police should be able routinely to demand ID cards for irrelevant reasons. In 1952, 7 years after the end of the war…

Read More Read More