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Cabinet papers reveal 'secret coal pits closure plan'

Newly released cabinet papers from 1984 reveal mineworkers' union leader Arthur Scargill may have been right to claim there was a "secret hit-list" of more than 70 pits marked for closure. The government and National Coal Board said at the time they wanted to close 20. But the documents reveal a plan to shut 75 mines over three years. A key adviser to then-PM Margaret Thatcher denies any cover-up claims. The miners' strike began in March 1984 and did not end until the next year. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jan 3, 2014 - 16 comments

 

Cutting legal aid

"A fundamental shift in the relationship between the government and the governed is taking place: by restricting access to the law, the state is handing itself an alarming immunity from legal scrutiny. There are several aspects to this: the partial or total withdrawal of state financial support for people who lack the means to pay for legal advice and representation; and for those who can pay, a restriction on which kinds of decision by public bodies can be challenged. In the area in which I work, criminal law, defendants who receive legal aid will lose the right to choose who represents them in court. Specialist criminal barrister Francis FitzGibbon on the impact the UK government's legal aid reform plans are having on the English & Welsh justice system. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on May 31, 2013 - 40 comments

How Social Mobility Got Stuck

"Britain's poor were absolutely and relatively better off until Thatcher was elected in 1979. Since then, the bottom half of society is worse off than it was in 1983." "In 1945, when Thatcher turned 20, the richest 0.01 per cent people in Britain received 123 times the mean national average income. By the time she turned 40 in 1965 that had halved to 62 times, and the year before she came to power, in 1978, it was at its minimum: just 28 times the average income."
posted by marienbad on May 28, 2013 - 107 comments

The first time as farce, the second time as panto

As Hegel presumably remarks somewhere, all great Tory crises appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as farce, the second as farce. -- Chris Brooke presents a history of "swivel eyed loon" as an insult used against a certain kind of rightwing Tory. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on May 19, 2013 - 52 comments

The British Parliament are debating same-sex marriage

The Guardian is liveblogging the debate. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Feb 5, 2013 - 102 comments

And there I was, Laughing at the Mormons

Gay marriage: Religious 'opt-in' offered, but not to CofE - "The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages, the government has announced. Other religious organisations will be able to "opt in" to holding ceremonies, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said. But she added that the Church of England and Church in Wales had "explicitly" stated strong opposition and would not be included." Included in the legisation is "Amending the 2010 Equality Act to ensure no discrimination claim can be brought against religious organisations or individual ministers for refusing to marry a same-sex couple."
posted by marienbad on Dec 11, 2012 - 70 comments

The Wrong Right

5-part series from Conservative Home about weaknesses in how the UK conservative movement thinks and operates. 1: Polling not punditry. 2: The working class has different concerns in 2012. 3: Conservatives need a new attitude to government. 4: Thatcher and Reagan didn't tame the state. 5: Why does the right treat spending cuts as light entertainment?
posted by TheophileEscargot on Nov 23, 2012 - 17 comments

How do you baffle a vegetable?

Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint  for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising
posted by Artw on Nov 9, 2012 - 85 comments

The Great Train Snobbery

This afternoon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne got on a train from Cheshire to London. Despite only having a Standard Class ticket, he headed straight to First Class, because (obviously) he couldn't sit with the Standard Class herd. So he sent an aide to tell the ticket collector that he was going to sit in First Class, but was unwilling to pay. Sadly for him, the discussion took place right next to a journalist, who tweeted the whole thing. This comes hot on the heels of Plebgate, of course: the protagonist in that embarrassment resigned soon after Osborne's gaffe, apparantly in an attempt to distract attention. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier on Oct 19, 2012 - 82 comments

Irony? That's like goldy or silvery, right?

Atos Healthcare is a French company that's a contractor to the UK department for Work and Pensions, hired to test disabled benefits claimants on whether they're fit to work. If they are, they'll lose their disability benefits and are back on normal unemployment benefits. It is a controversial company, as its standards for declaring people fit to work are very low, as The Daily Mirror has been showing. By design or through incompetence, quite a few people who are clearly incapable of work are declared fit for work anyway, lose their benefits and some of them even die because of it, either through suicide or through the stress and healthcare problems caused by losing their benefits. (previously.) [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 29, 2012 - 35 comments

UK PM Cameron suggests cutting housing benefit for under-25s

The prime minister has suggested that people under the age of 25 could lose the right to housing benefit, as part of moves to cut the welfare bill. Scrapping the benefit for that age group would save almost £2bn a year. via BBC News. Comments sortable and worth reading. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jun 24, 2012 - 127 comments

Omni Consumer Products

Welcome to Omni Consumer Products. "First they came for the NHS and I said nothing because I was not sick. Then they came for the disabled people and those on benefits and I said nothing because I had an income and didn’t care what the ‘scroungers’ said. Then they came for the schools and I said nothing because I had no kids. Then they came for the police force with private/public partnerships and for speaking up, I received a baton to the face. The private guards looked at their targets and smiled: dissent down 35% this month." [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Mar 3, 2012 - 75 comments

" I've always been acutely aware of how much society hates me because I'm disabled"

"The other day I was having a conversation with a Tory who accused me of using "strong language" when I pointed out that welfare reform is forcing disabled people to commit suicide. He felt there's no forcing going on. I had to explain that one needs money to live in this world, if you deny people money they have no way of carrying on." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 6, 2011 - 120 comments

