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Why the Gods of Brexit smile upon Tim Shipman

Why the Gods of Brexit smile upon Tim Shipman

There’s a classic structure common to many science-fiction or fantasy trilogies, which is perhaps epitomised by the original Star Wars trilogy. In the first installment, the protagonists are introduced and win a stunning victory over their adversaries against overwhelming odds. There is much rejoicing. In Star Wars terms, Luke and Han rescue Leia and blow up the Death Star. In the second, the adversary is revealed to have not been as badly beaten as all that. Demonstrating strengths and capabilities…

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Heroes of Brexit

Heroes of Brexit

Today, at 11pm, the UK will formally leave the European Union and regain its status as an independent nation. The struggle to secure British independence has been a generational one, secured in the teeth of political, business, academic and civil society establishment that was institutionally committed to Europe and that sought to deligitimise any who thought differently – from Cameron’s ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’ to the endless claims of ‘stupid’, ‘bigoted’ and ‘uneducated’ thrown at Leavers since 2016. Yet…

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What If? A Brexit Fantasy

What If? A Brexit Fantasy

This post is a fiction, a fantasy. The subject of this post was chosen by the winner of my pre-election sweepstake. It is intended to be plausible (though see the afterword), rather than probable, and a light-hearted exploration of how history could, in a very different world, have turned out differently. In particular, none of the positions, statements or actions taken by real-life politicians referred to in this piece should be taken as the actual positions, statements or actions they…

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Human fallibility and robust institutions

Human fallibility and robust institutions

Note: I began writing this post before the election; I finished it after. I’ve indicated where the break is. It’s amazing that a system of a billion weasels trying to hose each other, i.e. capitalism, works as well as it does. Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. Many human institutions are not optimised for perfection. They’re optimised for robustness. Capitalism is a case in point. Certainly, a huge amount of human endeavour is wasted in an arms-race of advertising, or in…

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Why now, not then?

Why now, not then?

There’s a good question I’ve been asked a few times over the last week, usually by people who don’t usually vote Conservative but may be considering voting for Boris next week. It’s why are the Conservatives only pledging to do some of these things now, when they’ve been in power for nine years. It’s a reasonable question, but there are also some very good answers. 1. We have a new leader Boris Johnson is not David Cameron or Theresa May….

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Ten positive reasons to vote Conservative

Ten positive reasons to vote Conservative

With the general election just over a month away, here are ten positive reasons to vote for the Conservative Party. 1. We’ll get Brexit done. We’ll leave with the good deal Boris has negotiated, which takes back control of our laws, our money and our borders while permitting a close trading relationship – and we’ll do it quickly so we can get back to focusing on important domestic matters. 2. We’ll hire 20,000 new police officers. And we’ll make sure…

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A Question of Trust

A Question of Trust

One of the central issues in British conservative politics at the moment is the question of trust. It goes beyond debates over whether MPs in general should honour the referendum result, or the actions of those now in The Party Formerly Known as the Independent Group, Dominic Grieves and others, or even the failure to leave the EU on 29th March as the Prime Minister told us over 100 times we would. It’s a fundamental concern that many of those…

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Conservative Home: Three priorities for our next Prime Minister

Conservative Home: Three priorities for our next Prime Minister

In my latest Conservative Home article I set out three priorities for our next Prime Minister: Delivering Brexit by 31 October, with or without a deal. Promoting authentically Conservative values instead of speaking the language of the left. Acting in the interests of ordinary working people, not the metropolitan elite. Of the two candidates standing, I believe Boris Johnson is the best placed to deliver on this, and have voted accordingly – but the article is for the Conservative Party…

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The EU wishes to become a nation state

The EU wishes to become a nation state

Here are the aims of the next President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyden. She wants to see “A united states of Europe – run along the lines of the federal states of Switzerland, Germany or the USA.” She wants an EU army: ” “Europe has to build an army,” Wolfgang Clement wrote in this space yesterday. He’s right!” Is she alone? Are these just some aberrant views not shared by other European leaders, who despite this nominated…

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Prorogation, Salisbury and Self-Denying Ordinances

Prorogation, Salisbury and Self-Denying Ordinances

“We’ve gone from a democratic exercise involving over 33 million people to the future direction of the country being decided by c.100k+ people while making the rules up as we go along and in which suspending parliament is being seriously discussed. Well done everyone.” – Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University, London A quote that’s as brutal as it is accurate. The UK has been slowly lurching into a constitutional crisis for at least the last six…

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