The Labour Party is split when unity is needed against an aggressive Right

There are plenty of signs in the wind that we may have a General Election not far off and yet the Labour Party seem to be in a mess, riven by accusations of anti-semitism and bunker-mentality denials by its leadership clique. It seems stuck in intra-party conflict at the very point when one might imagine unity is needed against a very militant right wing that poses a major threat, on … Read more

Civil service being subjected to excessive political pressure over Brexit

As investigations focus in on the likely leaker of the Darroch memos, the wider ramifications are now under scrutiny. It is now being suggested that the leaking was politically motivated by those seeking to establish in Washington a British ambassador more clearly sympathetic to both Trump’s and Brexiters’ policies. Coming in the midst of a leadership contest thought likely to install a pro-Trump Hard Brexiter, the implications are considerable. At … Read more

The Johnson leadership bid tilts towards Trump as Brexit looms

The row over the British Ambassador to the US, coming just after a public debate between the leadership challengers to the Tory Party succession has been instructive as to the likely direction of play. Leadership elections, especially when a party is in power, can give useful clues as to the new coalition, in party-political terms, that is being assembled, the personalities and the likely policies in particular. The resignation of … Read more

Boris Johnson and the economics of Leave: the whiff of an election

Preoccupied as many people are with the approaching crunch point over Brexit, they may not be so aware of the powerful whiff of an approaching general election and the potential voting-winning economic and tax-and-spend policies of the hard right behind Boris Johnson. While stuffed full of curious contradictions, and amidst masses of scepticism from soon-to-be-ex Chancellor Hammond, there is an interesting sense in BJ’s Borisomics of a mix of tax … Read more

Remain need to form an Anti-Brexit alliance to fight the election

While the Tories are busy being inwardly-focused and dreaming of the easily-won Brexit paradise as promised by Boris Johnson, the Remain side need to be thinking of the likely next General Election. The million dollar question must be whether they can form an Anti-Brexit alliance. The lesson of the last few years should be that the old two party voting pattern has broken down, or is at least on its … Read more

Can Parliament stop a No Deal Brexit being pushed through by a new PM?

You may be feeling more than a touch of déjà vu but it looks like we will be going to the wire again in October, when another round in the struggle for power between Parliament and government over Brexit is likely to take place. Again people are asking whether and how Parliament can stop Johnson pushing through a No Deal Brexit. The Tories appear to be leaving the crowning of … Read more

To get why Boris Johnson might be the UK’s PM one needs to get Brexit

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man” can seem very biblical but is perhaps rather apposite in the circumstances. People now faced with the possibility of Boris Johnson as the UK’s PM and national leader are asking, “How can this be?” It should be remembered that there are around 48% who favour Brexit and also Johnson still enjoys a lot of support. Equally one might ask how it was that Farage … Read more

Can the UK government force through a No Deal Brexit?

Could a new UK Prime Minister in effect force through a No Deal Brexit without Parliament’s consent? This is yet another tortured question to emerge in the ongoing conflict over whether and on what basis Britain should leave the EU. There has been more than one cliffhanger in the conflict already, where the sides have been deadlocked, the deadline for Britain to leave has got very close and in the … Read more

Parliament tries to take contol of Brexit from the government

The power struggle over Brexit and between the legislature and the executive steps up a gear tomorrow, when we will see both May’s response to her massive defeat last week and publication of the Cooper/Boles/Grieve cross-party measures to take control of the Brexit Process from May’s government. At the same time steps are being taken to promote the idea of a second referendum both within the Labour Party and with … Read more

Brexit puts the UK constitution under massive strain

The Brexit crisis have underlined a number of serious issues about our unwritten constitution and even the viability of the British state. Arguably our current constitutional arrangements don’t cater effectively for certain problems raised by Brexit, but for which some mechanism or point of ultimate reference is badly needed to prevent abuse of power. One  such case is the role of the monarchy. We arguably do not have effective government … Read more