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John Hess, Political editor, East Midlands

John Hess Political editor, East Midlands

This is where you can find my musings on the political scene from Westminster to the East Midlands

Is there an appetite for devolution in the East Midlands?

  • 21 October 2014
  • From the section England
Wolfie Smith

It was a big shock for me to discover that it's 37 years - yes 37 years - since the comedy smash Citizen Smith hit our TV screens.

The role of Wolfie, the young revolutionary from Tooting, was immortalised by Ilkeston's very own Robert Lindsay.

"Power to the People" was his rallying call at the end of each show.

Well, could that rallying call be given a reprise, not only on the streets of Ilkeston, but throughout communities in the East Midlands?

Transferring powers from Whitehall and Westminster to areas closer to home is back on the political agenda. The ripples of the Scottish referendum vote and the promise of shifting big powers to the Edinburgh parliament has begged the question: "What about England?".

'Beefed up' powers

Read full article Is there an appetite for devolution in the East Midlands?

Could HS2's East Midlands hub be relocated to Derbyshire?

  • 8 October 2014
  • From the section England
Google map showing Toton and Breaston
The centres of Toton and Breaston are only two miles apart, though the exact site of the alleged new "preferred location" is unclear

Last year, the government named Toton in Nottinghamshire as the East Midlands hub for its HS2 high-speed rail network. But in recent days, rumours have surfaced suggesting that may now be in doubt, as John Hess reports.

According to Conservative MP Anna Soubry any move from Toton - which is in her Broxtowe constituency - would be a "real blow".

Read full article Could HS2's East Midlands hub be relocated to Derbyshire?

Nick Clegg backs shale gas fracking in East Midlands

  • 3 October 2014
  • From the section England
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said "fracking has a role" in future in energy supplies

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has given strong backing to use fracking to drill for shale gas in the East Midlands.

"I don't think we should turn our nose up at a whole new industry or technology," he told me.

Read full article Nick Clegg backs shale gas fracking in East Midlands

Northern powerhouse? Midlands council leaders respond

  • 25 September 2014
  • From the section England
George Osborne
George Osborne has spoken of a need for a northern powerhouse but what about the Midlands?

As the Conservatives gather in Birmingham for their annual conference, it won't just be the English question that'll be on their minds.

Some will also be asking about the Midlands question. It was an issue that surfaced at the Labour conference in Manchester.

Read full article Northern powerhouse? Midlands council leaders respond

English cities want more powers after Scotland's verdict

  • 19 September 2014
  • From the section England
Alex Salmond
Could the Scottish independence referendum carry a big political price?

Even the weather in Leicester felt Scottish today... dreek.

And for many struggling in the weather in this East Midlands city, working out the referendum repercussions made heavy weather.

Read full article English cities want more powers after Scotland's verdict

Scottish debate comes to the East Midlands

  • 8 September 2014
  • From the section England
Speakers' Corner Nottingham
A small crowd gathered at Speakers' Corner in Nottingham to discuss Scottish independence

It may be 221 miles (356km) from Nottingham to Edinburgh but Scotland has never felt so close in recent weeks.

Independence or sticking with the Union? That's the choice the Scots have in next week's historic referendum vote.

Read full article Scottish debate comes to the East Midlands

Labour reprimand councillor over Eva Braun remark

  • 4 September 2014
  • From the section England
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in 1943
Andy Cooper compared Kat Boettge to Adolf Hitler's mistress Eva Braun

Political debate in a council chamber or in the House of Commons often gets out of hand. Tempers get frayed and the language can turn raw.

That's because there are genuine differences in the world view of individual politicians and political parties.

Read full article Labour reprimand councillor over Eva Braun remark

Jarrow Crusade revived to highlight NHS worries

  • 29 August 2014
  • From the section England
March in Nottingham

It's a long old walk, and it's not for the faint hearted.

But since the 1930s, the 280 miles from Jarrow to London has been a marching route for those who feel marginalised politically.

Read full article Jarrow Crusade revived to highlight NHS worries

Grow more food, urge MPs, as farmers warn of shortages

  • 11 August 2014
  • From the section England
Vegetables

So is Britain in danger of running out of food? It may seem an odd question since the shelves of our supermarkets appear full. Next time, why not check how much of it is imported.

Our farmers and politicians are starting to talk of the need for Britain to be self-sufficient in growing its own food.

Read full article Grow more food, urge MPs, as farmers warn of shortages

WW1: The war to end all wars? What our MPs thought

Soldiers head to the trenches

So just imagine what it must have been like 100 years ago, as the prime minister of the day Herbert Asquith faced the prospect of Britain at war with Germany.

HH Asquith was prime minister of a coalition government in 1914. Sound familiar?

Read full article WW1: The war to end all wars? What our MPs thought

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    Analysis of politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


  • Andrew Neil, Presenter, The Daily Politics and Sunday Politics Andrew Neil Daily and Sunday Politics

    People and policies that make Westminster tick


About John

John joined the BBC in 1978, and was appointed the East Midlands' first political editor in 1998.

Career highlights include interviewing four Prime Ministers and the many voters who wish they could.

John now lives near the Trent Bridge cricket ground, having returned to the Midlands in 1996.

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