Archive for the ‘Politics’ category

Boris Johnson and bus deregulation

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

With the unfortunate news that Boris Johnson is to be the next prime minister, I thought it a good opportunity to highlight a post from 2007. Johnson had written in his Telegraph column how bad he considered the bus network in London to be, suggesting that London should adopt the system common throughout the rest […]

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Tuition fees: Blunkett should do more homework

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Former Secretary of State for Education David Blunkett wrote a piece for the Guardian last week, arguing that instead of cutting university tuition fees, the government should reduce the interest rate that applies to the loans that cover repayment of the fees. I am not going to argue one way or another when it comes […]

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E-cigarettes should not be allowed on buses

Friday, 17 August 2018

I have sometimes found the debate on e-cigarettes a little puzzling. Some experts argue that they are probably not completely safe, and therefore that they should not be allowed, or at least that they should only be allowed on prescription, or from chemists. If e-cigarettes were a completely new, stand-alone activity that had been invented, […]

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Garden Bridge has fallen down

Saturday, 29 April 2017

At last a piece of good news. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has finally withdrawn support for the proposed Garden Bridge across the River Thames, effectively killing the project. After a report by a committee of MPs earlier this month said the bridge should be scrapped, any other decision on the part of the mayor […]

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Renaming honours

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Former footballer Howard Gayle made headlines for a second time this week for declining an MBE, this time suggesting that the name of the honour should be changed to remove the reference to the British Empire. It is important to remember that the “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” is an order of chivalry, […]

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Corbyn must go

Saturday, 2 July 2016

When Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader last year, it seemed rather like a sideshow to the “real” politics in the country. It was mildly amusing to see him politely ask questions e-mailed by the public at Prime Minister’s Questions, with David Cameron politely answering. More recently, the weekly sparring session returned more to its usual […]

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Why give some people more democracy than others?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

The UK’s vote narrowly to leave the EU was not uniform across the country. For example, in London, nearly 60% of people voted to remain in the EU. In Scotland, 62% voted to remain. And in Oxfordshire, nearly 57% of people wanted to stay. However, in the post-referendum fall-out, it seems only one of these […]

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Freedom of Information: a refreshingly sensible decision

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Many commentators have expressed surprise that the government’s Freedom of Information Commission has proposed no significant changes to the Freedom of Information Act, the law that allows any member of the public to request information from the government or a public body, thereby ensuring openness and transparency. Also a surprise is that the government have […]

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Drugs rethink means scrapping “grandfather rights”

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A government report this week found that there is no link between tough penalties and drug use. This has prompted calls from various politicians for a review of drugs laws. While it’s clearly a complex issue, it’s hard to argue with a rigorous report or with scientific research into addiction. Perhaps there is a case […]

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United we will remain

Friday, 19 September 2014

It will come as little surprise to regular readers that I am delighted with the result of yesterday’s referendum in Scotland. Although I had remained optimistic that the people of Scotland would vote “No” to independence, I had thought the result might be closer. Historically, support for independence has hovered at around a third of […]

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