England’s founders

England’s founders

Andrew Adonis, on Twitter, has challenged us to name three people as founders of England. I thought that’s a good game. Who would I choose?

What is England? I think it needs to be seen as defined by its Parliament, its capitalist economy and its social wage, the remaining jewel of which is the NHS. So I nominate the Immortal 7, Sir Robert Peel, and Aneurin Bevan.

The Immortal Seven are seven members of the House of Lords who invited William of Orange to England to ensure a protestant succession. Modern historians may argue about the extent this established Parliament as the supreme authority but it is generally considered the act that ended the English Civil Wars and started us down the road to our current constitution.

Sir Robert Peel not only founded the Tory Party but the Joint Stock Companies Act was also passed under his stewardship, I toyed with Marx as an observer of Capitalism and Brunel as the innovator/entrepreneur, except he wasn’t, but capitalism is about capital mobility and capital markets and so that Act which enabled these two things to happen.

Our benefit system is in tatters, Beveridge and Keynes will be turning in their graves, but the NHS remains, and it seems we have to associate Bevan with it. Bevan is of course Welsh.

At least one commentator on the twitter thread makes the point that analysing history through the lives of single people is not wise.

Left by the wayside are Henry VIII, Oliver Cromwell & Horatio Nelson …

Sound the alarm

Sound the alarm

I have just started the Secret Barrister, in the forward, they say,

When you have sat in as many decrepit court cells or tired, coffee stained witness suites as I have, looking into the eyes of someone whose most basic sense of what is ‘fair’ and what is right has been entirely crushed by their exposure to the criminal justice system, you can either slink into jaundiced defeatism or sound the alarm.

The Secret Barrister

And while I have not sat in courts, or witness suites, I (as an accompanying rep) too have met many who are shocked at the lack of fairness amongst our employers, and in our law.  …

A Frost free xmas

A Frost free xmas

Lord Frost, the Brexit Minister has resigned from Govt. He couldn’t square the circle of cakeism! Boris was walking away from a Northern Ireland & CJEU showdown with the EU and further compromises were/are needed; Johnson needs all his political capital to be half sensible on Covid 19. Frost took the opportunity to argue its about macroeconomics and vision, but we all know he’d made the job impossible and like his brexitloon predecessors he was costing the Govt more than he was bring to it on the one metric that counts, Popularity. He’ll lose about £31,000 in pay, but keep the right to claim about £67,000 as a member of the House of Lords as an attendance allowance.

Have I got news for you comments,


Shropshire North By-election

The Tories have lost a seat they’ve held forever. You can find lots of people commenting often spinning it according to their agenda. I am not saying I am not biased, but the one incontrovertible truth is that it would seem that candidate quality counts. The winning Lib Dem is a committed local politician and campaigner, the Tory was not.

See what I said about Batley & Spen and candidate quality then, …

Sometimes ministers go to gaol.

I am astonished to read that Inger Støjberg, an ex-Danish immigration minister has been sent to prison for breaching migrant’s human rights. This followed a European Court of Human Rights ruling. I look forward to one of many cases against Priti Patel going to Strasbourg, for instance, this and this on her illegal and inhumane instructions on push back of refugees crossing the channel or her failures in progressing Windrush compensation or her discriminatory behaviour towards pre-settled EU citizen residents. She should be worried although her mate Dominc Raab has an answer. Neuter the ECtHR. …

Why we shouldn’t leave the Labour Party

Why we shouldn’t leave the Labour Party

The Educator is a monthly political education newsletter for Momentum members, covering topics from Labour history to political theory. Momentum emailed the Dec. issue to its supporter base, in it, the academic Jeremy Gilbert makes a compelling case for the left to stay inside the Labour Party. This is a mirror, the original is posted here, the text of the article is overleaf/below. ...

A turning point in fortune

A turning point in fortune

Two polls this week put Labour well ahead of the Tories and even Poltico’s poll tracker has Labour ahead albeit by smaller numbers and on Thursday, the Tories lost 5 council bye-elections. A couple of things to say, firstly, this may not last, and secondly it’s often said that government’s lose elections rather than oppositions winning them. This turn in the polls may come to be seen as important. I find it hard to believe that ‘partygate’ is the cause of the sudden turn in fortunes, but stranger things have happened. While Thatcher fell because of the Poll Tax, and Major because of Black Wednesday, Brown was overtaken after a spat with Osborne on Inheritance Tax, with Ed Miliband, it was the bacon sandwich and the SNP, and Corbyn lost his lead over May at the same time he was arguing that we needed more evidence to blame the Russians for Skripal poisonings. Sometimes tragedy, sometimes farce but we need to ask will it last. ... More overleaf ...

More racism from the Nationality & Borders Bill

The nationality and borders bill has been rightly criticised for demonising refugees and asylum seekers, the Acts last year have given the police immunity from prosecution for illegal acts, but I have just discovered, by looking at the New Statesman, that it plans to increase the powers of the Home Secretary to remove the citizenship rights, rendering them stateless,of people she believes have a claim on citizenship of a second state. It is one of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, not to be stateless. The ‘Statesman, rather dramatically suggests 6 million people could be in jeopardy.

In the article in the ‘Statesman, the show more button works.  …