Catching up with articles published by Left Foot Forward, an excellent UK political blog.
Thérèse Coffey gave landowners what they wanted, putting at risk public access to thousands of miles of historic paths
Public access to thousands of miles of historic paths in England could be lost due to a government U-turn, following successful lobbying by wealthy landowners.
An investigation by openDemocracy found Environment Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, U-turned on a government commitment to remove restrictions on registering a claim to protect lost paths in England, after receiving a letter from landowners.
Via a freedom of information request, openDemocracy revealed that Thérèse Coffey’s U-turn came after a request was made by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), who represent owners of rural land, property and business.
The letter expressed ‘concerns’ about the complete removal of the cut-off date due to land managers ‘uncertainty’ over what they referred to as, ‘frivolous claims of historic rights on their land holdings’.
The letter then asks the MP to consider a new deadline of 2031, shortly followed by Coffey announcing the government U-turn, which appeased the landowners request. It seems it didn’t take much to sway the minister in the interests of the wealthy, at the expense of the general public.
Green Party peer Jenny Jones gives her account of the parliamentary battles over the Tories’ protest laws
Last night, the Labour Party made a disastrous misjudgement that will impact on hundreds of thousands of people attempting to protest and exercise their democratic rights in the coming years. By failing to support my Fatal Motion that would have stopped serious disruption being defined as anything “more than minor” Labour have managed to alienate lots of their natural supporters.
Many of the 64,000 people who signed the petition asking them to act like an opposition, are now wondering why Labour let them down and why the media don’t report this stuff?
Perhaps Labour felt that they could sit this one out and no one would really care. After all, political journalists and media organisations like the BBC very rarely report on anything that isn’t a Blue/Red clash. So many issues and viewpoints are excluded simply because they don’t fit this cosy Blue/Red duopoly. The narrative was that if Labour wasn’t backing the Fatal Motion then it wasn’t worth reporting on and all my attempts to generate coverage were met with silence, with the honourable exception of James O’Brien on LBC and the Guardian.
What Labour under estimated is the power of social media and influential commentators like Carol Vorderman and Marina Purkiss. The Vlogger, Peter Stefanovic reached over a million people with his first video outlining what was going on. He explained the constitutional issues in a way that the BBC’s one attempt at coverage failed completely to understand, as our state media bought the government narrative that this was a law aimed at Just Stop Oil.
Meanwhile, Labour’s regret motion, a loud tut tut in parliamentary terms, led to a Daily Mail front page attacking them for supporting Just Stop Oil. The result is that many voters see them as a pointless and feeble opposition, while the government label them as on the side of disruption.
The Government has made clear its intention to implement full border checks on food imports from this October.
There could be further increases in food prices yet, even after UK food and drink price inflation hit a 45-year record of 19.2 per cent in March, as a result of new border checks caused by Brexit.
It comes after the UK government this week published proposals to charge a flat-rate inspection fee of up to £43 on each consignment of food coming from the EU.
The decision to impose full border checks on food imports from the bloc, will hit smaller firms harder, industry leaders have warned.
Shane Brennan, the director of the Cold Chain Federation, told the Financial Times that the proposals made little sense, especially given that the government was actively discussing imposing price controls on UK supermarkets to keep down the cost of food.
He said: “It is crazy that one week the government is holding a crisis meeting in Downing Street to discuss out-of-control food inflation and the next is willing to nod through a multimillion new import tax on EU food imports.”
‘They have harmed the ‘very fabric of the country’.
Finally, someone has called a spade a spade. A former Master of Eton College has admitted that the school failed to rein in entitled Tories such as Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Kwasi Kwarteng, whose sense of entitlement has harmed the ‘very fabric of the country’.
In a scathing letter to the Times, John Claughton, who was a master at Eton from 1984 to 2001, said that the school, which has educated 20 Prime Ministers, now had a mission to ‘ensure that its pupils are saved from the sense of privilege, entitlement and omniscience that can produce alumni such as Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Kwasi Kwarteng and Ben Elliot and thereby damage a country’s very fabric.’
Claughton goes on to add: “Sadly, I failed in that purpose.”
The Sun forgets its owner’s taste for luxury travel in dig at Rachel Reeves’ business class flight to US
The newspaper didn’t dwell on Rupert Murdoch owning an $84 million private jet.
In a week dominated by yet more Tory sleaze and scandals, the right-wing media must have been desperate to dish some dirt on the shadow cabinet. Sure enough, The Sun came up with the goods, taking aim at Rachel Reeves’ trip to the US in business class.
The Murdoch-owned newspaper did not hold back in reporting that the Shadow Chancellor had been accused of hypocrisy for ‘taking the posh seat while attacking Rishi Sunak and the government for luxury travel.’ Reeves informed the newspaper that no taxpayer money was used to fund the trip, and that a donor paid for it.
This in itself contrasts to the Prime Minister’s luxury travel which has been funded by the taxpayer. In March, Sunak decided to travel to Southampton and back to London by air rather than by car or train. The PM’s official spokesman confirmed that the helicopter trip was funded by the taxpayer. Even the Sun had to reference the criticism the Prime Minister came under for the taxpayer-funded helicopter flight to Southampton.
… [Read more to get to Murdoch’s jet]