Archive for the ‘British current affairs’ Category


If you would be interested in tracking in real time accurate data on the spread of coronavirus worldwide, there is a web site that is doing that

March 18th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Amazingly the site has been set up by an American boy of just 17, Avi Schiffmann, a high school junior from Mercer Island outside Seattle. But the site is using reputable sources such as the Word Health Organisation. You can access the site here. As I write this posting, the global number of confirmed cases […]

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Sajid Javid has resigned as Chancellor rather than sack his Special Advisers, but who are Special Advisers?

February 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Special Advisers – or SpAds as they known in political circles – are a small number of political advisers appointed by each Secretary of State to serve that Cabinet Minister only for the duration of that minister being in the office. Some have specialist knowledge of the subject matter of the Government Department headed by […]

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Now that Brexit is ‘done’, what happens next?

February 7th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

A week ago, the United Kingdom left the European Union after membership of 47 years. In a practical sense, nothing changed because we now have a transition period but, in an emotional sense, everything changed because – depending on your point of view – either we took back or control or (my view) we stupidly […]

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American politics in (in)action

February 4th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

They can’t impeach a president who is as guilty as hell. They can’t count caucus votes in one of the least populous states in the union. If you want to know more about the American political system, check out my guide. But we Brits can’t be smug. We couldn’t hold a clean referendum on the […]

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While British politics has calmed down a lot, American politics remains as exciting as ever

January 31st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

By the end of today, Britain will have left the European Union after being a member for 47 years. A foreign friend asked me if there was an air of excitement. I explained that, since the decisive general election of 12 December 2019, there has been a sense of resignation. Those who supported Brexit thought […]

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Where now for a devastatingly defeated Labour Party?

December 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

We have all given significant periods of our lives to the Labour movement, most recently as MPs and candidates in the general election. We have been horrified by the damage that Tory government austerity has wreaked in our communities, crippling our NHS, starving our struggling schools and transport networks, normalising street sleeping and failing to […]

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The British General Election: what now for our constitution?

December 14th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Two documents are never read by the overwhelmingly majority of people. The first is our constitution, not least because it does not exist as a single codified document, but it is nevertheless something vital to our democracy and needs reform but the right reform. The second is election manifestos because they are essentially only available […]

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The British General Election: what just happened?

December 13th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

First, some basic facts: This was the first December election since 1923. In most parts of the UK, the weather was wet and windy and the nights were long and dark. But turnout was 67.3%, only slightly below the 2017 election held in June. The Conservatives won 365 seats (with 43.6% of the vote) – […]

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How do people decide how to vote in an election?

November 15th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The calling of a snap General Election in the UK was hardly a surprise: Boris Johnson was planning one from the day he became Prime Minister and, after failing to get his Brexit deal through Parliament, he decided to seek the majority he needs to get his deal “over the line”. The result may not […]

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Brexit bingo – on the day of the Commons vote and the people’s march

October 19th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A drink is not compulsory each time you hear these, but it might not be a bad idea: “Customs border in the Irish Sea” “Get Brexit done” “The will of the people” “17.4 million people” “No more dither and delay” “A reckless Tory Brexit” “No-deal cliff edge” “Chlorinated chicken” “No one voted to be poorer” […]

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