Archive for the ‘British current affairs’ Category


Rising life expectancy stalls after health spending cuts

July 18th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of government policy in any particular country, but arguably a key measure is the life expectancy of its citizens. Obviously quality of life is important as well as length of life but the first tends to determine the second. In an article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper, the […]

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Remembering the Labour MP, wife and mother Jo Cox

June 16th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

One year ago today, the 41-year-old Labour member of Parliament Jo Cox was shot and stabbed in Birstall, in her Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen.┬áTo mark the first anniversary of her death, her family and friends have urged people to hold events that celebrate her life. The Great Get Together, involving picnics, street parties […]

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Do you understand the British political system?

June 15th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I’ve just been checking the traffic data for my web site which I do from time to time. I noticed a big spike in visitors the day after the General Election. Whereas I normally have around 4,000 visits a day, on 9 June visits peaked at around 5,200. The data suggests that the peak was […]

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The British General Election – some personal reflections

June 9th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

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What is the Qatar spat all about? And why have there been so many foiled and successful terrorists incidents in the UK recently?

June 6th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In a perceptive article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper, Paul Mason examines “Britain’s game of thrones in the Gulf”. On the clash between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, he agues: “The issue torturing the Saudi monarchy is Iran. Obama made peace with Iran in 2015, in the face of Saudi and Israeli opposition. Qatar is diplomatically closer […]

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Is political opposition in Parliament dead?

June 5th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This was the title of a Drive Time programme recently featured on a radio station called Voice of Islam and I was invited to contribute to the item. The programme was billed as follows: “We spoke about the role of the opposition in Parliament and whether it was as effective as it could be. The […]

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Could Labour really win the General Election?

June 2nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

We started the election campaign with Theresa May being much more popular than her party and Jeremy Corbyn being much less popular than his party. As the campaign has gone on, there is no doubt that May is doing less well and Corbyn is doing rather better than expected. Equally it is clear that the […]

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How well does the British Parliament scrutinise legislation?

May 9th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In the British political system, almost all legislation is proposed by the Government and much of it comes from promises made in the manifesto of the relevant political party at the last election. At the beginning of each annual session of the Parliament, the main Bills to be considered are announced by the Queen in […]

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Britain’s poorest households pay more of their income in tax than the richest

April 26th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

Britain’s poorest households pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes than the richest, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Analysis of the ONS’ Effects of Taxes and Benefits publication, released this week, found: The poorest 10% of households paid on average 42% of their income in tax in […]

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How do people decide how to vote in an election?

April 19th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The calling of a snap General Election in the UK was a genuine surprise; the result is unlikely to be one though. A survey published on the day of the announcement put the Conservatives on 44% and Labour on only 23% while, when asked who would make the best Prime Minister, 50% went for Theresa […]

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