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Category: Boris

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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Johnson can’t go on being as dire at PMQs as he was yesterday

Johnson can’t go on being as dire at PMQs as he was yesterday

Time to bet that he won’t make it as PM until the next general election? I first began reporting professionally as a journalist on PMQs in 1972 when I was part of the small team that produced the “Today in Parliament” programme for BBC Radio 4. Three years later I was one of the editors that handled the parliamentary broadcasting experiment that was the forerunner of the proceedings of the House being broadcast on radio and then later television. These…

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Wedged: the looming problem for Boris Johnson

Wedged: the looming problem for Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s government may be pretty incompetent at most things but you can’t fault its ability to sniff out a topic to rally its base to its side. The number of undocumented migrants crossing the English Channel does not begin to fill the gaps left by all those people who needlessly died with Covid-19 owing to the government’s negligence, but the government gleefully seized on a fresh opportunity to whip up its parochial white English nationalist base against those of duskier…

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As we head into August the impact on holidays becomes the big pandemic story

As we head into August the impact on holidays becomes the big pandemic story

Have ministers panicked? Today’s front pages give a good representation of the main pandemic stories and what the papers think are the issues most likely to impact on their readers. Once again the Daily Star manages to produce the most striking front page and that paper is to my mind having the best pandemic. So often it is taking the most eye-catching and humorous approach which is very much in the spirit of the early days of the tabloid Sun….

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Polling Analysis: Johnson’s approval ratings are markedly better in seats gained by the Tories at GE2019

Polling Analysis: Johnson’s approval ratings are markedly better in seats gained by the Tories at GE2019

The one poll we get every week is by Opinium for the Observer – a pollster that provide some of the best cross tabs for analysis. Because there can be such a high margin of error in taking the splits from one poll I have gone through all four polls that were published by Populus during this month and the figures shown are the average. The part of the surveys I have focussed on are the net approval ratings for…

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What happened to England’s top nurse after she refused to back lockdown bandit Cummings

What happened to England’s top nurse after she refused to back lockdown bandit Cummings

The story that won’t go away Even though it is getting on for two months since the Cummings lockdown breaking drive to Durham first made the headlines the story has re-emerged this afternoon with the appearance of England’s Chief Nurse, Ruth May, before the Commons public accounts committee. According to reports of this afternoon’s session there had been a trial run for her participation in the televised news conference in which she was asked about what Cummings did and she…

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Spotting the Difference – what really matters to Johnson when deciding who is in or out

Spotting the Difference – what really matters to Johnson when deciding who is in or out

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – has usually been seen as a hospital pass (any point during the Troubles), an internal exile for those having to earn their passage back to the mainstream (Mandelson) or somewhere to put rivals or nuisances (Francis Pym, Jim Prior). In some cases, PMs have trolled the residents of that benighted province (Shaun Woodward, Karen Bradley, for heaven’s sake!) Few have shone in the role. One who did was Julian Smith. In his…

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