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Story Bazaar book long-listed for prestigious prize

Reconquista_Cover_for_KindleReconquista‘ has been long listed for the Children’s Novel Prize 2016. An international competition with over a thousand entries, the long list includes the top one hundred novels. Organised by Mslexia magazine to encourage new women writers, this years judges are Anne Fine ( award-winning novelist ), Claire Wilson ( literary agent) and Charlotte Eyre ( Children’s Editor, The Bookseller ).

The short list of twelve will be announced in December and the five finalists and winner in Spring 2017. The winner will receive £5,000. Winners in recent years, of this and its sister prize, have gone on to win major publishing contracts and the finalists will be invited to a special event with literary agents.

Eleventh hour vote forms new government in Spain

Mariano_Rajoy_2015e_(cropped)Last week’s investiture vote in the Cortes General of Spain avoids the scenario of that country having to endure a third general election in twelve months.  On 29th October Mariano Rajoy, leader of the right-wing PP, was elected as PM by 170 votes to 111, with 68 abstentions. Thus the, scandal-wracked PP, the party which governed Spain before the general election in December 2015, is returned to power, albeit with a minority government.

An emotional Pablo Sanchez, recently ousted leader of PSOE, the traditional party of the centre-left, took his seat in the Cortes for the first round of voting, but resigned as an MP before the second, saying that he could not abstain – and thereby break his electoral pledge of opposing a PP government – nor was he prepared to vote against – thereby setting the bad example of ill-Pedro_Sánchez_2015h_(cropped)discipline within the party,as  PSOE had instructed all its MPs to abstain.  In the event 15 PSOE MPs broke with the party line.

He appeared later on TV to publicly accuse a faction with PSOE, led by Susana Dias, of forcing him to avoid a pact with the other parties of the left ( which would have given the left of centre parties a majority ).  Sanchez also hinted at his running in any future PSOE leadership election.

UK – High Court case to challenge government on Brexit

houses-of-parliamentThere are currently three, separate attempts by UK citizens to challenge the government’s claim that it has the right under royal prerogative to enter the Article 50 process and negotiations without consulting Parliament.  They are being ruled on as one and deliberations were under way two weeks ago before the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Maser of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales.

At the end of the three-day hearing the Justices reserved judgement but said that they would rule as soon as possible.  Whatever the outcome, their ruling is likely to be appealed and the case will probably end up before the Supreme Court, probably in December.

As recently as last year that a Joint Parliamentary Committee determined that any referendum in the UK could only be advisory in nature and that Parliament, as sovereign body, would have responsibility for approving whatever the result was in practical terms.  Although this case has massive and immediate implications for the UK’s departure from the EU there are also wider constitutional issues at stake.

Watch this space ( Parliament’s involvement was anticipated by us, here at The Story Bazaar back in Democracy before the referendum result ).

You may wish to look back at the articles on these stories;              Who Rules Spain, erm…?        Stalemate    Democracy III

Democracy II                  Britain is Free!            The Demagogue’s Handbook                      Picking Over the Brexit Bones

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