Brexit puts a new twist on 'vote early and vote often'

  • 3 April 2019
  • From the section England
Image caption Talks between May and Corbyn: Game-changer or another dead-end?

Politics, politics and yet more politics

It's not always easy being a political editor!

Time and time again, people come up to me to tell me how sick and tired they are of politics. "But what else do you expect me to do?" is my unspoken reply. And by the way, why are people watching our political programmes in such numbers if they're sick and tired of the subject?

Like it or not, just when everyone's saying they've had enough of politics, the one thing I can promise them is not less, but more politics.

Whatever ultimately comes of the talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, be they a game-changer or yet another dead-end, they undoubtedly keep that Brexit pot boiling.

It certainly comes to something when the prime minister invites into the heart of the Brexit process someone she has accused of being "unfit" for high office who will insist Britain remains in a customs union in breach of one of her most famous red lines.

Read full article Brexit puts a new twist on 'vote early and vote often'

Brexit deepens divisions and heightens distrust

  • 19 March 2019
  • From the section England
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Frustration at the role of Parliament is not confined to those waving placards and shouting the odds outside the Palace of Westminster

Commons Dysfunction

"This goes beyond Brexit now. This is about our democracy and a Parliament that can't function."

So said one of the protesters on the famous green just across the road from Parliament, while I was getting plugged-up for yet another live "hit" into Midlands Today.

Read full article Brexit deepens divisions and heightens distrust

Why Midlands local journalism matters

  • 4 March 2019
  • From the section England
Image copyright Katie Horwich/BBC EDITORSCHOICETECH
Image caption More and more people are getting their news from social media

"Read all about it!"

The problem for newspapers in general, and local newspapers in particular, is that fewer and fewer readers are responding in the old fashioned way to that traditional clarion call.

Read full article Why Midlands local journalism matters

Black Country MPs' contrasting moves over Corbyn

Image caption Appearing on the Andrew Marr Show, Tom Watson issued a defiant challenge to his leader

To fight from within or to go it alone outside

This, in essence, is what defines the differing responses by Tom Watson and Ian Austin to the turmoil within the Labour party.

The Dudley North MP Ian Austin is opting to resign from it and sit as a lone Independent, unattached to The Independent Group (TIG).

Read full article Black Country MPs' contrasting moves over Corbyn

Why all is not as it seems in the politics of Brexit

  • 14 February 2019
  • From the section England
Image caption My St Valentine's Day morning view of the stage being set for another day of pro and anti-Brexit pageantry at Westminster

Happy St Valentine's Day

On Thursday, MPs had expected to be heading back to their loved ones at the start of their February half term recess.

In the event, they had to content themselves with another thrilling Brexit debate. And no week off.

Read full article Why all is not as it seems in the politics of Brexit

Why Midlands councils pay millions for silence

  • 5 February 2019
  • From the section England
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sunday Politics Midlands can reveal local councils are spending millions to buy the silence of people leaving their employ

Silence is golden

The origins of this familiar proverb are lost in time.

But it's as apt today as it was whenever the expression was coined: "coined" being the operative word, because this weekend's Sunday Politics Midlands will reveal local councils are spending millions to buy the silence of people leaving their employ.

Read full article Why Midlands councils pay millions for silence

Rough sleeping is not just a big issue in the big city

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Outreach workers in Worcester are expected to confound any perception rough sleeping is the scourge of the big city alone

Cold comfort?

As winter strengthens its icy grip, figures due out this week are expected to confirm the numbers of people sleeping rough are rising fast.

Outreach workers in Worcester are also expected to confound any perception this is the scourge of the big city alone.

Read full article Rough sleeping is not just a big issue in the big city

What next on Midlands magical mystery tour to Brexit?

  • 16 January 2019
  • From the section England
Image caption Westminster's famous village green on the day of the vote

A Raucous Pageant

That's how I described the scenes on Westminster's famous village green during my Midlands Today report on Tuesday's meaningful vote. There's an irony here. As the clock ticked down towards the biggest government defeat in history, I realised something weird and wonderful was happening.

I reported that there had been no repeat of the threatening scenes witnessed there the previous week. Far from it. As I mingled among the Midlanders taking part in this ritualised war of words, of familiar slogans and even more familiar placards against the relentless background of drumming, bells and whistles, the mood seemed to have changed altogether.

Read full article What next on Midlands magical mystery tour to Brexit?

Midlands Brexit hokey-cokey: In, out, shake it all about

  • 7 January 2019
  • From the section England
Image copyright Getty Images

"You do the hokey-cokey and you turn around. That's what it's all about."

So now we know. THAT'S what it's all about: the hokey-cokey, Brexit and all.

Whoever came up with that epic lyric must surely have had Britain's tangled relationship with the rest of Europe in mind when they penned these defining, uncannily prophetic, verses:

"In out, in out, you shake it all about"

Read full article Midlands Brexit hokey-cokey: In, out, shake it all about

A Midlander's view of Westminster's Brexit permacrisis

  • 12 December 2018
  • From the section England
Image caption The scene outside College Green, Westminster, this week

Perpetual crisis

I took this photo on my way into the BBC's Westminster offices. That's where I am writing this now. I often do the same thing on budget days or on the mornings before state openings, accompanying the images with predictable lines about the media "setting up camp on Westminster's village green".

This time, though, it's different.

Read full article A Midlander's view of Westminster's Brexit permacrisis