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Oh Sweden

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, May 16th, 2020 - 108 comments

Just when we thought liberal democracies meant real freedom was an absolute written into human rights stone, by mid-March this year almost all OECD countries had implemented the most draconian reversal of lockdowns on every single human to combat Covid19. Except Sweden. How is it working out?

Has the EU failed during COVID-19?

Written By: - Date published: 5:16 am, April 10th, 2020 - 20 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

For global governance organisations, this is an important moment. This is the chance for them to demonstrate their worth and coordinate the response. In many ways how these structures respond becomes more important than the response of nation-states. This also is where the deficiencies and shortcomings of such organisations become very apparent. The noise coming from the EU in the last 48 hours is far from reassuring.

Goodbye 2019

Written By: - Date published: 3:04 pm, January 1st, 2020 - 8 comments

Throughout the world 2019 was the worst year for the left since 1979. What will 2020 bring?

The Missing Millions

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, December 12th, 2019 - 18 comments

Millions of people and an entire region of the UK left out of polling calculations….

UK Elections: Parties positions on Brexit

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, November 9th, 2019 - 6 comments

Nick Kelly gives a summary of each major United Kingdom political party.

Snap election Britain

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 30th, 2019 - 55 comments

The UK will learn its political fate on Friday 13 December. MPs have voted in a one-line Bill to have an election on Thursday 12 November, in the middle of winter.  BoJo’s got his way if not quite the way he wanted. All bets are off.

 

BoJo cornered

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 am, September 25th, 2019 - 75 comments

Lady Hale and the UK Supreme Court have torpedoed Boris Johnson’s cunning plan to prorogue Parliament. His request to the Queen was “unlawful, void, and of no effect.” Her Maj will not be pleased. Johnson is now boxed in – ask for an extension to Brexit, or resign.

 

Macron speech – The end of Western hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 am, September 19th, 2019 - 21 comments

France President Macron’s remarkable and wide-ranging speech to French ambassadors after France hosted the recent G7 conference in Biarritz is well worth a read. He lays it all out – so much better than Trump’s tweets or BoJo’s bluster.

BoJo plot foiled – for the time being

Written By: - Date published: 1:47 am, September 12th, 2019 - 57 comments

Phil Syrpis, Professor of EU Law at Bristol University, tweeted in July  Johnson’s plan to force a general election as the defender of the people’s decision against the UK Parliament’s indecision and Brussels bureaucratic intransigence and be in power for the next five years. It was rumbled and it failed.

Boris’s big gamble

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, September 3rd, 2019 - 57 comments

Boris Johnson has threatened a general election if Parliament opposes his self imposed hard deadlines on Brexit.

Fool me twice?

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 am, July 27th, 2019 - 29 comments

Boris Johnson’s ruthless purge of Cabinet and hard right shift looks like preparation for an early election.  Reminds me of 1984 at home, as a right wing coup is on the way. He lied his way to Brexit – will it work again?

Boris for UK PMⁿ

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 am, July 24th, 2019 - 99 comments

67% of the 160,000 UK Conservative Party members have voted for Boris Johnson as their leader. An attempt to block him as PM has been circumvented by the Speaker. The Queen has had to delay her trip to Balmoral to receive him as Prime Minister. I’d have more faith in the Ukraine’s comedian. At least he can command a majority in Parliament.

 

Despatches from Surrealistan

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 am, June 6th, 2019 - 7 comments

London feels surreal.  Joined the demo against Trump, in town to see the Queen, see off the Prime Minister, and plunder the NHS in the name of ‘free trade.’ Saw the play “The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson,”  which might be prescient.

EU elections

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, May 25th, 2019 - 20 comments

The results of the European parliament elections are due.  It’s the first election they’ve had since the refugee crisis, the Brexit referendum, and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.   There’s a reasonably high chance that the far right are going to increase their share of this Parliament.

Xi-ing Jacinda

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, March 29th, 2019 - 73 comments

Jacinda Ardern will get a very warm welcome in Beijing based on immense respect for her and for New Zealand.  Xi Jin-Ping has just returned from a very successful visit to Europe, joining Italy to the Belt and Road initiative and buying 300 jets from Airbus. Pepe Escobar outlines the implications for Eurasia. Much food for thought.

Brexit; Labour Finally Backs A Second Referendum

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, February 26th, 2019 - 104 comments

Events in recent days have forced UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into backing a second Brexit referendum. Labour are now aligned with the majority of British voters, but is it too little too late?

The Independent Group Grows

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, February 21st, 2019 - 25 comments

In the UK, 3 Conservative MP’s have now aligned themselves with the 8 dissenting Labour MP’s in the ‘Independent Group’. What does this mean for both parties and how will it affect Brexit?

What China crisis?

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, February 18th, 2019 - 52 comments

Claims that New Zealand is at a crisis point in terms of its relationship with China appear to be somewhat overegged.

Trump restarts Nuclear Arms race

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, February 8th, 2019 - 58 comments

Donald Trump has announced that the US will be withdrawing from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and Russia has also given notice. Stand by as the nuclear arms race restarts.

Is Brexit A Signal Of Decline?

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, January 18th, 2019 - 103 comments

What if Brexit is not a threat to democracy as a system of government or a threat to liberal values? And what if it is an example of British democracy’s best modern exemplars to the world of institutionalised democracy and the rule of all under the law since universal franchise was first granted?

No confidence?

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, January 17th, 2019 - 22 comments

Live feed of the UK debate in Parliament.

Brexit: Tories Lose Control of the House and the Process

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, January 10th, 2019 - 67 comments

Another day, another humiliating defeat for Theresa May. Surprisingly,  the news is no better for Jeremy Corbyn.

Go Democracy Go!

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, December 26th, 2018 - 68 comments

It’s going to be a strong year for democratic politics.

Random 2019 predictions …

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, December 22nd, 2018 - 114 comments

What will happen in 2019?

The SPOTY’s 2018

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, December 15th, 2018 - 39 comments

Here’s your chance to vote in the Standard’s Politician of The Year awards. The SPOTY’s are recognised worldwide as the leading indicator of political success in NZ and have been awarded annually for over two hundred years.

Now it’s your turn to prick the Thorndon Bubble, dear reader. Who’s your Politician of the Year?

A Right Shambles

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, December 13th, 2018 - 34 comments

With the UK Tories self imploding, the US President contemplating jail time, Angela Merkel moving on and the conservative parties on both sides of the Tasman looking increasingly irrelevant, what should the left do to fill the gap?

Brexit vote on Tuesday

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, December 10th, 2018 - 41 comments

With a vote on the Brexit deal soon and with defeat a distinct possibility both Labour and the Conservatives need a Plan B and they need it inside 48 hours.

May’s Brexit

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, November 15th, 2018 - 91 comments

The unsolvable problem that is Brexit is reaching it’s denouement with Theresa May’s leadership on the line, talk of a no confidence motion, a very leaky cabinet, and no possible achievable resolution in sight.

Tweet of the year

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, November 13th, 2018 - 15 comments

There is still seven weeks of this year left but it appears likely that the tweet of the year has been tweeted.

Brazil turns right

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, October 29th, 2018 - 90 comments

Brazil has elected as its next President a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat.

Will there be a Brexit?

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, September 19th, 2018 - 33 comments

In short, I think not.

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