New power-sharing deal restores NI devolution – in order to quit Johnson’s UK?

At long last – three years since the ‘Cash for Ash’ scandal that ended the last Northern Ireland power-sharing deal, it seems MLAs are returning to Stormont. The new power-sharing deal means devolved government in Northern Ireland will resume. According to Boris Johnson: This is a great step forwards for the people of Northern Ireland and for restoring public confidence in stable devolved Government and delivering much needed reforms to public services. — Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 10, 2020 Do you think he hasn’t realised that they’re all getting back…

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Bid to halt NI abortion law change fails. How will Boris Johnson get the DUP on-side for his Brexit now?

How interesting – last week we were told Boris Johnson’s government was working hard to get the devolved government in Northern Ireland working again, to bribe the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) into supporting his Brexit deal. The idea was that, as the DUP is firmly opposed to the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland – which will happen by law after the Westminster government supported it and could only be stopped if the Stormont assembly voted to do so, then the Stormont assembly must be restored. It seems clear that…

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Corbyn’s Scottish trip shows he means it when he says he’ll win back support

“Gotta feel sorry for Corbyn. “Don’t mention Scotland! Drink this! Just Drink. The. Irn. Bru. Try to look happy.” That’s SNP councillor Mhairi Hunter’s opinion of Jeremy Corbyn’s trip north of the English border – but it’s one that doesn’t seem to reflect the actual state of affairs at all. Sure, we have the photographs of Labour’s new leader brandishing a bottle of Irn Bru and claims like that in The National, that Scottish Labour has told him not to mention the word ‘Scotland’ for fear of “playing to the…

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Ministers unveil plans to cut spending. They’ll hit the poor again because they’re lazy

Local authorities and their representatives have called for £60 billion of government spending to be devolved to them in order to achieve £20 billion of savings – a forlorn hope! George Osborne, who called for proposals on how to make the savings in advance of November’s spending review, will go for anything that attacks the poor. He knows his party, you see. Tories are rich and they are lazy – and they want to continue being rich and lazy. Therefore they support policies that support their wealth and indolence, and…

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NHS Wales should be praised for employing agency nurses to keep care standards high

A Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Conservatives has revealed that NHS Wales had to spend £190 million on agency doctors and nurses in the last four years. Shame on NHS Wales, right? Well, no. This merely demonstrates the cack-handed way the Conservatives have been running the health service since taking office as part of the Coalition Government in 2010. Does anybody remember reports last year that the Conservative-led Coalition Government had dumped 4,000 senior nurses since 2010, considering them to be “disposable” and “a quick way to save money”?…

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A Conservative victory: Now our suffering begins in earnest

If you thought you had it bad under the Coalition then, as someone once said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” The Conservative victory in last night’s election has left many of us reeling – not just because of its disastrous implications for the future of the UK and its citizens, but because nobody saw it coming. Some have blamed ‘shy’ Tory voters. These are selfish little liars who skew the polls by denying any intention to vote for the Nasty Party. In the case of yesterday’s vote, many will have…

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Labour’s new policies show it has been listening

The Labour Party has announced a series of new policies intended to improve conditions for both small and large industries in the UK. They are the latest in an apparently-unending flood of new policies to be placed before the public since the ‘long campaign’ began in earnest at the beginning of the year. It seems likely that they follow on from a series of in-depth public consultations, such as ‘Your Britain’, that the party has always said would contribute to the shape of its 2015 manifesto. For once, it seems,…

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Electoral Reform Society criticises Tory plans for England-only votes

Thanks to Tom Pride for flagging up this story: The non-partisan Electoral Reform Society has criticised William Hague’s announcement of the Conservative proposal for giving English MPs the only say over England-only legislation, saying such important constitutional changes should be decided by the public, not just by MPs. Darren Hughes, Deputy Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “It may seem like the most natural thing in the world to give English MPs a veto over laws that affect only England. But the truth is this proposal would have huge implications for the way…

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Labour plans ‘biggest devolution of economic power and funding for generations’

Today’s most interesting election announcement comes from Labour, which is promising to deliver “the biggest devolution of economic power and funding to England’s city and county regions for generations”. Plans to devolve £30 billion of funding over five years – including funding for housing, transport, business support, employment and adult skills – will be at the heart of the next Labour government’s Spending Review, if elected in May. A Labour Treasury will allow city and county regions which come together in combined authorities to keep 100 per cent of extra business…

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‘New Scottish powers’ Bill published – but is it any good?

Today’s big news has to be the publication of draft legislation to give the Scottish Parliament more powers – in line with the recommendations of the Smith Commission and three days ahead of the government’s self-determined deadline, Burns Night. As Vox Political has previously reported, the Smith Commission was set up to find ways of enacting the promises made by the UK’s unionist political parties in what has since been dubbed ‘The Vow’. It reported back in November with recommendations that, in fact, added and expanded on those in The Vow. Scottish…

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