The decline and fall of Paula Bennett by Susan Grimsdell

One of the wonderful strengths of our political system is the peaceful transfer of power.  We don’t get rid of a leader by killing him or her.  Instead, the defeated candidate steps down, following long-established protocols, and often expresses respect and praise for the new person. Democracy rules There are no guns or armed insurgents ready to assassinate the outgoing politician.  It’s unthinkable to even imagine such a thing. The procedure is based on respect for democracy and is carried out with courtesy.  While watching it happen, we all get confirmation that… Read More

Freedom of the press by Angela Caldin

It seems there was an incident on Monday 3 February at 10 Downing Street when one of Boris Johnson’s senior aides tried to ban selected reporters from attending a briefing on the UK’s trade negotiations with the EU. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Reminiscent of Trump and his conflicts with media? The wrong side of the rug The aide wanted to exclude reporters from the Mirror, the i, HuffPost, PoliticsHome, the Independent and others. Apparently, those journalists to be admitted were asked to stand on one side of a rug, while those not… Read More

Democracy and sovereignty in the EU debate by Angela Caldin

These words have been bandied about on a daily basis over the past few weeks as we build up to the referendum tomorrow. It occurred to me today to think about what they mean in the context of the UK and of the EU. Democracy The Cambridge dictionary defines democracy as ‘the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves’. This makes me wonder what kind of democracy we… Read More