Author: Tom Scott

Tom Scott is a freelance writer and editor based in Falmouth, Cornwall, and a lecturer at Falmouth University. He takes a particular interest in political disinformation and in 2019 authored 'Facing Down Facebook: Reclaiming Democracy in the Age of (Anti) Social Media', a report for the European Parliament with policy recommendations on reforming the social media landscape. Tom was the Green Party's candidate for Truro and Falmouth at the 2019 general election.

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Mickey Mouse, Peppa Pig and the war on empathy

Tom Scott

The government’s trashing of arts education will do great harm to the UK’s ‘soft power’. But as Tom Scott explains, the damage will go deeper than that. A few days ago, I was at a meeting of University and College Union (UCU) delegates from around the country. Hearing from other delegates about the swathe of […]

Death trap

Tom Scott

To set a death trap, careful preparation Will be repaid. You need first to make sure That no alternative accommodation Is on hand for the undeserving poor. This won’t be hard – with council homes sold off, Sit back and let the market do its work. The gratitude of landlords at their trough Will be […]

Spineless, gormless, charmless and useless

Tom Scott

All but one of Cornwall’s Conservative MPs voted on 6 June to back a law-breaking prime minister and thereby brought themselves and their party into even greater disrepute. Their constituents’ reactions ranged from derision to weary despair, as Tom Scott describes. First to tweet in support of Britain’s worst prime minister in modern history after […]

Rishi Sunak delivers a package to set the world on fire

Tom Scott

Unfortunately, it will do this all too literally, by driving up new oil and gas extraction while doing far too little to address the acute poverty that now faces millions. Tom Scott lays bare the shocking truth. The U-turn in government policy that everyone was expecting finally arrived today, when Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a […]

America the Beautiful

Tom Scott

O beautiful for RemingtonFor Smith & Wesson, ColtFor rapid-fire assault weaponFor barrel, stock and bolt America! America!God gave thy guns to theeTo spill the blood that spreads its floodFrom sea to shining sea! O beautiful for massacreSo swiftly carried outBy terrorist or teenagerBy godless or devout America! America!God gave thy guns to theeTo spill the […]

The cost of living and the price of ideology

Tom Scott

New data from The Food Foundation shows 7.3 million adults went without food in April. Of these, 2.4 million had not eaten for a whole day at least once in the past month. Yet there is no shortage of food in the UK, or of money. This is not a ‘cost of living crisis’ but […]

Mass trespass outside Truro celebrates 90 years of the fight to roam

Tom Scott

Members of Cornwall Green Party went for a walk on Sunday around a greenfield site on the outskirts of Truro that is threatened by destructive housing development. The 18-strong group set out from County Hall, walking along a stretch of the old railway line that forms part of the Newham Trail before branching out across […]

Long Covid – hope on the horizon?

Tom Scott

Some two million people in the UK are experiencing longer-term health impacts from Covid. Suffering from post-Covid brain-fog himself, Tom Scott had a look at some recent research into Long Covid and possible treatments for the condition. Last month I finally caught Covid, along with dozens of other people who had unwisely attended a friend’s […]

Surviving the cost-of-living crisis the Tory way

Tom Scott
a heap of cooked pasta

Let’s have no more whingeing about poverty. Price rises should present no difficulty to anyone prepared to take some tips from the thrifty habits and entrepreneurial flair of Conservative MPs, writes Tom Scott. A tweet by Tory supporter Kevin Edger sneering at a nurse who skips meals in order to afford food for her children […]

Time to waive the visas – and revisit the Nationality and Borders Bill

Tom Scott
Waive the visas campaign image

Insistence on complex visa requirements is in stark contrast to the outpouring of empathy for Ukrainian refugees by people in Britain. A government that promised it would cut ‘red tape’ is now using bureaucracy in the cruellest of ways, writes Tom Scott. When I was growing up in the 1960s, films and TV series set […]

Putin’s chaos-master and the war on Ukraine

Tom Scott
Putin and Surkov

Two recent articles by the Kremlin’s ‘grey cardinal‘, Vladislav Surkov, give disturbing insights into the thinking behind Russia’s aggression. If Putin has a soul, then Surkov is the engineer of that infernal machine. Joseph Stalin was in the habit of referring to writers as “the engineers of human souls”. A vital role, in the view […]

Why are Cornwall councillors busy promoting damaging trade deals with the US rather than serving their constituents?

