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Leadership in Times of Crisis: Johnson vs Churchill

Prime Minister Johnson is a great admirer of Winston Churchill and wrote a book about him of which the publisher said, “The Churchill Factor is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what makes a great leader in a time of crisis.” Johnson now faces two crises – one, Brexit, of his own making […]

Corruption? In the UK?

We are all aware that in some countries – like Somalia, Venezuela and Afghanistan – corruption is endemic and hugely damaging. As Robert Zoellick, former President of the World Bank put it, “Corruption is a cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fibre and destroys trust.” The UK, by contrast, […]

What is Happening to Justice in the UK?

This  article was written just before Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary. His departure is a welcome demonstration of the fragility behind the government’s facade of invulnerability, but in itself does not address the problems this article raises. In principle, in the UK, we have equality under the law. The law applies, we are told, […]

Austerity, Brexit, COVID – an ABC of Economic Mismanagement

Before the Brexit referendum, the Leave Campaign were clear: we would not be leaving the Single Market – here are  Johnson and Hannan confirming that – and there would be no economic downside. And now we read that not only have we left the Single Market, but the UK economy will be 4% smaller than […]

What’s After COVID?

This is an approximate transcript of a discussion Mark E Thomas held with the Thor Lion doscussion group on the evening of 10 June 2021. You can now also watch a video of the event.   Good evening. With luck, we are within sight of the end of COVID-19 as a major health and economic […]

A Rebel Alliance?

Among many other controversial decisions in the spending review, the government decided to cut the UK’s overseas aid budget by around 28% or almost £4 billion per annum. Like many unsound decisions, this one was justified on the basis of that all-purpose excuse, the narrative of unaffordability. In this case the government claimed that “the […]

How Open Do You Want To Be?

  The government has announced that from July 1, they plan to share GP records with organisations outside the NHS: Patient data from GP medical records kept by GP practices in England is used every day to improve health, care and services through planning and research, helping to find better treatments and improve patient care. […]

The Fierce Urgency of Now

The government has announced its intention to hold an Inquiry into lessons that can be learned from the COVID pandemic. It has also said that now is not the time to hold such an Inquiry – it intends to launch this one in spring 2022. Of course, it is true that we shall know more […]

Thick or Thin?

The Queen’s speech is, as Her Majesty pointed out, written by the government. In the case of the speech she delivered on 11 May 2021, opinions seem divided. Some have claimed that there was not much to it. Tim Montgomerie, a former adviser to Number 10 described it as “a thin Queen’s Speech. This is […]

The Meaning of Hartlepool

Labour has lost Hartlepool. A once-safe labour seat now has a Conservative majority of 25%. And a variety of conflicting explanations are already forthcoming, including: the Labour Party still hasn’t recovered from Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership; Sir Keir Starmer is not the leader the Labour Party needs – with over 150,000 dead from COVID in the […]

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