How to end a government career

The way to end a government career is not by being stupid, but by becoming expendable. Meet Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, unassuming, unambitious, always towing the party line. And as of last Saturday, ex-Secretary for Health and Social Care. To be fair to poor Matt, when he got the job in 2019, no-one expected much from the Department… Read moreHow to end a government career

Get them early

Today is the last Friday in June, and today is OBON Day. Don’t worry if you have never heard of it, no-one on this island really has. And it would have stayed this way, if the UK Department for Education hadn’t gotten involved. OBON stands for “One Britain One Nation,” and started out in 2005 in Yorkshire as a non-profit…. Read moreGet them early

Quo vadis, Ulster?

This is what happens when you have the week off, and don’t feel like following the news – the world turns in uncomfortable directions. Where to begin? Let’s start with the one that has the farthest reaching consequences: Arlene Foster, First Minister of Northern Ireland, resigned today. Most famous in Northern Irish politics for the Cash for Ash scandal. Also… Read moreQuo vadis, Ulster?

A man’s ego and a nation’s destiny

What does it take for a politician to realise that his career is over, that his influence is diminished, that the dinner speech circuit awaits, and that the rest is history? Alex Salmond was Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party during the first independence referendum in 2014; Nicola Sturgeon was his deputy and his protege. There… Read moreA man’s ego and a nation’s destiny

From one border to another border

It is one of those cases where the devil is in the details. When the Brexit referendum machine got into full swing, not one Little Englander gave a thought or a damn about the border between Ireland the Republic and the 6 counties on the north-eastern tip of the island. That border ceased to exist with the ratification of the… Read moreFrom one border to another border

The timorous beastie ventured North

On Thursday, the fearless leader of the (still)UK showed his face in Scotland. It might have had something to do with the fact that the SNP published its roadmap to an Independence Referendum this Monday. Or that the Scottish Tories lost a vote in Holyrood on Wednesday that called for planning the referendum to be postponed because it’d be “reckless.”… Read moreThe timorous beastie ventured North

Diplomacy is overrated, obviously

The ink is barely dry on the Christmas-timed Trade Deal with the EU. A few important aspects are still to be sorted, hundreds of industries to be considered when creating the actual agreements, let alone the real red tape when several arrangements (aviation, Northern Ireland, etc.) expire in six months. GB needs all the goodwill it can get, both from… Read moreDiplomacy is overrated, obviously

3 weeks? 3 months? Same diff!

Britain got there first. On 2 December last year, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use in the UK, the first in the world. The MHRA did a “rolling review” to get started, checking data the moment it came in, as opposed to waiting on the entire row of binders neatly typed… Read more3 weeks? 3 months? Same diff!