UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Time for the people to decide on Britain’s democratic future?


Britain’s embattled political class are falling over themselves to modernise parliament, but given we have fully embraced the Internet age the proposals have a rather tame feel about them.

Gordon Brown’s latest proposals for “democratic renewal” — the reform of MPs expenses and an elected House of Lords to name but two — could hardly be described as Parliament 2.0.

Maybe Brown should take his cue from Barack Obama, whose U.S. presidential election success had much to do with the way his campaign embraced the Web and mobile phones to mobilise American voters.

If it worked for Obama, why not go one step further and allow voters to cast their votes in local, general or european elections by texting or via the click of a computer mouse.

The BNP bends ears in east London


“I am not a racist, I am a realist,” said Bob Bailey, the leading London candidate for the anti-immigration British National Party (BNP), after ascertaining my British credentials.

Bailey was campaigning in east London for next week’s European elections, keen to show that the party often reviled by the media for its right-wing views and rejected by much of the electorate up to now, was not a two-horned monster.

The BNP at Buckingham Palace


The British National Party (BNP) says its leader Nick Griffin is planning to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace next month, hosted by the Queen.

All members of the London Assembly have been invited, and since last year they include the BNP’s Richard Barnbrook. He wants to bring Griffin as his guest.