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In search of the mundane (day three)

When I woke this morning I did not expect that my name would be spoken in the House of Commons. Nor did I expect an invitation to be interviewed by BBC Newsnight. I was wrong on both counts. Welcome to the increasingly bizarre world of COVID-19, where every day the stakes are raised and the […]

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A grand adventure (day two)

Today is our second day in self-isolation for COVID-19, and as expected the government announced that schools will very soon (from Friday) close for an indefinite period. The signals are that we should expect them to remain closed until the summer. Beyond that, who knows? We’ve decided they’ll study in the mornings – which they’re […]

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Isolation (day one)

Today our little family began fourteen days of self-isolation under the coronavirus guidance issued by the government, all of which seems a little bizarre to write. More on that soon, but first a little background. It’s only a few short weeks since the coronavirus seemed very distant; another of those awful problems that happen elsewhere, […]

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Burns

111 years ago today, in my home town of Stanley, true disaster struck. Within minutes, down the various seams of the Burns Pit, 168 boys and men were dead. It was an explosion fathoms underground which devastated the coal-reliant community above. Many families lost multiple loved ones that day; single terraced streets saw death on […]

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New realities

Today’s reshuffle of the cabinet by Boris Johnson – his first real opportunity to assert an undeniable authority on his government since coming to power more than six months ago – was much more than the rearranging of deck chairs we’ve become accustomed to with ministerial reshuffles of late. This was phase one of precision surgery which, should things progress as planned for the strategists behind the doors of number 10, will see Whitehall and the country beyond remodelled over the coming five years.

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The art of the possible

The art of the possible Today is Brexit day. At 11pm this evening Big Ben will still not chime, and the moment will pass without great fanfare. But it will nevertheless mark a hugely historic and important point in the history of the UK. Given that I voted remain and continue to believe that we’re […]

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What Mr Corbyn should do next

Jeremy Corbyn finds himself this weekend in a position he never expected…and how many times over the past two years have we said that? Nobody (including those at the head of the Labour party) expected to be in this position after the election. With Labour’s massively increased share of the vote and (more importantly) a respectable […]

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Pollocks

After a slow start and a few missteps, Jeremy Corbyn has had a positive couple of days as Theresa May and the Tories stumbled over tax pledges and their policy on international aid, with the right wing press preposterously making a populist case against investing in development and British interest abroad. Jeremy the Patriot Labour […]

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Foot in Mouth Disease

The typical refrain from many left-leaning groups is that the media don’t give Labour under Jeremy Corbyn a fair hearing. That if only the media would fairly report his message, then the scales would surely fall from the eyes of the general public and a peaceful revolution would occur. For anyone paying attention, today was a perfect example […]

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Brexit Sandwiches

So we’re faced with a second general election in two years, the bread wrapped around last year’s Brexit referendum making perhaps the least appetising sandwich in memory. And it looks like being the strangest general election in memory, too. This is a general election that nobody – beyond Liberal Democrats, 24 hour news channels and […]