North demands more power

Jim reports from the Convention of the North in Manchester. A confident gathering with demands for sweeping devolution powers. But questions remain over both parties willingness to go along with it. Jim also found the North West is trailing the North East in its enthusiasm for any devolution deals at all.

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Send for the official solicitor!

The law and strikes can be an explosive mix according to Jim. In this week’s blog he relates a lesson from industrial history on a previous Tory government’s attempt to curb union power through the courts.

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Lack of Vision

Jim was underwhelmed by the New Year speeches from the Prime Minister and Labour leader. He’s calling for some vision and leadership,particularly on social care. He also looks forward to a pivotal year in politics with important local election in the North West.

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A disgraceful year for the Tories

Jim isn’t filled with much Christmas cheer as he reviews a pretty awful year for the government. He recalls the disaster like an unending drama, but also thinks Labour has much to do to inspire people in 2023.

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Toughing it out

The government seems to have decided to tough it out as multiple strikes hit the country. Jim is critical of both parties approach to the problem that has echoes in the last century.

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Nearly there Gordon!

Gordon Brown is back….with a raft of ideas for scrapping the Lords and giving a lot more power to the North. But Jim asks what priority will it have in a Labour government?He also previews the latest North West by election, this time in Stretford and Urmston.

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Still in the sidings

The northern mayors described their talks with the Transport Minister this week as “positive”. Jim prefers to differ. He fears short term misery and long term frustration for the travelling public. He also updates us on devolution moves in Lancashire and Cheshire.

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The price of Truss and Brexit

Jim analyses the Chancellor’s statement blaming Brexit and Liz Truss more than Covid and Ukraine for the mess.He also reports on a row amongst Labour members in Bury South.

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Levelling up… the sacrificial Lamb?

Jim forecasts that we could see the end of meaningful devolution in the North following next week’s crisis budget. He also comments on the American elections, and reports on parliamentary boundary changes and a possible left wing purge in the Labour Party.

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A warning on the refugee issue

Jim forecasts a right wing backlash if too much emphasis is placed on refugee comfort in the current boat people crisis. He looks at the potential for big trouble in America as the mid term elections approach.Back home, Jim asks when will the West Lancs by election be called?

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