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Showing posts from 2019

JSPrice People of the Year: Coleen Rooney and Dominic Grieve

Coleen Rooney and Dominic Grieve Looking back, 2019 has been a funny year. For me personally, it has meant two house moves, job changes and watching some unforgettable concerts. But in the outside world - or the UK anyway - it can only be summed up by Brexit and Boris Johnson. At this time of the year, I usually review the past 52 weeks and conclude with who I think is deserving of my Person of the Year accolade (no prizes, I'm afraid). In previous years, the decisions were easy, but for 2019, I found it difficult without even thinking about the nonsense around Brexit and the recent general election. TIME Magazine's Person of the Year is Greta Thunberg , the teenage environmental campaigner who travelled across continents in an attempt to inspire fellow young people and world leaders to take global warming seriously. Thunberg's instant rise to fame has been admirable to say the least, but her challenge to convince sceptic yet powerful governments in Brazil , China

2020 will truly make or break the Tories

Boris Johnson helps Tories win general election. But bigger challenges lay ahead (Image: This is the fourth general election I have been able to vote in and, quite honestly, the drama that comes with them are never easy to digest and reflect. As many, myself included , predicted the Conservatives and Labour to do as badly as each other, it's the former that stormed to a victory very few anticipated. It isn't the result I had in mind as we soon enter 2020 but somewhat surprisingly, I'm not even bothered by the result (I was immediately after the result, but I've done my reflecting since). In fact, if you look at it, a Tory majority had been coming for a while. They succeeded in 2015 and the 2017 general election was just a blip, now it seems. And as their opponents spent too much time second guessing and playing tactical, with the aim of trying to beat the Tories, the reality completely backfired on them. Despite trying to get over the result, I rema

Vote for party based on when you want the next general election

Boris Johnson versus Jeremy Corbyn (Image: Good golly, on Thursday 12th December, the UK has to endure yet another general election. When I started this blog shortly after the 2010 election, I could never have anticipated sitting here, analysing our fourth general election this decade. Has the British political scene ever been this turbulent, to ever want the face of Westminster change as often it is today? Yes, actually. You don't have to look far back to see British politics divided enough for there to be four general elections in the space of ten years . The 1970s saw Edward Heath win the election for the Conservatives in 1970, then in February 1974, Labour formed a minority government under Harold Wilson, and gained ground when the country went to the polls just eight months later. The final election of that decade saw Margaret Thatcher grab the keys to 10 Downing Street, where she stayed for 11 years. We also had four elections in one decade in the

Trump impeachment won't guarantee Democrats the keys to White House

Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi (Image: Business Insider) I want to talk about the election. No, not that one. That one will wait for another week or two for my analysis, literally. Believe it or not, we are almost exactly a year away until the US general election, and it's set to be as much of a blockbuster as we saw in 2016. Donald Trump has been the President of the United States for almost three now and his tenure at the White House is as eventful as the thrill seekers were hoping. It's almost refreshing to see someone vying for ultimate leadership be consistent before and after an election. Whether it is his outrageous tweeting, the surprise sacking of close associates - most recently his National Security Advisor, John Bolton was the latest victim - or saying absolutely anything that would make him feel better, such as taking credit for the death of Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ; we've seen these from him from the time he became a household

Boris versus Tory Rebels - the biggest non-clash of the decade

Philip Hammond with Boris Johnson (Image: Many like to believe that the Labour Party is a 'broad church' with there being a clear 'left wing' and 'right wing' of the organisation, using Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Blair as primary examples of this. However, when I hear this, I often want to challenge that opinion as I believe they are more similar than they care to admit. If you're using the two men in question, for example, both ran for MP and joined Labour during the rise of Margaret Thatcher, when the party appeared 'too left' to vote for. They're just too stubborn to admit they're as 'left wing' or 'right wing' as each other. With a general election just around the corner, if you believe in the political rumour mill, Labour seem to have calmed the storm. The atmosphere in the Party reminds me of 2017 when suddenly, those sceptical of Corbyn found themselves supporting his leadership's manifesto and

