Author: Sadie Parker

International woman of mystery Sadie Parker once got caught up in a revolution in a small African nation, fell 450m down a mountain in the land of the Vikings, was whisked away to secret meetings in the Sahara, questioned by the secret services of a cold, hostile state (you know the one), and accidentally gate-crashed a wedding in central Asia in her bicycle shorts… She’s now leading a calmer life, dividing her time between Poole and Paris.

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Can our Catholic PM be prosecuted for appointing an Anglican bishop?

Sadie Parker

Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson could be described as Schrödinger’s Catholic. Born in New York and christened in the Catholic church on the wishes of his mother, Charlotte Johnson née Fawcett, his godmother Rachel Billington admitted he was never much of a churchgoer. Then at Eton he was confirmed into the Church of England. When […]

Is ‘opportunity’ the most mis-used word in UK politics?

Sadie Parker
Dad's army stars staring at sky. Brexit benefits?

Our government’s overuse of the word ‘opportunity’ in relation to Brexit is beginning to grate. At a recent meeting of the European Scrutiny Select Committee — for which a more accurate moniker would be the European Scathing Select Committee, given how dyspeptic, hostile and Brexity it is — the question of ‘opportunity’ in brave, new […]

What really happened in May 6 elections: reasons to be cheerful

Sadie Parker

Can you imagine Fiona Bruce, with a straight face, asking the BBC Question Time audience, zooming in or otherwise, “What is the point of the Conservative and Unionist (Tory) Party?” The sinister coupling of a further erosion of civil rights, even as this Tory government restores some freedoms it temporarily suspended for public health reasons, […]

Nine investigations into misconduct: is Johnson on his last political life?

Sadie Parker
Boris Johnson and 9 cats

Former President Donald Trump once boasted, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Impunity makes for arrogance and a blindness to reality, which eventually brings bad leaders down. Johnson appears to have reached Trump-like levels of hubris, with the blindsiding, deflection and outright lies in […]

John Lewis: rich woman’s nightmare, poor woman’s dream

Sadie Parker

Carrie Symonds is at the heart of a scandal over her refurbishment of the flat above 11 Downing Street that she shares with the Prime Minister (PM) Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, their son Wilf and rescue dog Dilyn. She has allegedly spent £200,000 on it, which is £170,000 over the annual grant of £30,000 […]

Liz Truss in the naughty chair

Sadie Parker

I am bent double, cringing as I write this. So much going on. The bombast expended on a football super-league by a prime minister who offered to sell Newcastle United off to some Saudi royal as a sweetener in a dodgy deal. The revelations of Johnson offering to fix a billionaire Tory donor’s tax —shocking […]

Act now to stop the Parley waste incinerator

Sadie Parker

According to the latest edition of the Spectator, the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November this year is seen by Number 10 as a chance to relaunch ‘Brexit Britain’ as a green superpower. Hmm. To be a green superpower, you actually have to be green – and two-jets Johnson is taking us backwards in […]

We must all take a stand against corruption in public life

Sadie Parker

The 8 April cover of The New European turned out to be highly prescient. It featured prime minister (PM) Boris Johnson handcuffed to Line of Duty characters DI Steve Arnott (played by Martin Compston) on his right and DI Kate Fleming (played by Vicky McClure) on his left. Had someone at the paper seen a […]

Did donations to the Conservatives buy a Kremlin Brexit?

Sadie Parker

In July 2020 the Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) long-awaited Russia Report was finally published. Completed in July 2019 under the leadership of then ISC Chair Dominic Grieve, it went through extensive checking, vetting and approval processes before being presented to prime minister Boris Johnson in October 2019. Normally, such a report would be cleared […]

Think Brexit’s all over? Wait until the grace periods end…

Sadie Parker

Despite the best efforts of 87 per cent of the mainstream media (by circulation) trying to distract you from the battering Brexit is giving to business up and down the UK, news is at last filtering through. And, bad as this news is, we have yet to see the worst because the Trade and Cooperation […]

Abandon hope all youth who grow up here

Sadie Parker

“Am I gonna sit here and say that Brexit is perfect, and your generation is gonna reap the benefits? No, I’m not, because you’re not, frankly, at the minute, and I can see that. We’ve got work to do…” So said Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, addressing an audience of under-30-year-old […]

In conversation with David Nicholas Wilkinson: on making documentaries

Sadie Parker

Actor, producer, distributor and director David Nicholas Wilkinson is a regular fixture at the London Screenwriters’ Festival, generously sharing his experience with eager new writers and filmmakers. This year was no exception, although the format was different, of course, with everything online in one format or another. David chose to do his slot by Zoom, […]

Has Brexit made us less safe?

