Archive for the ‘British current affairs’ Category


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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Who will speak for liberal Britain?

April 3rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

“In the film adaptation of James Ellroy’s LA Confidential, Officer White (Russell Crowe) makes a home visit to an elderly woman whose daughter is missing. There’s an unpleasant smell coming from the basement. “A rat died behind a wall,” the woman, who is called Mrs Lefferts, says. Crowe investigates and discovers a decomposed body hidden […]

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How ‘dark money’ is undermining democracy in Britain (as it already has done in the United States)

April 2nd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

In today’s “Observer” newspaper, there is a news item about how unregulated political expenditure – especially online using social media – seriously influenced the outcome of last summer’s EU referendum and threatens to undermine the fairness of future elections in the UK. The piece opens: “An urgent review of “weak and helpless” electoral laws is being […]

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Can things get any worse for the Labour Party? And when will Corbyn realise that he has to go?

March 31st, 2017 by Roger Darlington

As a lifelong member of the British Labour Party, I despair at the current state of the party and the appalling leadership that it has. In an article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper, John Harris underlines just how bad things have become for the party as the country approaches Brexit: “This is, then, arguably the most […]

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Who is Inspector Sands and why does he receive so many announcements?

February 28th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I travel a lot on the London Underground system and in recent weeks I have heard several announcements calling on Inspector Sands to go to the control room. What’s all this about? The Inspector Sands voice message is an automated message which is activated when the station fire alarm sounds. The message gives staff an […]

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Remembering Sir Gerald Kaufman MP

February 27th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

I was saddened to hear the news today of the death of Gerald Kaufman, the Labour Member of Parliament who was the longest-serving member of the House of Commons, having clocked up an amazing 47 years when he died. I joined the Labour Party in 1969 in the Manchester Ardwick constituency where Kaufman was first […]

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It’s Fat Cat Tuesday – a national disgrace

January 4th, 2017 by Roger Darlington

The UK’s top bosses will have made more money by lunchtime today than the typical UK worker will earn all year, according to an analysis that exposes the gulf between executives and the rest of the workforce. On “Fat Cat Wednesday” campaigners say that public anger with elites will intensify unless action is taken to […]

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“Stuck: How Labour is too weak to win, and too strong to die”

January 3rd, 2017 by Roger Darlington

This is the title of a report published today by the Fabian Society on the state of the British Labour Party. It is a sobering but fair analysis of the current challenges facing the party. The one paragraph summation is as follows: “The Labour Party is too weak to win the next election – whether […]

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