UK Politics: Weekly News Round-up

From The Times (16/04/19)

As Parliament goes on a break, there is worrying news for the Conservative Party as recent polling shows that an early general election might hand the keys to Number 10 to Jeremy Corbyn, with support for the Tories in one poll falling to the lowest level in 16 years.

With local and European elections on the horizon, YouGov polling is already showing Nigel Farage’s recently launched Brexit Party on 27% of the vote, with the two major parties likely to have their vote squeezed under the proportional Party List voting system used in European Parliamentary elections.

Last Friday, there were climate change protests across the country, led by young people trying to draw attention to the seriousness of the issue. This was followed this week by Extinction Rebellion making the news for taking non-violent direct action by blockading roads in central London, leading to over 75o arrests. Columnist, George Mobiot argues the case for mass civil disobedience in The Guardian this week.

As YouGov polling shows leavers being slightly more likely to question their vote in 2016 than remainers, Peter Oborne, who voted leave in the referendum, argues that leave voters need to think again. There’s a very good Spectator podcast of him discussing his change of view with Frasor Nelson, which contains an interesting discussion of how a Burkean conservative ought to view Brexit. 

Finally, there is controversy over Shamima Begum being given legal aid to challenge the government’s right to strip of her citizenship due to her actions in Syria. Melanie Phillips defends her right to a day in court in the Times this week. Here’s a quote from the piece, which is behind a pay wall: 

Revulsion and fury — however justified — at someone’s depraved behaviour should never be used, though, to refuse that person a legal defence of something as fundamental as their citizenship. For that touches upon matters that don’t just affect them but all of us: the need to uphold fairness, justice and due process… Appalling as such people may be, they are entitled to challenge the home secretary’s decisions about them because the UK is a country under the rule of law that is applicable to everyone.