Sadie Parker

Prior to the referendum and for a few years afterwards, Sir Richard Dearlove appeared to dominate the conversation on security, at least from a pro-Brexit stance. Dearlove is a former head of MI6, the British security service responsible for countering threats from foreign sources. His omnipresence and stark opinions drowned out the voices of other […]

Meet the modern Victorians

Sadie Parker

There is something familiar about Brexit ideology, and what’s alarming is that the ‘something familiar’ consists of philosophies and slogans that were debunked decades, even centuries ago… On closer inspection, it looks as if five of the most prominent Brexiters have become ‘modern’ Victorians. Yarn-spinner Hannan Daniel Hannan, who metaphorically speaking has wet dreams about […]

EXCLUSIVE: Johnson plans to reclaim Doggerland

Sadie Parker

Details have leaked of the Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s ambitious plans to reclaim Britain’s submerged ancestral lands off the east coast of our country, known as Doggerland. When asked about it at a private function for a minor royal from a middle eastern state with a big cheque-book and a penchant for […]

Remain’s favourite filmmaker: David Nicholas Wilkinson

Sadie Parker

In February the London Screenwriters’ Festival ran an inspiring online event that gave screenwriters and filmmakers a much-needed boost. The early part of the year is traditionally a low-point. This year, in the midst of lockdown number three and after the hardest-ever year for the arts (despite the clamour for content), the mood was particularly […]

Hey, Jean! Meet genealogy!

Sadie Parker

A woman called Jean caused a stir when she phoned in to LBC and told David Lammy, the UK’s Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, that he wasn’t English. He was born here, grew up here and all his sensibilities are English, but that doesn’t count, according to Jean. He can […]

“I’m pro-statue, pro-flag…” Johnson speaks to his fans

Sadie Parker

From the silence on social media, you might not know that the Conservative Party has just held its Spring Forum. I expected to see lots of clips of stirring highlights and favourite snippets from the various panel discussions, but apart from the Prime Minister’s keynote address and a speech by party chair Amanda Milling, it’s […]

Will the south-west’s MPs join Charles Walker’s milk protest?

Sadie Parker

It was a depressing, foregone conclusion that MPs would vote to renew the excessive powers granted to government under the Coronavirus Act 2020. Another dull afternoon in the Commons was in prospect, when suddenly the debate took a turn for the bizarre. An MP got up on his hind legs to give one of the […]

Is Sir Lindsay Hoyle up to the job of Speaker?

Sadie Parker

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been Speaker of the House of Commons for almost eighteen months now. There are frequently messages of disappointment with him floating around social media. One comment in particular gave me pause: “Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP is the worst speaker the House of Commons has ever had. Discuss.” Hmm. He seems like […]

Protest to save our right to protest

Sadie Parker

On the day Priti Patel’s pretty awful 296-page Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts (PCSC) Bill was due back in Parliament, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse, a long-time Johnson collaborator and former Deputy Mayor under him, was sent out to do the morning talkies. The PCSC Bill covers many topics, but the scope of Kit’s interview with […]

Puppy lust: the rise in heartbreaking pet theft

Sadie Parker

Imagine having a pair of dogs for company. They’re your everything, now that your spouse has passed on. Between walks they like a frolic in the garden. One day you let them out as you put the wash on and potter in your utility room. When you finish a short while later, you call out […]

Trading the orchard for an apple

Sadie Parker

Department for International Trade (DIT) tweets are easy to distinguish from those of other government departments by their exuberant use of emojis. “Good to speak to my counterparts from across the EEA EFTA states about our live negotiations on a new trade deal,” tweeted junior trade minister Ranil Jayawardena after the meeting on February 25th. […]

50 days on: Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

Sadie Parker

Saturday 20 February was the 50th day since Boris Johnson’s Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) came into effect. Anyone expecting it to settle all questions, or even most of the details, of how we will do business with the EU from now on will be mightily disappointed. The proverbial expression of something being ‘as full […]

You can’t lie your way to Mars: the cosmos, awe and wonder with Ann Druyan

Sadie Parker

“Touchdown confirmed,” a woman’s voice announced over the public address system. “Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the sands of past life.” The NASA control room erupted. Staff were on their feet, their arms raised in a victory ‘V’, whooping and hollering. The only difference between this and past scenes […]