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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Who is to blame for the Brexit we are getting?

Sadie Parker

You might be surprised to discover that, according to a clutch of pro-Brexit pundits, it is Remainers who are to blame for the inglorious Brexit we’re about to receive. Odd how a rash of articles spinning this premise suddenly appeared one after another in a very short timeframe. It’s almost as if they’re all in […]

Brexit is the UK’s Tulip Mania

Sadie Parker

When I went to work in a Dutch company at the start of my career, I was given a copy of Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. Remember the “dot.com bubble”? The delusions recounted in Mackay’s book are similar, only more colourful, ridiculous and harmful. My personal favourite is tulip mania, […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 4

Sadie Parker

Rejoice! Lockdown is almost over – sort of. I was hoping this would be a universal moment of ‘euneirophrenia’: the feeling of contentment that comes from waking up from a pleasant dream. Sadly, for those exiting lockdown to enter into tier three, it probably won’t feel all that much different to being in actual lockdown. […]

In defence of Carrie Symonds

Sadie Parker

“Had Carrie pulled the plug before Bozzie said something she didn’t approve of?” This was the casually misogynistic sentence Daily Mail journalist Henry Deedes threw into his write-up of Boris Johnson’s technical difficulties while participating in a parliamentary debate from splendid self-isolation. Deedes has form when it comes to casual misogyny. When describing Angela Rayner’s […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 3

Sadie Parker

Well that didn’t last long. Here we are, back on the ‘sorry-go-round’ – trapped in a repetitive cycle of depressing actions or events. There were glimmers of good news. Hope of a vaccine, and even of vaccines, plural. Lewis Hamilton became the most successful Formula-1 champion ever, raising the spirits of Britain’s sports fans. The […]

Bullies on top in anti-bullying week

Sadie Parker

This government doesn’t do irony, does it? Hypocrisy? Yes! In spades! Sadie Parker goes a bit deeper into the Patel Bullygate scandal. Ed The Anti-Bullying Alliance was all ready to go with an impressive package of events, resources and merchandise in support of anti-bullying week, which this year fell on 16-20 November. Their aim: to […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 2

Sadie Parker

What an extraordinary week the first week of lockdown turned out to be. We have become so used to catastrophe with this ‘camorra’ of a government (a group united for nefarious or traitorous ends), that this week’s ‘eucatastrophes’ (sudden fortuitous events) will have come as a surprise. Perhaps you became a ‘mouse potato’, spending far […]

Spats, I’ve had a few… And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Sadie Parker

Is the fat lady really singing for Dominic Cummings? Twitter is sceptical. First there was euphoria. Then a 90’s movie reference to Gwyneth Paltrow’s head being in the cardboard box Cummings carried out of No.10 Downing Street, in what looked like a very stage-managed way. (The movie was David Fincher’s neo-noir, Se7en, by the way. […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 1

Sadie Parker

Hello lockdown, my old friend; I’ve come to walk with you again. How are we all feeling? You may have awoken early in a state of uhtceare (pronounced uht-kay-ara; the ‘h’ is as in ‘loch’), an Anglo-Saxon expression for the ‘sorrow before dawn’ when you lie awake in the darkness and worry about the day […]

Is the Conservatives’ ‘holier than thou’ act on antisemitism credible?

Sadie Parker

The findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on antisemitism in the Labour Party have set social media ablaze. According to the report, the Labour Party is responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act (2010) relating to (1) political interference in antisemitism complaints, (2) failure to provide adequate training to those handling […]

Dorset MPs: half term reports part II – our ‘country’ MPs are in two camps

Sadie Parker

Michael Tomlinson, Conservative MP for Mid-Dorset North Poole (Government Whip) By convention, Whips do not speak in parliament, so Michael Tomlinson’s spoken contributions are rare, and there were none this half-term. Nor were there any written questions. Whips also tend to be circumspect outside of Parliament and avoid the press, although Tomlinson did speak out […]

Dorset MPs: half term report. Our ‘town’ MPs have let us down

Sadie Parker

Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East (Chair, Defence Committee) Tobias Ellwood (elected 2005) is arguably Dorset’s most influential MP. He is a good orator, radiates gravitas and brings an energetic enthusiasm to his work. Perhaps his most memorable moment these past six weeks was labelling Boris Johnson’s trade negotiation strategy with the EU ‘Nixonian […]

Timeline of a Tory PR disaster – the free school meals debacle

Sadie Parker

“Short of drowning a basket of puppies live on air, I can’t think of a worse communications fail.” No, that wasn’t me. That was Sarah Vine in the Mail on Sunday in a column entitled, “How could N°10 let free school meals turn into a dog’s dinner?”  Me agreeing with the fragrant Mrs Gove —for […]

Why we should all care about the betrayal of British farmers

Sadie Parker

Farmers will be better off if we vote to leave the EU, they said. We’d decide our own rural strategy, abolish the hated basic payment system, pay farmers more, keep and maybe even enhance farmers’ subsidies just as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland do. And we’d get rid of those pesky regulations — all while improving […]

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 […]