Hands up who wants to vote for the European Parliament?

  • 7 May 2019
  • From the section England
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The possibility the UK may remain in the EU for only a short time after the elections makes no difference

Bowing to the inevitable

It was the Government's acknowledgement earlier this month that Parliament would not have agreed the withdrawal deal before this Thursday that confirmed the inevitable. For good or ill, polling will indeed have to go ahead in order to validate the new Parliament for the EU as a whole.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A British tradition means elections in the UK are normally held on Thursdays

So, deep breath, here's how it works...

Even though there is nothing sacrosanct about Thursdays being polling days, this is just one of many British traditions which mark us out from everywhere else in Europe except the Netherlands. Sunday is polling day in the rest of the EU.

That's why we go into a strange kind of suspended animation.

After votes have been cast on the Thursday they will be held, securely we hope, until counting begins on Sunday 26 May.

Read full article Hands up who wants to vote for the European Parliament?

Local elections to put parties and voters to the test

  • 25 April 2019
  • From the section England
Image copyright PA
Image caption Anyone remember this? Samantha and David Cameron outside Number 10 a day after the 2015 general election victory

Who remembers 2015?

In the helter-skelter, highly-charged world of politics, so much has happened since David Cameron's Conservative general election victory that 2015 seems more like ancient history than just four years ago.

Read full article Local elections to put parties and voters to the test

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?

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?