Category Archives: Uncategorized

‘Boris Johnson’s First Year’, UK in a Changing Europe, 22 July 2020

As a classicist, Boris Johnson hardly needs reminding that hubris can lead to nemesis. But hubris must have been hard to avoid. After all, his first six months as Britain’s eighteenth Conservative prime minister were, frankly, little short of miraculous. To grasp the sheer scale … Continue reading

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‘Boris Johnson could win a war on woke’, Unherd, 29 June 2020

Is Downing Street preparing a ‘war on woke’? If you believe the reports, then just such a strategy is being urged upon Boris Johnson by some of his senior advisors — among them one of the authors of the 2019 manifesto … Continue reading

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What is Keir Starmer up to over a Brexit extension?, New Statesman, 8 June 2020

Nobody, outside the ranks of Britain’s Brexiteer ultras, thinks that ending our transition out of the European Union’s single market and customs union without having secured some kind of trade deal is a good idea. Indeed, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that … Continue reading

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‘The virus is changing politics, but there are opportunities as well as risks’, Times, 13 May 2020.

It’s an ill wind, they say, that blows nobody any good. And the coronavirus crisis is no exception. It’s too early to tell how – or how much – it will change UK politics in the long term. But we … Continue reading

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‘Does Boris Johnson have the Conservative Party’s permission to extend transition?’, with Hovid Minasyan, 30 April, UK in a Changing Europe.

A new survey from Deltapoll has confirmed what others have already pointed to – namely that a majority of the public, given the outbreak of Covid-19, are now in favour of extending the UK’s transition out of the EU’s single market and … Continue reading

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‘A Brexit extension would face serious opposition even during coronavirus’, Financial Times, 11 April 2020

More often than not, the burden of proof for a major shift in policy lies with those advocating change rather than with those resisting it. But what if the arguments in favour of that shift seem so self-evident to its … Continue reading

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‘Covid-19 and the transition period’, UK in a Changing Europe, 19 March 2020.

Last year, some six million people signed a petition on Parliament’s website calling for the revocation of Article 50 and for the UK to remain in the European Union. But right now, as the covid-19 crisis threatens to overwhelm the country’s capacity … Continue reading

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‘Level up: Boosting the regions might mean levelling down London’ (with Phil Cowley), CityAM, 12 March 2020.

Except for updates on the coronavirus, no ministerial appearance these days is complete without mention of the government’s professed intention to “level up”. This seems to mean a desire to do something — usually something to do with infrastructure spending … Continue reading

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‘Poll reveals tensions in new Tory coalition’, Unherd, 11 March 2020.

One of the downsides of doing surveys is that — more often than not, and certainly more often than you’d like — they end up pointing to the bleedin’ obvious. You know: ‘Poll reveals people like free stuff, hate politicians’ … Continue reading

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‘Wash your hands, Big Brother is watching you’, Times, 9 March 2020.

Prepare to be disgusted, seriously disgusted. But don’t worry, it’ll do you good, especially now that we’re all being urged to do our bit in the battle against coronavirus. Trust me, I’m a doctor. OK, I’m not a real doctor. … Continue reading

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