Author: Anthea Simmons

Anthea Simmons is an award-winning children's author, editor and activist. She grew up in Cornwall and Devon before spending twenty plus years in the City in institutional asset management.​ Her areas of interest include diversity and inclusion, the environment and electoral reform. She is editor-in-chief for West Country Voices

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The V5 scam – why aren’t the police or the DVLA bothered?

Anthea Simmons

This is quite some story. It was news to me, but perhaps you know someone who has also been a victim, or maybe you yourself, in which case this will resonate painfully. I am keeping the names and places anonymous for obvious reasons, but here’s the tale. A friend decided to sell her 4×4, partly […]

The people of Tiverton and Honiton have not spoken – they have roared

Anthea Simmons

This is not a country of Johnson fans. This is not a country which will put up with lies, corruption, oppression, racism, law-breaking, hypocrisy and exploitation. There is a majority not just for specific progressive parties but for the core values of truth, fairness, inclusion, kindness, decency, integrity, humanity and the rule of law. Tiverton […]

WTF: the Why This Field? campaign in Totnes

Anthea Simmons

A group of people who live in the beautiful Devon town of Totnes, have come together in the Why This Field (WTF) campaign to support Totnes Town Council’s (T.T.C.) bid to purchase The Lower Field & The Elmhurst Site from K.E.V.I.C.C. school. The much-loved school is in need of funds to fix, revive and improve […]

Just like Mr Toad…sorry not sorry

Anthea Simmons

As news comes out that Johnson boasted to MPs that far from regretting the partygate scandal/crime, he “would do it again”, it is not hard to see why this excerpt from The Wind in the Willows has been doing the rounds on social media. It’s all part of Johnson’s modus operandi: apologise ostentatiously and fulsomely […]

“The Party [BBC] told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” George Orwell

Anthea Simmons

The BBC opted to dial down the boos when they repeated footage of Johnson arriving at Friday’s service in a later part of the live broadcast. There are claims that this is all to do with video editing to prioritise the new commentary, but it does not get away fron the fact that the booing has been suppressed. Laura Kuenssberg’s replacement, Chris Mason went so far as to suggest the boos were orchestrated. This is, frankly, disturbing and feels like another step in our descent towards an authoritarian state more akin to Putin’s Russia or Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea than a modern European democracy.

Is Brixham in danger of being conned yet again?

Anthea Simmons

So many towns and villages across our region desperately need more funding to support the poor, the elderly and the young. Levelling Up funds strike many of us as a bit of pump-priming disguised as an ideological commitment to close the growing, yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots (the consequence of twelve years […]

Calling all tractor enthusiasts! Conservatives desperate for a candidate to beat the LibDems in Tiverton and Honiton…

Anthea Simmons

Well, well! The ConservativeHome website makes for a fascinating visit. It seems applications are now open for a candidate to replace disgraced former MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, in the upcoming by-election. Anyone interested in standing needs to apply by 18 May. William Atkinson, the site’s assistant editor, writes: “Though traditionally safe, the […]

“My small business is in ruins and I see no way out.” An update

Anthea Simmons

More than a year ago we published this article about two small businesses being ruined by Brexit. We now have an update from the second of those profiled – Steve Shovlar. Over to you, Steve. (Oh, and just to explain, ‘Sir’ Steve references the ludicrous award of a knighthood to Gavin Williamson, a serial failure […]

Don’t miss the Tinners Moon Festival, Ashburton, Devon!

Anthea Simmons

We wrote about the wonderful Ashburton Arts Centre back in October 2020 and director Andy Williamson explained why the venue was so loved by performers. The Tinners Moon Festival, which had had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, is in full swing right now and you really shouldn’t miss the opportunity to […]

Creamo’s! The wonderfully wacky craft ice cream from Ashburton

Anthea Simmons

We are very keen to showcase small businesses from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. The stories these entrepreneurs have to tell make a very welcome change from the news, escaping from which, however briefly, is a privilege not afforded to many, we know. I met Matai and Rachael to talk about how they got into […]

Pizza and positivity: feeding Ukrainian refugees at a Polish border aid camp

Anthea Simmons
Pizza prep at refugee camp, Poland Ukraine border

It’s day 8 for David Fox-Pitt and his team at the Medyka crossing point on the Polish/Ukrainian border and they’re working non-stop, 24/7, to feed the women and children arriving in their thousands from war-torn cities, towns and villages. I spoke to David via WhatsApp. Thank goodness for modern tech! ‘It’s like Groundhog Day,’ says […]

The tweet heartless Kevin Foster didn’t want you to see

Anthea Simmons
Kevin Foster MP for Torbay

I have written today about the government’s callousness towards Ukrainian refugees, cloaked in a nicey-nicey, flag-sporting charade of fake sympathy. The reality is that there is NO effort being made to offer sanctuary to men, women and children fleeing the war. Patel and now Torbay’s Kevin Foster have been gaslighting the British public, pretending that […]

Actions speak louder than flags

Anthea Simmons
Johnson in front if UK and Ukraine flags

This is a government that relies for its survival on big promises, three-word soundbites, gesture politics and the exploitation of situations it judges will boost its (flagging) popularity. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is no exception. Set aside the huge story of Russian funding and influence in the Conservative party and the compromised approach to sanctions, […]

The Foundations of Geopolitics: Putin has been doing it by the book

Anthea Simmons
Aleksandr Dugin

This is Alexandr Dugin, a Russian philosopher, strategist, political analyst and author of a several books including Foundations of Geopolitics (1997), and who in 2014 called for the eradication of the Ukrainian identity, following disappointment that Putin did not come to the aid of pro-Russian insurgents. As I highlight some key elements of the book […]

Cat toys: do they pass the Percy test?

Anthea Simmons

Kittens will be…well, kittens! I had forgotten just how inquisitive, energetic and naughty kittens could be and as I watched Sir Percival of Ashburton ping from one work surface to another and then surf across the paperwork on the desk, tailed fuzzed up like a bog brush, I wondered how on earth I was going […]