Zac Goldsmith has resigned as Tory MP with the intent of making the by-election a referendum on the unpopular Heathrow expansion. Although such a ‘referendum’ would be informal and abstract, it’s unlikely to be the major factor when locals decide where they will cast their vote.
The Tory Party will not stand a candidate, and it appears that UKIP will not either. This leave’s Goldsmith’s main opponents as Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, all of whom share Goldsmith’s opposition to Heathrow. If there is no pro-expansion option on the ballot, how can the by-election possibly be a referendum on the Tory Party’s policy of Heathrow expansion?
Here at 224 we try to be politically open-minded. Though we are very definitely lefties, we consider it important to be patient and understanding when in discussion with those we disagree with. But right now, we are very, very, very angry. It’s been a rough time for Britain’s reputation as a tolerant, intelligent, outward looking nation. Two recent pieces of Tory policy stand out as being particularly horrific.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced plans to publish the proportion of foreign workers a company employs, in order to shame them into employing more British workers. But if the government plans to encourage a sense of shame at employing foreigners, then they will create an environment where managers strongly consider hiring less qualified British workers over their more qualified immigrant rivals. The solution to underemployed British workers is not to rig the hiring process in their favour, but to invest in opportunities for British talent to be trained, to be able to compete with foreign workers on an even basis. The problem needs to be addressed at the root. That takes patience, intelligence, and money.
Tuesday’s headlines did include figures on the amount of tax revenue expected to be lost when the UK does exit the EU. While the £66 billion figure made a lot of headlines, it won’t have been newsworthy to the majority of professional investors – as Duncan Weldon, Head of Research at the Resolution Group investment firm has pointed out, this was a rehash of the pre-vote Treasury report, and as a result “shouldn’t move currency that much”.
This article contains discussion of the nature of rape and sexual consent, in enough detail that it could be upsetting to some.
In 2012 Ched Evans – a leading star for third tier English football team Sheffield United – was convicted of rape, and served two years in jail. On Friday, at a retrial his conviction was overturned.
When he was released from jail in 2014, there was several spikes of controversy as Evans pursued opportunities to relaunch his career. Jessica Ennis-Hill, one of Britain’s greatest modern Olympians, demanded that a stand named after her at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane be renamed after the club entered talks to re-sign Evans. Hartlepool MP Iain Wright spoke out when Hartlepool United came close to signing Evans, and public pressure on club sponsors resulted in a move to Oldham Athletic falling through. Evans signed for third tier Chesterfield in the summer of 2016, and scored four goals in four games before being given time away from the club during his retrial.
We’ve had a minor re-brand, changing our name from ‘Politics For Beginners’ to ‘2 2 4 Politics’.
It’s been pointed out to us that our original name implies that content would be more neutral and less opinionated than some of our writing has been. Our intent was always to write straightforward, accessible political content, respectful of differing points of view. But we have a definite perspective of our own.
Our new name is a reference to a line 1984’s Winston Smith writes in his diary – “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
We believe that political debate is best enhanced not by the false ‘fairness’ of reporting that some people believe two plus two make four and others believe that two plus two make five, but trying to respectfully explore which of those statements is factually correct.
There won’t be a change in the tone of our posts, but we feel that this new name better suits the style of political writing we’ve been writing.
This change is also an opportunity to standardise our usernames across platforms – you can find us under 224Politics on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and Medium.
Last week Stephen Woolfe, UKIP MEP and favourite to be their next leader, was punched and hospitalised by a fellow UKIP MEP. The responses to the story weren’t pretty. One BBC report, published as the story was breaking, included these comments:
It was SHOCK!! the first time he’d done a morning work for 12 years ! And the first time he’d been in the chambers !! Poor sod, should’ve stuck to the usual UKIP lunch of 4 bottles of expensive wine and missed the morning meeting !!