December. Brexit deal on the cliff edge. Mayor Boris makes a dash to Brussels for a dinner with Ursula Von Der Leyen. It`s supposed to be a charm offensive not offensive and charmless.
On assuming the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on New Year’s Day, Portugal’s top political leaders sounded remarkably enthusiastic and positive about tackling the huge challenges facing the 27 member states over the next six months.
November. The election of the 46th President of the United States is the gift to journalists that keeps on giving as Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania pore over their results.
With many tables, McKinsey tells how decision-makers may obtain good results. A brutal deficit in state budgets is expected in coming years. Interest rates are low, tend to rise, which will worsen the deficit. Surveys point to a deficit of 16-17 percent in most countries.
Amid declining democratic freedoms across the world, international studies have placed Portugal very highly for its level of political rights and civil liberties.
October. It seems like and is a long time ago but there was a virtual Conservative Conference with virtual fringe meetings, virtual speeches from Priti Flamingo, Dishi Sunak and Mayor Boris, virtual enthusiasm but no virtual laughter or applause.
September. Six months into the Covid 19 pandemic, policy plagued by contradiction and confusion, a hokey-cokey of advice, in-out -in of lockdowns as the second wave hits, a less than `world-beating` test-and-trace system that cannot keep pace with demand; the shifting sands of quarantine restrictions placed upon overseas tourist hotspots as the resurgence of the virus spreads and holidaymakers again try to flood home to beat self-isolation restrictions; the starting and stopping of primary and secondary education as schools go back to try to work in socially-distanced groups ; university `Freshers` weeks spent in on-campus bubbles leaving students with the collegiate experience of having to find food without access to shopping facilities.
August. A silly season of localised lockdowns, `staycations` and chaotic exam results. The steady flow of channel-crossing inflatable craft carrying people-trafficked migrants continues. Mayor Boris finally publishes a dissolution honours catalogue that makes Marcia Falkender`s legendary `lavender list` almost modest. “Build, build, build” is the order of the month and Mr. Secretary Jenrick pulls a Planning White Paper that reads like a developer`s charter out of the “Communities and Local Government” hat .
- Gale`s Westminster View July 2020 - still viewed from afar!
- Gale`s Westminster Viewed from a distance – June 2020
- Gale's Virtual Westminster View – May 2020
- Gale's Virtual Westminster View – April 2020
- Gale`s Westminster View From Isolation – March 2020
- Brits, Brexit and the transition period
- Gale`s Westminster View – February 2020
- Gale`s Westminster View - January 2020