Political Promise

Archive for the ‘Ju Shardlow’ Category

Ju Shardlow On… The Leader of the Opposition

In Ju Shardlow on September 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

In a welcome break from blogging, Ju Shardlow has let us publish one of her poems. So we have. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

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What to do with Channel Four?

In Ju Shardlow on July 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm

By Ju Shardlow

Channel 4’s Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) status looks increasingly put-upon as Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt attempts to deregulate commercial television. Channel 4 chairman Lord Terry Burns is expected to defend against allegations of privatization and reveal its high debt levels at a select committee this Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

OBR saved from the scrap

In Ju Shardlow on July 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

By Ju Shardlow

Sir Alan Budd came under fire this week

The Office for Budget Responsibility today outlined new powers to increase its independence from the Treasury.  The OBR looked under threat, but came out with a surprisingly strong reinforcement from Robert Chote of the Department of Fiscal Studies. Read the rest of this entry »

Ju Shardlow On… DEFRA

In Ju Shardlow on July 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

We saw them coming. Cameron’s manifesto promise to “cut the quangos” was judged by many to be a sensible crackdown on bureaucracy. But Caroline Spelman’s announcement yesterday that Environment bodies will be scrapped as part of coalition spending reductions fly directly in the face of Defra’s long-term structural reform plans. Read the rest of this entry »

Ju Shardlow On… Secrets and Lies

In Ju Shardlow on July 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

One of my favourite laws from the previous government was the little-heralded change to the Freedom of Information act. In cutting down the waiting period for access to public documents to 20 years, the Brown administration was able to expose some delicious Thatcherisms. Hacks previously had to wait 30 years to get their hands on private government memos and reports. The new coalition government is currently deciding when the legislation will come into effect. Read the rest of this entry »

Ju Shardlow On… Lots of things about the ‘football’

In Ju Shardlow on June 21, 2010 at 8:25 am

This is in response to Vicky’s article yesterday

Well unlike Vicky, I do know about football. The only thing I can’t claim to know about the World Cup is the supporters’ mood in England (but thankfully I’ve got John Motson’s blog for that). My life has become CONSUMED by football. I believe that if you’re a real fan, you don’t phone up the BBC complaining about the 24/7 coverage as soon as we start losing. You don’t become ‘fed up’ because Terry et al go onto the pitch without passion, as Vicky suggested.

So why don’t I feel the despair of 90 minutes of poor passing and dehydration? Because I never believed we could win. The key is going into the tournament with the lowest expectations possible. Look at South Korea. The Asian fans have a wonderful tradition of sticking with their sport through thick and thin, never booing or complaining- hell, they even let off fireworks after losing 4-1 to Argentina. Everyone here is praying to get through to the second round, as that’s as far as they’ll get. Capello’s stripped-down campaign this year only increased the pressure on the players and we started genuinely believing we could win it. No, Galloway. No, Corden. Just no. Read the rest of this entry »

Ju Shardlow On… The Death of the Satirist

In Ju Shardlow on June 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm

‘That was the week that was’ legend Sir David Frost questioned on Monday if the coalition had forced UK satire into “intensive care”. In an interview with the BBC, he claimed that the Conservative-Liberal alliance was “too bland to mock”, warning that journalists would suffer from the upturn of the historic red-blue divide. His comments would have gone down like the Cheonan with sharp-eared hacks had this week been very different in Westminster. Read the rest of this entry »

Ju Shardlow On… The Demise of “FOOTBALL”

In Ju Shardlow on June 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm

As part of my annual sticky summer madness, I like to sit on my roof drinking punch and shouting at the Today program. It only takes a brief ill-tuning of the radio to bring up 5 live, though. “Rio Ferdinand hobbles into the ambulance”. Football? The world just got too hot…where’s the punch? PUNCH! Oh my god…football…FOOTBALL! I hastily call Chris. “FOOTBALL!” “Football?” “Yes, Football!”

I immediately look directly into the sun so I don’t have to work for the next 4 weeks.

Where has football been? Our build-up has been surprisingly mellow this year. Perhaps the Election, Gaza or BP have been keeping it out of the news. Sky’s enraged subtitle ejaculation at the Rio news was the closest we got to a ‘wave’ of soccer headlines. I can only pray that the FA’s done a scaled-down send off this year due to our bad international showings in the past, erm, 40 odd years. Take soccer jerseys for example, I haven’t seen a single person wearing one, and that’s normally the tattoo de jour in E2. To be fair, I tried to buy one and nearly melted again at the online price. $79.99? For a t-shirt? It’s not like it wasn’t made by teeny tiny England fans in Bangladesh. Read the rest of this entry »

Ju Shardlow On… Lee Myung Bak for Good

In Ju Shardlow on May 24, 2010 at 10:51 am

President Lee Myung Bak this morning announced extreme sanctions against North Korea, notably in trade and shipping routes.

The plans have thrown up three important points not challenged enough in the Korean media: Firstly: the political stability of Lee Myung-Bak’s conservative government. The administration is slowly bowing to pressure from the far right by those wanting a more definitive military response to the Cheonan attack. Although it cannot pursue this option due to the North’s superior weaponry and nuclear capabilities, it makes us question where his sanctions are coming from and for whose interests. On the 2nd June, provincial elections will provide a necessary platform for scrutiny of the current regime, and Koreans will be watching the results closely.

Secondly: the relationship between China and North Korea. Beijing has always operated in a covert fashion, and many suspect it deals in luxury goods and industry material with Pyongyang. With a UN review imminent, it cannot plausibly retain its vote on the Security Council without making a statement on the Cheonan attack and being very frank in talks with the US this week.

Thirdly: the position of US military forces in the country. Whilst they may seem valuable to South Korea to ward off any attack by the North, everyone is suddenly worried about these trade sanctions for fear of retaliation. The USA is going to come out of this conflict looking like a headless chicken- it’s soldiers ready and willing for a fight (believe me, I’ve heard them shouting in bars) whilst its diplomats do everything in their power to avoid questioning Chinese interests and going at loggerheads with Kim Jong-Ils renegade generals.

Ju Shardlow On… Jeremy Hunt and the Inevitable Cuts

In Ju Shardlow on May 18, 2010 at 8:35 am

By Juliet Shardlow

Since the coalition agreement, media worries over Tory spending cuts have centered mainly on Jeremy Hunt’s plans for arts expenditure. The Guardian this week lamented the “putting down” of the lucrative arts cash cow- pointing to the13-year “enlightenment” of arts sector funding by Labour.

I can see the anti-Tory demonstrations now: picket-signs with “2 mil kids in UK Youth Music schemes”, “Don’t destroy our local theatre” and “Here comes the bankruptcy of ‘97”. There’ll be some jugglers and lots of youngsters from the local youth choir singing ‘Ave Maria’ whilst holding candles.

Yes, it’s understandable to fear a total back-track on the impressive record Labour has set. Many people will remember the abysmal state of the UK arts scene in the early ‘90s. I’ll say this: UK tourism  is better off now that London museum entry is largely free. It’s good to hear classical music ringing from the community centre 3 times a week. Even the low-culture zones of the 80’s such as Birmingham and Liverpool have spring up as major cultural centers. A close friend of mine is taking free circus classes in Brixton. Circus classes. Contrast this with the underground statement music of ’91, the lamentable state of regional television, and the lack of media traineeships and you’ve got a clear winner.

Jeremy Hunt on his plans to cut ballet funding

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