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Author: David Herdson

Tories forever?

Tories forever?

There used to be such a thing in politics as the pendulum. Rather like its physical counterpart, it appears to have gone out of fashion. In fact, there were two pendulums operating simultaneously, one between general elections and one across them. The intra-election pendulum would traditionally swing away from the government after it was elected, as it created a lot of disruption implementing its reforms and, probably, front-loaded other unpopular decisions it felt it had to take, while it had…

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Parliament must return in person and permanently

Parliament must return in person and permanently

Impressions be damned: governance is even more important Parliament will return from its Easter recess on Monday to allow MPs to make tributes to the late Duke of Edinburgh. It is right that they can do so. Most, however, will continue to dial in via videoconferencing; few will be in the chamber. That is no longer right. Politics is an intensely human business and proximity is power. One reason that the government has been able to act as if there…

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Can the Greens take their 2021 opportunities?

Can the Greens take their 2021 opportunities?

Remember the Climate Emergency? It turns out it wasn’t quite the emergency activists claimed, once a genuine emergency arrived. To be clear, this isn’t to say that Global Heating isn’t a problem in many, and very serious, ways; it is to say that it’s not “a sudden state of danger requiring immediate action”: the definition in my desk dictionary. The crucial words there being ‘sudden’ and ‘immediate’. Covid has meant that climate policy responses have had to take a back…

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What does Salmond want and what will he achieve?

What does Salmond want and what will he achieve?

It’s difficult to see Alba doing anything other than damaging Sindy chances Not all politics is personal but it’s very hard to explain Alex Salmond’s return to the front line of Scottish politics in any other terms. He feels very wronged. Wronged by the actions of his former party and his former deputy and successor, whose behaviour towards him may or may not have been inappropriate depending on which report or inquiry you read; and wronged by the Scottish government…

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The government is right to junk Supplementary Vote – it’s the worst of all worlds

The government is right to junk Supplementary Vote – it’s the worst of all worlds

It’s the only system that genuinely makes valid votes worthless The only exciting thing about the London mayoral election result this year is likely to be whether Sadiq Khan wins on the first vote or is forced into second preferences. He will not be close by Shaun Bailey or any of the many other candidates but may miss out on the 50% share needed to secure a first-preference win. That he might need a second round at all is because…

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AOC-2024? Yes, the Democrats really could go from their oldest nominee to their youngest

AOC-2024? Yes, the Democrats really could go from their oldest nominee to their youngest

The 2010s should tell us that radicalism and inexperience is no bar Joe Biden is 5/2 against to be the Democrats’ nominee for president in 2024. There has surely never been such long odds for a first-term elected president. Frankly, I think that’s huge value despite his age. Political leaders do not give up lightly and only got where they are because of tenacity and a considerable belief in themselves. But let’s suppose that he doesn’t stand (not least because…

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The Covid race: vaccination vs lockdown easing. It’s not over yet

The Covid race: vaccination vs lockdown easing. It’s not over yet

Easing restrictions remains a gamble for all the UK governments You might think that things are finally going well in the UK in the fight against Covid-19. And, after a pretty awful 2020, so they are. Close to 25m vaccine doses have already been administered – more, proportionally than almost any other country on Earth; weekly case numbers are down by more than 90% from the peak, the weekly death toll is down by more than 85%, hospital admissions by…

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Where’s the strapline, Rishi?

Where’s the strapline, Rishi?

The problem with Austerity II is that we’re not all in it together Rishi Sunak set out a reasonably coherent economic strategy for the rest of the parliament at his Budget this week. Not that you’d know, because it was buried well within the speech and neither media nor politicians have sought to engage on that level. This is a mistake from the government but is typical of its lack of strategic thinking and inability or unwillingness to develop an…

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