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.

The Do-Good, the Bad and the Priti

Sadie Parker

Normally Mondays bring on a bout of the blues, but 5 October bucked the trend. It was a day for rejoicing, because the Lords inflicted a string of defeats on the government’s controversial immigration bill. Two of the amendments, both proposed by Lord Alfred Dubs, concerned children. You’d think amendments safeguarding children would pass unanimously, […]

Doctor StrangeGove strikes again

Sadie Parker

Anti-expert Michael Gove got October off to an interesting start, with a quite extraordinary answer to a question from Opposition MP Hilary Benn. Mr Benn, Chair of the Select Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union, had the previous day taken evidence from Neil Hollis, Regulatory Affairs Manager at the world’s largest chemicals […]

The dark side of the prom: Cold War Steve beached

Sadie Parker
Cold War Steve's artwork on Bournemouth beach depicting the positive side of the UK and its valuese

When asked whether he would be producing any new episodes of his famous satirical show, ‘The Thick Of It’, Armando Iannucci replied that British politics was now so silly, it was beyond parody. One artist who has, nonetheless, successfully satirised not just British politics, but populist politics around the world over the past four years […]

Why a little light lawbreaking matters

Sadie Parker

The attorney general lived up to her ‘Cruella-Suella’ nickname when she attacked Shadow Justice Minister Ellie Reeve on 24 September last. Ms Reeve had asked a perfectly reasonable question, in a polite and proper way: “…there is a universal view among those who look to the attorney general to defend the rule of law that […]

Hidden trade-offs make trade deals unpalatable

Sadie Parker

To say that farms are likely to be decimated by Brexit is inaccurate, because ‘to decimate’ means to cull one in ten. DEFRA was reported to be expecting at least one in four farms to go bust as a result of Brexit. Even DEFRA’s dire forecast may have been too generous. Last year, former National […]

Furore over food standards reaching fever pitch

Sadie Parker

On 22 September, the Lords inflicted a defeat on the government when it voted, in line with the government’s own manifesto pledge, for an amendment to the Agriculture Bill to uphold our food, animal welfare and environmental standards. What was the government doing voting against its own manifesto pledge in the first place? Government has […]

Erosion of the rights of the less-abled: incompetence or social Darwinism?

Sadie Parker

“As a father of a disabled child, and the patron of the Disability Law Service, I’ve seen legal advice that suggests his [Johnson’s] government broke international law in how the Coronavirus Act reduced the rights of disabled people,” Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson in the House of Commons […]

Working class lass makes light work of Eton mess

Sadie Parker

Spare a thought for Boris Johnson. On 16 September, he had to face his worst nightmare across the dispatch box at Prime Minister’s questions (PMQs): a bona fide working-class woman. He was obliged to be careful and remain polite, because people in the former “Red Wall” seats might be watching to see how he treated […]

The abstainers are not all Remainers

Sadie Parker

“I may be wrong,” tweeted Tory MP Michael Fabricant the morning after a late night before, “and please correct me if I am – but aren’t all the Conservative MPs (and former MPs) now campaigning against the government’s pragmatic UK Internal Market Bill all ones who campaigned vigorously against Brexit? #plusçachange #correlationcoefficient #yawn” He was […]

Grenfell – gesture politics conceal dangers which remain unresolved

Sadie Parker

There are tragedies that transcend the normal accidents of life, searing themselves into the public consciousness. The fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2014, in which 72 people lost their lives, 74 more people were injured, and 151 homes were destroyed, is one such event. Many children were among the dead and, in some […]

Land of bronchoscope and lorry

Sadie Parker

Imagine the surprise in Devon, Dorset and Somerset when people awoke to discover that Robert Jenrick — he of regeneration-funds-for-votes and cash-for-planning-favour infamy — has initiated a massive land-grab of their counties. Wielding a Henry VIII clause, the millennial Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (HC&LG) has drawn up Statutory Instrument 2020 […]

A Damascene conversion in an unexpected quarter

Sadie Parker

“The most inept and incompetent administration in my lifetime.” “Incoherent and indecisive.” “Authoritarian and arrogant.” So began a cracking speech by Sir Christopher Chope, MP for Christchurch, in the House of Commons, as he read out snippets from letters from his constituents. Sir Christopher Chope? Really? The MP who is infamous for blocking private members’ […]

Anyone for tea and class war?

Sadie Parker

Examgate finally laid bare the hollowness of the Tory “levelling up” mantra, which helped them win over voters in the so-called “Red Wall” seats in the 2019 election. Was this utter catastro-shambles merely an unfortunate accident, or was it a deliberate act —the Government’s boldest move yet in a covert class war? Looking back over […]

What have government done this week? The tweetathon round up!

Sadie Parker

Editor’s comment: please note that this is a straight repro of a twitter thread, unedited! To start off #TheWeekInTory, some good news —possibly because it’s got nothing to do with Tories. 19AUG20: The 1st polar bear to be born in UK for 25 yrs will move from its Scottish home to an English Park. Hmm. […]

The paradox of unionism: where do Remainers stand on Scottish independence?

Sadie Parker

Tim Farron, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria, tweeted a controversial statement which has attracted a lot of attention and comment: On the face of it, assuming that someone who supported remaining in the EU would also support the UK Union staying intact appears reasonable. However, […]

All good things no longer come in threes

Sadie Parker

You could be forgiven for feeling exhausted. Since the general election in December 2019 – in itself a tiring and dispiriting event – it seems as if bad news, government incompetence and poorly judged behaviour have been relentless. When Boris Johnson dreamed of being “World King”, is this the type of prime minister (PM) he […]

Of ermine and short-tailed weasels

Sadie Parker

When you read through the announcement of honours and peerages — the Dissolution Peerages of 2019 and the Political Peerages of 2020 — and find that awarding the former prime minister’s husband a knighthood and the current prime minister’s brother a peerage are the least controversial items on the list, you know the country is […]

Stop the rot!

Sadie Parker

Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics at Kent University, darling of the Right and a regular on the punditry circuit, recently made an astonishing claim. “Reaction to Gove’s [Ditchley] speech is revealing,” he tweeted. “One side has ideas about how to send power down not up, plus change government. The other side is still struggling to […]

Dorset MPs: end of term reports Part II

Sadie Parker

Michael Tomlinson, Conservative MP for Mid-Dorset North Poole (Government Whip). By convention, whips don’t speak in parliamentary debates, and so there are no parliamentary interventions to report on for Michael Tomlinson. His name often appears on motions debated in the House and he frequently acts as a teller in votes. Whips also do not give […]

End of term reports: Dorset MPs Part 1: a mixed bag…

Sadie Parker

Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East (Chair, Defence Committee). Tobias was frequently in the news this session, whether it was being the only Tory MP brave enough to put in an appearance on Good Morning Britain to face a grilling by Piers Morgan, or calling for aid for his beleaguered constituency when 500,000 flocked […]