UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
In a 45-minute Week in Review, I joined Times Radio’s Darryl Morris early Monday to evaluate the latest cracks in Brexit Britain, the significance of Mexico’s drug cartels, and Iran’s underground protests for rights, justice, and gender equality.
We devote most of the program to the state of a declining UK, beginning with the leak that the Sunak Government — for political expediency but risking plans for decades of economic growth — is scrapping the high-speed rail network HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester.
I look at another Manchester story, the launch of the publicly-controlled Manchester Bee bus network, as an alternative approach to transport. The return to a regulated, sustainable service is welcome — but can it be replicated in the UK’s other cities and in its rural areas?
In the second half of the discussion, I take apart the hesitant approach of both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties over the UK’s post-Brexit re-engagement with the European Union. Can the politicians shake off their electoral caution to take the necessary steps for economic, security, and social co-operation?
Beyond the UK, I review a research estimate — probably under-estimating — that Mexico’s drug cartels are the country’s fifth-largest employer.
I briefly summarize the report by Deepa Parent highlighting that Iran’s protests, a year after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, are far from being crushed by the regime.
And for fans of Strictly Come Dancing, there’s a closing hat-tip to Angela Rippon, the broadcast journalist who — as the UK competition’s oldest participant at 78 — wowed judges and crowd on Saturday night.