The sighs of exasperation at Britain's continuing ambivalence over its EU membership can be heard all the way from Lisbon in the west to Bucharest in the east. It's not as if our EU partners don't have other things to worry about, above all the still unresolved matter of Greece's slow slide towards bankruptcy.
Now the dust has settled on a general election that confounded pollsters and politicians alike, it's time to get to work. Wednesday saw the first Conservative-only Queen's Speech in almost two decades - and it's already clear that our new Government will be providing plenty to keep those concerned with civil liberties busy during the next legislative year... When Liberty was established in the 1930s, founding member E.M. Forster described our work as "the fight that is never done". He was right. In 2015 the fight to defend our rights and freedoms will be a tough one, but with the support of our members it's one we can win.
Well here we are again! A new Government - albeit one that has the remnants of the previous - but nothing new in the UK's drug policy, at least in terms of what can be deemed progress by any rational measure. No, instead we have full blown regression, encompassed now in "New legislation [that] will ... ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs," it was announced Wednesday in the Queen's speech.
In his first speech following the election, the Prime Minister said that the Conservatives would govern 'as a party of one nation, one United Kingdom'. But just how far across the UK does his government actually stretch?
The next five years will show the Tories at their worst, without the leash of the Liberal Democrats to hold them back. Risking our membership of the EU, snooping on our online browsing histories, demonising the poor and vulnerable - today's Queen's Speech was just the beginning.
The Queen's Speech was supposed to position the Conservatives as the party of working people. If so, they've got a strange way of going about it. A list of priorities that includes curbing trade union rights, chipping away at workplace protections through EU negotiations, freezing in-work benefits, cutting jobs and freezing pay in the public sector doesn't read like a workers' wishlist.
The big corporate papers are encouraging the idea that the result of the general election means the end of the Leveson process. Although this claim is hardly surprising given their wild-eyed desperation to avoid any form of meaningful accountability, it is wrong. Here are five reasons to be confident that independent, effective press self-regulation along the lines recommended by the Leveson Inquiry is on its way.
It is odd that a party which earlier this month won the support of just 24% of the electorate and which claims a mandate to govern for the next five years believes that a union that wins exactly the same level of support in a ballot on industrial action would not have a mandate to go on strike for five hours.
Not for the first time, David Davis is causing a bit of a panic among the authorities. I'm told that the Clerk of the Commons and Government whips are chasing him to swear in as an MP before he even thinks of making a Big Speech on the Queen's Speech this afternoon. If MPs speak in a debate without having gone through the all-important Bible-holding bit of procedure, then they are expelled from the Commons. And an instant by-election is triggered.
During the campaign, I met so many people desperately in need of a change of government. People whose basic rights were viciously undermined by the coalition, people forced to live their lives in an unnecessary state of struggle. We didn't just need a change of policy, but a radical change in the attitude of the government.
Earlier this month, David Cameron set out his plan for a 7 day NHS, focused on both primary and secondary care delivery, with: 'key decision makers be...
David Cameron's campaign to renegotiate the terms of Britain's membership of the European Union has not got off to a good start. He admitted that his first foray with fellow EU leaders, on the margins of the Eastern neighbourhood summit at Riga last week, was not met with "a wall of love" (whatever that may be).
It is surprising that the campaign featured such little discussion of foreign policy matters. The usual domestic concerns predominated, and that is no surprise, but beyond a few token remarks about the need to reform the European Union, and the low-wattage flickering of a small debate about the possibility of an EU referendum, there was depressingly little said about anything outside of the British Isles.
One has to wonder, when Cameron decided to dangle the hunting free vote carrot in front of a largely uninterested electorate, did he ever think he'd have to go through with it? The question on many people's lips is, why, given the current social and economic climate, is hunting topping the agenda again?
These plans do nothing but illustrate the government's lack of compassion, lack of perspective and ultimately their lack of will to genuinely address the economic anxieties of the people of Britain... This is a victory only for ignorance - a victory of rhetoric over logic, of posturing over compassion. It is a victory for those who seek to demonise immigrants, who seek to pull up Britain's drawbridge and banish diversity from our society.
Middle-aged, white and male. The 'most diverse Parliament ever' is beginning to undermine this stereotype of politicians, but can the same be said of the new government?