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Author: David Herdson

No 10 is once again going to have to choose between No Deal and a Bad Deal

No 10 is once again going to have to choose between No Deal and a Bad Deal

Brexit has not gone away; far from it Gavin Williamson is a lucky man. In any ordinary government he would have been sacked over the exams fiasco this month, ex-Chief Whip’s book or not. This, however, is not a normal government. It’s not normal in part because it simply doesn’t play by the conventions of the game and is happy to brazen out scandals or tolerate failure that generally wouldn’t have been accepted in the past. It also has the…

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Going postal: Could a Democrat victory end up lost in the post?

Going postal: Could a Democrat victory end up lost in the post?

This is why Trump is trying to stop the US Postal Service from processing ballot papers: The partisan split in how Americans would like to vote is immense.– 17% who back Trump prefer to vote by mail– 58% who back Biden prefer the mail option. pic.twitter.com/notTbOjOVu — David Herdson (@DavidHerdson) August 14, 2020 A funding crisis, a hollowing out of capacity and much greater demands could stretch the USPS to breaking point There are six general processes that need to…

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Labour seems to have forgotten how to ‘do’ Opposition

Labour seems to have forgotten how to ‘do’ Opposition

Governments-in-waiting set the agenda Ed Miliband is unfairly maligned. It’s true that he couldn’t eat a bacon sandwich gracefully. It’s also true that he was always a bit of a wonk and, in the testosterone-fuelled world of Westminster and electoral politics, a bit beta. Even now, his brother is shorter odds to be next Labour leader than he is (50/1 and 80/1, respectively), despite his not having been an MP for seven years, while Ed is once again in the…

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Schools reopening has to be at the heart of the Covid plan. Everything else is ad hoc tinkering

Schools reopening has to be at the heart of the Covid plan. Everything else is ad hoc tinkering

As ever, there’s a lack of strategic thinking to the government’s response Lockdown began in the UK on 24 March because the governments mandated it but not really because they chose to. There were many reasons propelling politicians to that decisions, from the mounting numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths to the examples being set abroad. What’s easily forgotten though is the extent to which the lockdown was in no small part a legal regulation of something that was already…

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It’s time to ban Americans

It’s time to ban Americans

Voluntary, unenforced quarantine isn’t enough for high-Covid19 countries President Trump likes to congratulate himself on having closed the border to China in early February as an effective preventative measure against Covid-19. That he should do so isn’t too surprising: congratulating himself is his default setting and his administration has routinely adopted an anti-China stance, as part of Trump’s efforts to rebalance the trade deficit between the two countries. Even so, while the measure was hardly sufficient, it was at least…

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Can Johnson raise the Tories’ game above Easy mode? Can Labour force him to?

Can Johnson raise the Tories’ game above Easy mode? Can Labour force him to?

Governments with no effective opposition become arrogant and complacent Why did the Lib Dems choose the Tories over Labour after the inconclusive 2010 general election? Although only a decade ago, it could as well have been a lifetime given how much has changed since – and in the last five years in particular. But that change makes the question all the more pertinent. The numbers were a big part of it, of course. The Tories could promise a stable government…

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The end of the honeymoon

The end of the honeymoon

At some point LAB will take the lead Labour has not led in any GB poll since 28 July 2019, four days after Boris Johnson succeeded Theresa May as Prime Minister. They did so with a share of just 30%: one more than the Tories and one less than the combined Lib Dem and Brexit Party shares. It seems a lot more than eleven months ago. Clearly, a huge amount has changed since then but the Tory position at the…

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It’s time to take a Biden landslide seriously

It’s time to take a Biden landslide seriously

Trump may recover but he could be overwhelmed Donald Trump has always treated his presidency as a game show; one where success is measured in ratings and dollars. Controversy is to be welcomed: it keeps attention on him and his fans love it. As politics, it’s been relatively successful – enough so to win him the presidency, even if his approval figures have never been much to write home about and the mid-terms were a serious set-back. Events, however, have…

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