I have commented before on the hypocrisy and double standards which characterise the actions of this Govt. From that perspective, the debate about Scottish independence is going to be... an interesting watch. 1/8
Watching as the Labour party, once again, descends into uncivil war. It cannot coalesce around any policy position or agree on who is best placed to deliver it. 1/6
We've been hearing a lot from ghosts of the past - Mandelson, McCluskey, McDonnell, Pidcock, Flint, Adonis and more. Much of 'the analysis' harks back to either Blair or Corbyn. It makes for grim reading and grim viewing. 2/6
We've been hearing a lot about the need to 'learn lessons' and 'listen to the people' and 'engage with voters' real concerns'. But what if (outlandish thought this) 'the people' disagree, and are sending a range of different messages? 3/6
The Labour party is not in a good place. On almost every issue there are strong voices within the party calling for a decisive policy/strategy move. Problem is, these voices are calling for moves in diametrically opposite directions. 1/5
If it is to recover, it needs to discover a sense of purpose and narrative. That is a huge task (and I'm not going to go there now).
There are (to be simplistic) two reasons why Labour is losing. One is that the Labour offer doesn't appeal. The other - much more significant factor - is that the Johnson offer does appeal. 3/5
My corner of twitter seems to be dominated by the internal Labour party debate between supporters of Corbyn and Starmer. I agree fully with @sturdyAlex that it is not a productive use of anyone's time.
Here though are 2 things Labour party supporters *should* be doing. 1/7
1. They should be striving to understand *why* a large % of voters (in Hartlepool and elsewhere) are still supporting Boris Johnson's government, and *what* might make them change their vote. 2/7
2. They should be thinking not only about vote shares, but also about vote distribution, and how they can *win* elections. If Johnson's vote is at c 35-45%, and is 'sticky', how can he be beaten? 3/7
Three thoughts from a football fan:
a) It has been coming;
b) but, the proposal is incoherent; and
c) the Govt's position is... interesting
a) We reap what we sow. Football, at the top level, has long been governed by the relentless search for profit. Links with fans and communities have progressively been weakened. Stories like the @AFCWimbledon story are few and far between. 2/10
The big clubs are owned by millionaires, who want to maximise their profits. They want financial security, and hate risk/jeopardy.
Failing to qualify for the Champions League, or at a different level, relegation from the Premier League, spells financial disaster. 3/10
There are a growing number of people, on various sides, saying that remainers are to blame for *this* Brexit, because they refused to back Theresa May's Brexit deal, which would have avoided many of the GB/NI border problems.
One thing in particular perplexes me. 1/3
The curious thing is that I have seen very few people seek to level a similar charge at the Govt.
It is, after all, they who made changes to Theresa May's deal, they who insisted that the UK leave the customs union, and they who agreed the NI Protocol. 2/3
It is they who do not have an answer to the Irish border trilemma. If, as they do, you insist on regulatory autonomy, there has to be a border between the EU and the UK - the only question is where to put it. 3/3
Has anyone written anything about the financing of COVID testing?
I'm just reacting to the news stories about people having to pay for multiple tests if they go on holidays abroad. 1/4
We have had *a lot* of testing done so far - for going to school, for going to workplaces, if symptomatic, etc etc. All of that has been free (at least for those being tested). 2/4
So... my questions:
How does one distinguish between situations in which testing is free and not? Are we moving towards more paying for testing? What would the implications be of making all COVID testing free? 3/4
First, he could commit to the NI Protocol and explain the work that is ongoing, within the very limited confines of the TCA, to 'de-dramatise' the GB/NI border. Ideally he might even explain the Protocol, and the reasons why it was agreed. 2/4
Or second, he could respond to the real concerns of the Unionist community, and make promises, incompatible with the NI Protocol and the TCA, not to introduce 'unconstitutional' intrusions onto UK sovereignty. 3/4
One more go at the Irish border 'trilemma' (see @rdanielkelemen's Venn diagram) and Brexit.
The implications of the latest developments are very stark. Thread.
While the UK and the EU were in the same regulatory space (single market and customs union) there was no need for significant border checks between the two. 2/
Then along came Brexit. Over the years since 2016, Brexiters' position has hardened. Sovereignty and regulatory freedom were prioritised. And so, solutions which would have 'solved' (or 'de-dramatised') the Irish border issue were rejected. 3/
Late last night, I had a dream that I was given access to the work which is being done, deep in the bowels of Downing St, for the Brexit inquiry. I only remember snippets, but here goes... THREAD. 1/8
The conclusions have already been written. Teams (led by a respected cross-party group of members of the House of Lords (Hoey, Stuart, Hannan and Moylan were mentioned)) are now seeking out the evidence. 2/
Brexit is a triumph. Global Britain has been reborn. Our sovereignty has been regained. We have regulatory autonomy and unfettered trade. The Govt has worked day and night to deliver on the people's priorities, and must be celebrated. 3/
'We increasingly felt that an unexplored approach to closing disparity gaps was to examine the extent individuals and their communities could help themselves through their own agency, rather than wait for invisible external forces to assemble to do the job.' 2/2
Just two more points on this.
1. 'Helping themselves' is *not* an 'underexplored approach'. FFS.
2. If 'external forces' were more visible that might, who knows, be an improvement. FFS.
The double-standards and hypocrisy of the Govt and its outriders - on almost all fronts - is dizzying. I get that it is a deliberate strategy, but really struggle to understand how so many people are taken in.
Just a few examples... 1/7
The sanctity of international commitments, Treaties and contracts. If we are prepared to breach them when it suits us, how outraged can we really be when the EU, or China, or Russia, does the same? 2/7
The Ministerial Code. Breaches by Patel and Johnson are waved away. But breaches by Nicola Sturgeon are, it seems, in a different category. 3/7
In the Sarah Everard case, there is an emerging trope - criticising those who have 'politicised' her death, and intimating that the protests would not be welcomed by her family and friends.
There are a few things here worth unpicking. Thread. 1/9
First, I am not sure on what basis people are presuming to know what Sarah's family and friends are going through, and how they are reacting to the way things are unfolding. My guess is that they have a wide range of views and thoughts. 2/9
Second, it is worth distinguishing between the publicity which Sarah's death and the investigation into it is attracting; and the broader debate about womens' safety, the role of the police and the right to protest. 3/9
Sometimes the news cycle works in ways which are incredibly jarring.
Here are three instances, from the last week, of what may be called 'cancel culture'. 1/5
First, the latest manifestation of the 'war on woke', featuring Piers Morgan and Ian Murray. We are supposed to be outraged by the 'silencing' of these people. 2/5 dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9…
Second, the Government's latest attempt to silence protestors (the Bill is due to receive its second reading on Monday). I don't think that we are supposed to notice the silencing of these people. 3/5 politics.co.uk/comment/2021/0…
The EU's first choice would (I think) have been that the UK did not choose to leave the EU, but rather worked within EU structures. But, it was the UK's sovereign choice to leave, and choose to leave it did. 2/
The question was then how to manage the process of Brexit. The integrity of the single market, and the protection of the GFA, quickly emerged as the EU's primary aims. 3/