Archive for the ‘British current affairs’ Category


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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British political institutions (4): the judiciary

May 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I like to attend short courses at the City Literary Institute in central London and I’m now doing a six-week course on “British Political Institutions”.  The fourth session of the course was delivered by  Mark Geering and covered the judiciary, including an outline of the legal system and the role of the Supreme Court. I have […]

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British political institutions (3): the government

April 29th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I like to attend short courses at the City Literary Institute in central London and I’m now doing a six-week course on “British Political Institutions”.  The third session of the course was delivered by the City Lit’s Director Mark Malcolmson and covered the executive, that is the government of the Cabinet and junior ministers. I have […]

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Who was Millicent Fawcett?

April 24th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It’s great that today we saw the unveiling of the first statute of a woman in London’s Parliament Square where there has previously only been statues of men (11 of them). The new statute is of Millicent Fawcett – but who exactly was she? She was a campaigner for the right of women to vote, […]

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