Peter Geoghegan

Peter Geoghegan is investigations editor at openDemocracy. His latest book is Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics.

From The Blog
16 June 2021

At times it appears as if the courts are the only place an increasingly powerful executive can be held to account. As a leading Fleet Street reporter said to me shortly after the Public First ruling, ‘the opposition can’t lay a glove on the government. We struggle to, too. Only the courts seem able to stop Johnson.’

From The Blog
10 September 2020

Less obvious is what Johnson and his Vote Leave administration have gained from the week’s machinations. At one stage a press spokesman for Number 10 said that October’s deal – which the Conservatives won a general election on the back of – needed to be rewritten because it had been rushed through without time for scrutiny. Then it emerged that the new Internal Market Bill would be fast-tracked through the Commons.

From The Blog
18 July 2016

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service logged 123 calls between 9 p.m. last Monday and 1 a.m. on Tuesday, of which 42 were related to the annual Eleventh Night bonfires. The fire engines were ready and waiting when a pyre of wooden crates about seven storeys high was set alight in a cordoned off car park in Sandy Row at midnight. There were loud cheers as the flames engulfed a large Irish tricolour with ‘KAT’ (‘Kill All Taigs’) scrawled in pen across the flag’s white third. (A Taig is a derogatory term for a Catholic. The white is meant symbolise peace between the Protestant Orange and the Catholic Green.) The heat was so intense I found myself squinting. Beyond the car park railings, firemen hosed down windows to cool the glass, but it wasn’t enough. A Bangladeshi family in a flat overlooking the bonfire watched on as their window shattered.

From The Blog
2 April 2015

At 5 p.m. on 18 September 2014 the Scottish National Party had 25,642 members. Last Saturday afternoon Nicola Sturgeon announced that membership was 102,143 and rising. After the referendum, it was thought that the new intake – widely assumed to be more leftwing – might undermine the nationalists’ discipline. But there was little discord among the 3000 people at Glasgow’s SECC last weekend for the SNP spring conference. Resolutions on all-women shortlists, land reform and the Chagos Islands passed almost unanimously. Sturgeon pledged that her party would block David Cameron’s attempts to return to Downing Street. She said that the SNP would supply the ‘backbone and guts’ needed to force Labour to construct a radical post-election government. Trident would go; austerity would slow; the minimum wage would rise by £2. The loudest cheer came for a call to scrap the House of Lords.

From The Blog
20 October 2014

'I came down here to support Tommy,' the man said when I asked why he'd given over his Sunday to stand in the middle of George Square and listen to a stream of speeches, mainly about the perfidy of Albion. 'I think he's had a raw deal.' Tommy Sheridan was on stage in a Yes T-shirt. Between the bronchial sound system and us was a sea of Saltires and homemade signs. A trio of mocked-up heads with the faces of Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Alistair Darling bobbed above the crowd, with a placard labelling them the '3 stooges' and 'traitors'.

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