Lib Dems need a no deal Brexit to stay relevant

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson (Image: If there's one political party that's been through one helluva journey this decade, you wouldn't look much further than the Liberal Democrats. Rewind to 2010, they were the party to vote for. The UK had a Labour government for thirteen years previous and you could tell the nation sought change. By that point, Labour had been battered and bruised thanks to controversies around the Iraq War and the global economic crash. So many loyal Labour voters wanted a route away from the party in red and some saw the Lib Dems as a suitable choice. But the election outcome over nine years ago was unexpected. Labour lost votes, but the Lib Dems didn't get the electoral breakthrough political commentators were expecting. At the same time, the Conservatives didn't get enough votes to lead a government. When a hung parliament was confirmed, many Labour ministers and voters, including a 19-year-old me, showed complace

Bury's collapse hosts Brexit warning for government

Bury Football Club's collapse has devastated the community (Image: Daily Telegraph) Football fans, myself included, have found ourselves in mourning in recent days, of the demise of Bury Football Club. The League One side was founded in 1885, being one of the oldest clubs in the country. It boasts more than two decades of top flight football, and they won the FA Cup on two occasions. Only four months ago, they celebrated promotion from League Two, after one year of asking, having been relegated the season previous. However, financial turmoil stifled progress. Wages were not being paid to staff , and their best players moved on as a result. And whilst having an owner who was too reluctant to sell at the time where it mattered most, this resulted in the club eventually be expelled from the division they fought so hard to get to. The EFL, who manages and governs the Championship, League One and Two divisions, gave Bury enough warnings to sort their act and run the club as a pro

My life with the 'Million Pound Shoplifter' - and how we can help society as a result

Kim Farry on ITV's This Morning (Image: Metro) It is very rare for me to talk about my work publicly. Very rarely I would openly reveal anything about it on my blog, which will always hold my personal views on political and cultural affairs. But only on this occasion I will talk about an element of my professional life, and so here it goes. I'll start by telling you a story. In February 2016, I was introduced, by a trusted associate of mine, to a woman called Kim Farry. My associate, who was Kim's agent at the time, briefed me on her client and said she needed help trying to improve her profile. A year previous, Kim was the subject of a documentary on Channel 5 as the 'Million Pound Shoplifter, living off the state' , and had since sought ways to improve her life after the intense recognition this programme gave her at the time. As a public relations professional who likes a challenge, I agreed to meet with Kim and see what the hype was about. Admittedly, I

Being cautious when comparing current politicians to the darker days

Boris Johnson with Donald Trump (Image: Sky News) Donald Trump is taking the United States back to the 1930s. Boris Johnson is just like Donald Trump, who is taking the United States back to the 1930s, so therefore Britain is heading back to that decade too. By electing Jeremy Corbyn as UK's Prime Minister, the country will rewind to the 1970s. Vladimir Putin is bringing Russia back to the Stalin era . The list of claims that certain divisive politicians and governments are guiding their countries to the past is ever increasing. Commentators and newspaper editors alike are finding it easy to claw back a handful of bad things that happened at a certain era and compare it to the present day, making the public a little uneasy in the process. This is happening regardless of where in the political spectrum these so-called experts see themselves in, smearing their apparent opponents to win political brownie points. Of course, comparing powerful figures with a decade which man

Women are turbo-charging change. Get used to it

Meghan Markle is becoming a driving force in the Royal Family (Image: USA Network) One of the most over-used words in recent years is "change". Politicians who aren't in power use it constantly as a way of showing that their version of change is a good thing, and therefore, we should embrace it. Change is something I encourage for sure, so long as it's at a healthy pace and it progresses in a way where many of us benefit. In society, a decision to change is based on a blend of personal choice and economics. If the economy is doing well locally, people are bound to opt for the status quo. Only if it suits us, of course. There are certain things that must never change, particularly when it comes to roles of certain women in power. For instance, how very dare Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex - and Prince Harry - want to raise their child and handle their marital affairs behind closed doors. People were aghast upon discovering the christening of baby Arch