Brexit Back to the Future

Photo by Andy Newton on Unsplash

Photo by Andy Newton on Unsplash   In 2020 the UK finally left the EU, three years after the referendum and nearly fifty years since it joined what was then called the European Economic Community.  Nigel Farage confidently forecast that other Member States would soon follow suit, and that “after Brexit, the EU will no longer exist”. As…

The Proof of the Pudding

Ian Dooley

Photo by Ian Dooley on Unsplash It is said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill clearly endorsed this when he sent back to the kitchen a dull dessert, complaining that the pudding had no theme. It raises the question as to which pudding best represents the…

Erasmus, “Citizen of the World”

Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash

Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash So, finally, the UK Government has stopped dithering and agreed to rejoin the EU Horizon programme. Hailed by researchers as vital to help make the UK a science superpower, it has taken nearly three years for Sunak to negotiate a deal so that he could claim some sort of victory at the…

Missing The Bus

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash In 2021 the UK hosted the COP26 summit, designed to agree practical steps to implement the Paris Climate accords. Both India and China joined other key players in making significant commitments, and there was general agreement that real progress was being made – and widespread acknowledgment that the UK was providing a…

Politics and Asylum

Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash

Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash Over the past century the UK has had a proud record of accepting refugees and asylum seekers. Just like today there were often loud voices against, but the Prime Ministers of the time had the courage of their convictions and made them welcome.  After the second world war and the resettlement of…

The Challenge of China

Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash The USA and China have agreed to set up working groups to discuss specific issues, with at the same time President Biden issuing carefully targeted curbs on US firms investing in Chinese tech companies. This twin-track approach should be seen as a sensible and practical development.  Western nations have struggled to establish…

Gone to Pot

Photo by Liam Riby on Unsplash

Photo by Liam Riby on Unsplash The latest report by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), just published, announced that vehicle breakdowns in Britain caused by potholes have now reached a five-year high. The number of potholes is also increasing – a stark contrast to the proud legacy over two centuries of the country leading the world in road-building technology….

Out of Time and Out of Touch

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash The UK has just experienced three by-elections, and the results are very bad for the Conservatives. Spin doctors from the three major parties are now hard at work. Liberal Democrats have no need to spin. Having overturned a massive Conservative majority in the west of England they have now created a massive…

Post is Past

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash Last year the UK National Health Service (NHS) booked some 122 million patient appointments, with outpatients making up 80% of the total. With e-mail and SMS messaging apparently regarded as unproven technologies, patients were generally notified by letter costing over £112 million – despite a pledge by Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary…

The Blame Game

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Photo by Stock Birken on Unsplash   The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has just reported that the UK is the only G7 country where inflation has been rising, and one of the three worst amongst the 38-country OECD membership.  The question is: why?  The UK Office for National Statistics blames three factors: Russia’s invasion of…