It's On Like Harper Kong

The Government of Canada has fallen after a 156-145 contempt motion passed in Parliament. The contempt motion came after a Parliamentary committee found (PDF link) that the government failed to provide adequate information on the costs of crime legislation. Stephen Harper will go to the Governor-General on Saturday to request an election.
posted by mightygodking on Mar 25, 2011 - 158 comments

The Tories' favourite Lib Dem

Good news for Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the Liberal Democrats: he's more popular than the Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron. Perhaps not so good news for the Liberal Democrats' image: that's with Tory party activists. Meanwhile, Cameron has professed his love of Macs and iPads in an interview, undoubtedly causing Apple to become instantly uncool in much the way The Smiths and Paul Weller did a few years ago.
posted by acb on Oct 4, 2010 - 54 comments

Indecision day UK style

Following days of uncertainty not witnessed since 1974, David Cameron makes a hasty entrance to 10 Downing Street, an hour or so after Gordon Brown made a surprisingly hasty exit. [more inside]
posted by idiomatika on May 11, 2010 - 207 comments

Conservative candidate believes homosexuality can be cured

Potential Conservative MP Philippa Stroud founded an evangelical church that tried to 'cure' homosexuals by driving out their 'demons'. Stroud is head of the Conservative thinktank The Centre for Social Justice, lauded as the most influential thinktank in Britain who have heavily influenced David Cameron's views and policies on the family. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on May 2, 2010 - 49 comments

I agree with Nick: you're no Jack Kennedy.

Yesterday, the leaders of the three largest political parties in the UK engaged in a live televised election debate for the first time in history. Most commentators seem to agree that Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's perennial third party the Liberal Democrats, made the best impression in yesterday's first of three weekly debates leading up to the general election on May 6. The progressive-leaning Guardian even goes so far as to claim that he is now prime ministerial material.

This being Metafilter you will undoubtedly ask, "how does Cory Doctorow figure into all of this?" Well, he agrees with Nick on the Digital Economy Act. Then again, Nick is agreed with quite a lot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 16, 2010 - 54 comments

What happens if David Cameron loses?

Most people assumed the Tories would walk the coming election. But with their poll lead evaporating, what would a Conservative defeat mean for Britain – and David Cameron? What happens if David Cameron loses? [more inside]
posted by Len on Mar 26, 2010 - 70 comments

The next age of government

While much is being made of dysfunctional government [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] and hung parliament [1,2,3,4,5], David Cameron's pitches for a fairer society [1,2,3], smarter policy [1,2,3] and employee ownership [1,2,3,4,5,6,7] have been positively, uh, Obamanian.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 5, 2010 - 26 comments

Sticks and stones can harm your poll ratings

The Observer publish an excerpt of Andrew Rawnsley's new book, in which he alleges that Gordon Brown has been aggressive and volatile in power. Immediately up pops a representative of an organisation called the National Bullying Helpline, which says it has received calls from "inside Downing Street", garnering TV news appearances. However, is the NBH all that it seems? [more inside]
posted by Grangousier on Feb 22, 2010 - 40 comments

Doctor Who and the Overthrow of the Thatcher Goverment

"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2010 - 39 comments

Tory poverty rethink hits headlines

"The Conservative Party recognises, will measure, and will act on relative poverty". Following a Mail-baiting report from policy adviser Greg Clark MP which recommends that Tory poverty policy should take inspiration from Polly Toynbee instead of Winston Churchill, David Cameron weighs in. Toynbee responds.
posted by teleskiving on Nov 24, 2006 - 13 comments

Dot-comservative party?

Webcameron. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party in the UK, reaches out to the Youtube generation.
posted by greycap on Sep 30, 2006 - 53 comments

Stephen Harper to become Canada's next PM

Harper wins Tory minority government. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will become Canada's next prime minister, as Canadians have elected a Tory minority government and ended a 12-year reign of Liberal rule.
posted by Robot Johnny on Jan 23, 2006 - 171 comments

George F. Will, a professed conservative, has criticized President Bush, not once (on steel tarrifs), not twice (on policy towards Israel), but thrice (on campaign finance reform) this month. Am I missing something, or is Bush not adequately protecting his right flank?

Granted, Will is a conservative of the tory variety, but it's still a noticeable change in tenor since fawning over Bush's decision on stem-cell research.
posted by sillygwailo on Mar 31, 2002 - 34 comments

Lo! Behold the power of the internet!

Lo! Behold the power of the internet!
That'll teach the guy to put sharply-worded messages on his own property. The nerve of some people.
posted by phalkin on Feb 10, 2002 - 7 comments

Boris Johnson, crying into his beer, describes the moment he first became aware of "Tory feelings".
posted by Mocata on Jun 1, 2001 - 20 comments

Playing the Willie Horton card?

Playing the Willie Horton card? The Tories' first party election broadcast claims that Labour has released rapists to offend again. Even a former ex-chairman of the party calls the film "disturbing" for its tacit apportioning of blame, and its similarities to the famous ad used by Bush Sr. in 1988. After Labour's positive but anodyne "we've done nice things, and here's Geri Halliwell" broadcast, are we now set for a dirty media war till June 7th?
posted by holgate on May 15, 2001 - 11 comments

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