Director of @ukonward. Author of 'Broken Heartlands' and 'The Fall of Boris Johnson'. Who funds me? https://t.co/JKT9uKwxre
Oct 2, 2018 • 6 tweets • 4 min read
90 minutes before @BorisJohnson speaks and he’s already got the biggest queue of any #cpc18 event. Hundreds here!
I reckon you could fill up the main conference with all the people waiting for Boris #cpc18
Oct 1, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
There’s been a security breach at #cpc18. All conference venues in lockdown, buildings locked for duration.
Doors to the main building locked, no one allowed to leave.
Sep 24, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Heaving fringe event for Stop the War coalition with Chris Williamson, Andrew Murray, Owen Jones, Richard Burgon and more. Free wine and sandwiches may have helped. #lab18
Chris Williamson kicks off by saying Jeremy Corbyn is the best leader Labour has ever had and he’ll be the best British prime minister ever. Predicts his government will surpass the achievements of Attlee. #lab18
Some thoughts on the Migration Advisory Committee's report:
#1: It's a sensible, evidence-based liberal approach to post-Brexit migration. By arguing for clamping down on low-skilled migration it speaks to Brexit voters. But it also gives businesses what they are crying out for
#2: For years employers have called for scrapping of the Tier 2 visa cap for high-skilled migration - as has the @FinancialTimes. The MAC endorses this, ergo a policy shift away from fixed migration targets.
Sep 10, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Tend to think this is bang on. We are heading towards a Blind Brexit: the UK signs a withdrawal agreement that hands over £39bn, agrees to a two year stand still transition.
But all of the major decisions are kicked into the long grass (yet again) to after March 2019.
Ardent Brexiters will be angry at the lack of specifics in the future relationship declaration - "a transition to nowhere" as one put it to me. But they also see the clear risk of no Brexit. So they will be minded to accept the blindfold route and hope to toughen it up post May.
Jul 23, 2018 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
The Cabinet is off to Gateshead, my hometown, for an away day. If they find themselves needing a break from each other, some recommendations:
#1: Boating in the lovely Saltwell Park. A prime opportunity to settle Brexit disputes through aquatic means. gateshead.gov.uk/article/3958/S…
#2: Lunch at Eslington Vila. As a former waiter here, I can confirm many testy dining and drinking sessions have been held within its walls. It has private rooms, should they be needed. And it’s one of the north East’s finest restaurants eslingtonvilla.co.uk
Jun 12, 2018 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
“Parliament now controls Brexit to a much greater degree, so a no deal Brexit is much less likely - although its ability to object or shape the negotiations is more limited than some think” - one influential Conservative MP sums up where we're at.
And for a contrary view, this is what a senior Brexiter says:
"It all depends how it works out in the Lords. I am not sure the government has conceded as much as is being reported. Some people are still trying to stop Brexit - that is what underlies this."
Jun 7, 2018 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
There's a consistent theme with Brexit. Every couple of weeks, an issue emerges that is "existential" for Brexiters.
ERG-supporting MPs talk tough, threaten leadership coups and say they won't go along with any compromise, at all. The situation looks bleak.
Theresa May then spends a couple of days serving up gallons of fudge, brokering compromises to try and please both sides.
A compromise is eventually struck, usually at the expense of the Brexiters. They fume but ultimately they do nothing. Nothing changes.
Jun 7, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
.@netanyahu is address a very warm, airless room in Westminster about the Iran nuclear deal, describing it as “effectively defunct”. Typically tough talk on “getting Iran out of Syria”
Netanyahu has opened up a PowerPoint and found his laser pointer. Showing Iran’s influence in the region.
Jun 5, 2018 • 12 tweets • 4 min read
At @Demos launch for their new report on nostalgia, @HelenHet20 says Britain has a unique sense of cherishing its past, which can lead to alienation and voter rebellions.
Simon Heffer (the Telegraph columnist) points out he was close to the Leave campaign and didn’t meet a single person who was harking back to Britain’s colonial past.
Jan 22, 2018 • 60 tweets • 18 min read
After years on life support, it looks as if the party might finally be over for @UKIP. So here is an attempt to collate the weird, bizarre things during the rise and fall of the "People's Army":
#1: The Ukip Calypso by Mike Reed
#2: Ukip councillor David Silvester blames storms and heavy floods on same sex marriage bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan…