Hurrah for the DUP! An Election Reflection with Sir Eugene Nicks 

Many Conservatives are concerned about their parliamentary party’s new deal with a hard right-wing, terrorism-linked outfit from Northern Ireland. Not so our regular pundit Sir Eugene Nicks, QC, KBE.  Good Lord that election was a close shave, wasn’t it? We almost had for PM that buffoon who looks like he’s just staggered out of a Read more

Election ’17 Results: Desperation, Not the Left or Right, is Driving Politics

S&C regular and local writer, Matt Wingett, explores the growing resentment with austerity that drove the results of last weeks’ general election, and how the Prime Minister could have so badly misunderstood the electorate. It’s not the left and it’s not the right that has been driving politics in the last few years. That’s the Read more

Election ’17: The May is All for U-Turning, and the Soundbites Can’t Hide It

The great political soundbites are vividly memorable and powerfully persuasive. But, as Mark Wright argues, the current Conservative election campaign is obsessed with empty platitudes that barely conceal the u-turns, flip-flops and mis-steps that have seen the Tories’ opinion poll lead shrink to a single point. ‘If you couldn’t say it in less than 10 Read more

Election ’17: Is a Female PM Better than a Male PM?

It’s a no-brainer surely: a female Prime Minister knows about women’s lives and will make woman-friendly policies. Or maybe not, wonders Jenifer Flintoft of the Portsmouth & South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSDPSC). What happened last time we had a female Prime Minister? Naively, some women voted for Thatcher thinking she would make women’s lives Read more

Hey Prime Minister, Leave Our Schools Alone

Portsmouth teacher and historian Dr Dave Allen considers forty years of changes in the education system in light of the current debate about the return of grammar schools. Imagine you’re at a social event, one of those where a person’s opening gambit is to ask ‘and what do you do?’ The security guards, fashion designers, brain Read more

If You Want a Nincompoop for Your Neighbour…

We reluctantly present some words of praise for Portsmouth’s most (in)famous Conservative by Sir Eugene Nicks QC, KBE: soldier, lawyer, lover, brother, mother and Policy Advisor to the All-Portsea Conservative, Regressive and Imperial Association (established 1799). Ladies, gentlemen and your valets, before I wax on and wax off about the scalding topic of the day, Read more

STAR POems: These Streets

I was born here, under Maggie’s rule. Living beneath her Spitting Image character hanging from a telecom wire overhead. The youth here knew hate before they knew love and everybody hated the Iron Lady. Everything here was grey; from the rows of well-worn tenements and dirt-strewn streets to the sunken eyes of every battered wife. Read more