Pick of the Week: Tony Blair, surveillance, and the legal strike
Our five most read stories this week, for your reading pleasure.
The fifth spot goes to yesterday's story about the legal challenge by three politicians to the blanket surveillance of British citizens by the intelligence service. Caroline Lucas, Baroness Jenny Jones and George Galloway say the government is breaching the "Wilson Doctrine" which forbids the interception of communications between MPs and their constituents.
Our most-read story from last week remains in the top five. Prompted by the discovery of an old tweet sent by Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn, we ask if belief in homeopathy says a lot more about a politician than simply suggesting they may be a tad eccentric. Perhaps it is not just a test of reason but also a test of morality.
Tony Blair decided it would be helpful to wade into the Labour leadership debate this week, with an attack on surprise frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn. We analyse Blair's speech to the centre-left Progress thinktank and conclude that Blair's biggest legacy is a style of political language which has made obfuscation easier and political vision harder. With the public increasingly turned off by political spin and slogans it’s little wonder Corbyn is gaining so much support.
It's been a bad couple of weeks for Boris Johnson. Still reeling from Theresa May's humiliating rejection of his request to use water cannons, Boris faced fresh criticism this week of his expensive 'new Routemaster' busses. Whistleblowers claim errors with the gears and braking systems could be putting the lives of Londoners at risk.
The top spot this week goes to our story on the ongoing legal strike. The MoJ insists the action by solicitors is having little impact on the court system, but behind the scenes a very different picture is emerging. The Police Federation has sent emails to solicitors expressing concern that a widespread boycott of new cases could affect courts and police stations across the country. We ask if solicitors will be able to hold on long enough for the full impact of the strike to be felt. However, by the close of the week the picture was rather different, amid signs the legal action could be falling apart.