Archive for the ‘British current affairs’ Category


The Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary flypast

July 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The wonderful flypast over Buckingham Palace at 1 pm today consisted of 100 aircraft of 23 types with nearly 200 aircrew from 25 different squadrons operating from 14 RAF stations and three civilian airfields. The highlight was a formation 22 Typhoons making out the number 100.

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Is Britain’s National Health Service the best healthcare system in the world?

July 6th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In the week that the NHS celebrated its 70th birthday, this is a good question to ask. On the one hand, the British are immensely proud of the NHS; on the other hand, there is a widespread view that the system is now underfunded and failing to deliver consistent service. Some relevant facts and figures […]

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Will there be Cabinet resignations at today’s crucial Chequers meeting? Perhaps not …

July 6th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Hard Brexit? Soft Brexit? Mish-mash Brexit? Who knows? But a special meeting of the Cabinet today at the Prime Minister’s country retreat of Chequers is supposed to provide some clarity. The trouble is that Cabinet ministers are totally divided on the best way forward. The conclusion of a piece on the Chequers meeting in today’s […]

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Will there really be a Brexit dividend to fund increases to the NHS budget?

June 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Conservative Government has announced that there will be a new funding settlement for the NHS to mark the 70th anniversary of the the creation of the health service. This may well not be enough but the news is welcome. However, it is unclear how it will be funded. The Prime Minister claims that part […]

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“Power to the people: How stronger unions can deliver economic justice”

June 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice has just published a discussion paper entitled “Power to the people: How stronger unions can deliver economic justice“. This paper shows why trade unions and collective bargaining are good for workers and good for the economy. It shows how the decline of the union movement has contributed to a […]

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Not all politicians are the same – for instance, there’s Nick Boles

June 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

At first sight and sound, Nicholas Edward Coleridge Coles, Conservative Member of Parliament for¬†Grantham and Stamford, could be taken as the archetypal Tory politician. The son of Sir Jack Boles (a Head of the National Trust) and the great-nephew of Conservative MP Dennis Boles, he studied at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He is […]

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Could a people’s vote reverse the Brexit decision?

June 6th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, I attended the first annual lecture to commemorate the distinguished former European Commission official Julian Priestley¬†(1950-2017) whom I knew briefly in the mid 1970s. The speech – a low-key but heartfelt address – was given by Richard Corbett, a long time Member of the European Parliament and leader of the British Labour Party […]

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A genuine democracy needs effective trade unions

June 3rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I spent 24 years working professionally as a national trade union official, so I know the vital role that unions play in counterbalancing the power of employers and exploitation at the workplace and I know the reluctance of unions to take strike action especially when this is so heavily circumscribed by law. Last week, an […]

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British political institutions (6): devolution & Brexit

May 19th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, I attended the sixth and final session of the course at the City Literary Institute on “British Political Institutions“. This session was on devolution and Brexit and delivered by two lecturers: American Dale Mineshima-Lowe and British Mark Malcolmson. The UK has a devolved system of government with a Scottish Parliament, a Welsh Assembly […]

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British political institutions (5): the civil service

May 10th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, I attended session 5 of the six-week course at the City Literary Institute on “British Political Institutions“. This session was on the civil service and delivered by two lecturers: Phil Chamberlain, who was a former civil servant in what is now the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sports, and Philip Geering, who […]

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