Recent events a wake-up call to politicians: austerity must end, we need a kinder, fairer way

In My Opinion piece written for The Smithfield Gazette, June 2017 The last twelve months in British and global politics, along with incidents of domestic and international terrorism, and the horrendous fire at Grenfell Tower in West London must surely be the wake-up call needed for those of us involved in public life to think… Read More

Equal marriage: why we need equal civil partnerships too

Tim Loughton MP, the sponsor of yesterday evening’s amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which would have introduced Civil Partnerships for opposite sex couples, does not have a record of supporting LGBT equality. Indeed, his motives in putting forward the amendment may not have been entirely straightforward, but that doesn’t take away from… Read More

a judicial system for all, not just the privileged few

The Ministry of Justice is in trouble. Its finances are a mess and it is struggling to find savings across its responsibilities for the Courts & Tribunals Service, Prisons, and Probation. But unlike other departments of state, the ‘overspend’ is not due to profligacy by ministers of whatever colour nor to lack of budgetary control… Read More

Margaret Thatcher – a working class revolutionary?

I should begin with a warning. ┬áMy friends and followers of both a left and a right wing persuasion are not going to like this post. On Saturday night I watched Channel 4’s insightful documentary “Margaret: Death of a Revolutionary” where Martin Durkin presented his radical thesis: that Margaret Thatcher was a working class revolutionary,… Read More

Margaret Thatcher – as remarkable and divisive in death as she was in life

I was shocked to learn at lunchtime of the death of Baroness Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Ironically, I had just completed a tour of the Palace of Westminster with two friends from Los Angeles, where we had seen both the striking statue of Lady Thatcher in the Members’ Lobby of the… Read More

Polly Toynbee and the polarisation of the benefits debate

This morning I found myself almost without thinking ‘liking’ a friend’s post on Facebook which shared Polly Toynbee’s piece from Thursday’s Guardian “Benefit cuts: Monday will be the day that defines this government” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/28/benefit-cuts-monday-defines-government). That in and of itself is an interesting departure as I have never been Ms Toynbee’s greatest fan, having felt for… Read More