Category: Regulation

The UK’s drug policy failure. Lessons from Portugal

Paul Delaney

We must consider alternatives to criminalisation and incarceration of people who use drugs, and focus criminal justice efforts on those involved in supply. We should increase the focus on public health, prevention, treatment and care, as well as on economic, social and cultural strategies. –Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, on World Day Against Drugs, 26 […]

Fish – it used to be so easy…

Julian Andrews

Mention “Samways” to locals around the west Dorset town of Bridport and they’re most likely to tell you simply, “they’ve got that fish shop at West Bay”. They’re right about the fish shop, but Samways are a lot more than that. Clifford Samways started selling fish from a wooden barrow in West Bay in 1961 […]

Brexit trade problems: what’s gone wrong and can it be fixed?

Billy Melo Araujo

Billy Melo Araujo, Queen’s University Belfast Queues of lorries at borders and empty supermarket shelves confirm what most already knew: the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has increased trade barriers between the EU and the UK. So what problems are arising, and can anything be done to improve them? 1. Rules of origin Upon […]

The banned and binned sarnie – Brexit means Brexit

Anthea Simmons

There’s no way around it, I am afraid. Brexit ‘succeeded’ because it was based on a toxic combo of eye-watering lies and staggering ignorance – most of which is still on display in the government right now. Hamsandwichgate is a classic example of (wilful) ignorance. We left the EU. We are now a third country. […]

Out of the Single Market, out of the Customs Union: Brexit pain gets real

David Henig

How to make sense of the increasing number of UK-EU trade disruption stories? In short – outside of a single market product checks and people working restrictions are inevitable. And outside a customs union you will have tariffs and / or rules of origin. Detail: The UK decided to leave a Customs Union. Within that […]

“A bad Brexit deal done by bad people in a bad way” Dr Philip Lee

Editor-in-chief

This short but powerful thread from former Conservative MP, Justice minister and part time GP Dr Philip Lee warrants sharing far and wide. “This is a bad #Brexit deal done by bad people in a bad way. It doesn’t have the public’s explicit informed consent. It bears little relation to Vote Leave’s promises in 2016. […]

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 […]

The seven deadly sins of 2020

Rachel Marshall

When Covid-19 and the lockdown first hit, there was a magical outpouring of willingness to help, support people in communities, think greener and kinder. We relished the fresher air, the new things we discovered on our daily walk or run, we appreciated nurses, carers, binmen, transport workers, supermarket staff. As the year draws to a […]

Sovereignty: a fig leaf for failure

David Henig

We often publish Twitter threads for the benefit of those not on the platform but there’s another reason, too: these threads are brilliant, pithy summations of complex situations typically misrepresented in the mainstream media. This thread debunks the government’s sovereignty fig leaf and we are delighted to make it available to a wider audience. Plenty […]

Pilgrim’s shame – the price of cheap meat

Tom Scott

While argument rages over whether Cornwall should have been assigned to Tier 1 of the government’s social distancing regime, little attention has been paid to the US company operating the meat-packing plant in Cornwall which has been at the centre of a major outbreak of Covid-19. Tom Scott lifts the lid on its grim record […]

“Complacency and nostalgia are the route to national decline.”

Antonello Guerrera

For those of you not on Twitter we are pleased to reproduce Repubblica journalist Antonello Guerrera’s helpful compliation of highlights from Sir John Major’s barnstorming speech, 9 November, Middle Temple. Thank you, Antonello. BREAKING. Sir John Major: “Complacency and nostalgia are the route to national decline” “We are no longer a great power. We will […]

Cannabis – time to reassess?

David Haysey

The tide is slowly turning in one of the early fronts of the culture wars, as scientific possibility and questions of personal freedom challenge the assumptions of an earlier generation. Throughout its history, on questions where private vice encounters the desire to create the perfect ‘city on a hill’, the United States has lurched between […]

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 […]

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’ […]

Strapped-for-cash councils unable to enforce chemical safety rules.

Emma Rose

Councils are unable to enforce rules on chemical safety as new research shows one in four products tested – including children’s toys – contain dangerous levels of hazardous chemicals New research published on 17 August by Unchecked UK shows that local authorities are struggling to keep up with booming sales of counterfeit goods containing illegal […]

Is local democracy dead?

Mike Temple

Ever felt powerless to prevent unwanted development? Ever thought you weren’t being heard by your local council? Ever given up in despair? Join the millions across the country who feel that local democracy is dead, that power lies in the hands of a rich elite and their friends and backers, and that “you stand no […]

Lords call for government food strategy to protect food security

Natalie Bennett

On the night of 21 July, some 16 hours into the debate of the 321 amendments to the agriculture bill, with Lords huddled over their laptops in remote parts of the country, you’d have to be a keen political wonk to have still been attached to Parliament TV. But Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick described this part of […]

Digital botulism

Tom Scott

If you spend much time on social media – as most of us do these days –  you’ve probably been struck by the number of people who seem to believe things that are not just untrue, but are wildly and extravagantly bonkers. People who think that Bill Gates wishes to inject microchips into the world’s […]