The trouble with the Northern Independence Party’s nickname

Normally new political parties sink without a trace. But amid the hubbub around the Hartlepool by-election, the fledgling Northern Independence Party (NIP) has caused a stir, being covered by everyone from the Daily Express to Novara Media.

No party is truly established until it acquires a derogatory nickname, as evinced by the Tories’ longstanding embrace of their own slur. It is therefore with some amusement that Marchamont notes one prominent suggestion for the Northumbrian separatists: ‘nips’.

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What newly-respectful critics once said about Prince Philip

Not speaking ill of the dead is a rigid convention after somebody dies. And true to this form, even anti-monarchy campaigners have been polite about the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Marchamont is no stranger to switching sides on the royal question, but there is something rum about being nice just because someone has become an ex-parrot. Neither the deceased nor the critic should get off so easily, so here’s what the newly-respectful have previously said.

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Tory lord chancellor condemns ‘enemies of the people’ headline

At the height of Brexit quarrelling, the Daily Mail ran an infamous piece attacking judges who had ruled that a parliamentary act was needed to begin Britain’s exit from the EU. With little subtlety, the headline described the judges as “enemies of the people”.

Conservatives have continued to bridle at judicial overreach, with the lord chancellor Robert Buckland having just opened a consultation on judicial review. It is therefore interesting that in a recent speech to Queen Mary University of London he took a swipe at the infamous headline, saying it covered neither judges nor the government.

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John Bercow learns to take the banter

During his time as House of Commons speaker, John Bercow earned a reputation as a cantankerous man. As well as annoying Brexiteers with his flexible attitude to parliamentary procedure, he often appeared pompous and irate in the chamber and was latterly accused of bullying.

Guido Fawkes was a leading critic of Bercow, publishing numerous unflattering stories. The rightwing blog must therefore be miffed that its attempt to embarrass the former speaker by flagging his services on Cameo has backfired.

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Keir Starmer confesses to guilt by association to Jesus House

Labour’s leader Keir Starmer became an indirect victim of offence archaeology as he was pressured into apologising for a visit to the anti-LGBT church Jesus House. He also deleted the offending video, lest anybody see it again.

“I completely disagree with Jesus House’s beliefs on LGBT+ rights, which I was not aware of before my visit,” he tweeted. “I apologise for the hurt my visit caused and have taken down the video. It was a mistake and I accept that.”

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