Tom Scott
Conservative Friends of America home page

An independent report has found Conservative councillor Tara Sherfield-Wong has “demonstrated a lack of commitment to the community for which she serves”. Her activities with Conservative Friends of America raise further questions over whose interests Councillor Sherfield-Wong is really serving – and she’s not the only Cornwall councillor who is part of this organisation. Tom […]

What are Russians thinking about Putin’s war, and why?

Tom Scott
Putin's eyes

“They slaughter and maim tens of thousands of men, and then they say prayers of thanksgiving for having slaughtered so many people (inflating the numbers) and proclaim victory, supposing that the more people slaughtered, the greater the merit. How does God look down and listen to them!“Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace Almost exactly 33 years […]

Cornwall stands with Ukraine

Tom Scott
Stand with Ukraine vigil, Truro

Speech made at the Vigil for Ukraine outside Truro Cathedral on 27 February. Thank you all so much for coming here today to express your solidarity with the people of Ukraine. These are very dark times for Europe and for the whole world. We’re seeing a peaceful, democratic nation under violent attack by a fascistic […]

Tough times for Putin’s fellow travellers in the UK

Tom Scott
Dressing table with a Putin commemorative plate

Expressions of support for Vladimir Putin by various leading figures of the Brexit movement, and their connections with his mafia state, are coming back to haunt these ‘useful idiots’, writes Tom Scott. In 2017, I worked with the Green MEP Molly Scott Cato on a website that examined the motives and connections of various leading […]

Let’s tax dirty oil and gas profits to tackle the cost of living crisis

Tom Scott
Dirty profits tax poster

A ‘Dirty Profit Tax’ would help to address both extreme levels of poverty and the accelerating climate emergency, argues Tom Scott. This winter, millions of people in our country are facing extreme poverty. The cost-of-living crisis, largely caused by the dramatic rise in oil and gas prices, means that many are already having to choose […]

Reading the mind of Vladimir Putin

Tom Scott

With a massive Russian force encircling Ukraine, how should we interpret Putin’s intentions? One key thing to remember is the Russian president’s years as a KGB operative, writes Tom Scott. An adjective that often crops up in discussion of Vladimir Putin is ‘inscrutable’. It’s not just because of the Russian president’s typically stony-faced demeanour and […]

The ‘Brexit Freedoms Bill’: a swindle and a perversion

Tom Scott

George Orwell would have understood the government’s abuse of the English language all too well. Tom Scott draws the parallels. In his 1946 essay Politics and the English Language, George Orwell observes:  “The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another […] […]

Last chance to stop the Police State Bill

Tom Scott

The Labour Party has finally said that it will oppose some of the extremely dangerous amendments to Priti Patel’s Policing Bill in the House of Lords. But others look set to be waved through by the official opposition, unless it shifts its stance before the key votes on Monday. Tom Scott explains. The first protest […]

Why Prince William will get nothing in my will

Tom Scott
HRH Prince William

Prince William’s attempt to present the Duchy of Cornwall as a benevolent institution fails to impress Tom Scott, who brushed up against this powerful feudal relic after his neighbours died without leaving a will. Last week, Prince William let it be known through “royal sources” quoted in the Daily Telegraph that he is looking into […]

Liz Truss: the free market ideologue now ‘negotiating’ Brexit

Tom Scott

This 2019 article is from Tom Scott and Molly Scott Cato’s Cabinet of Horrors blog. It remains extremely pertinent, especially so given Truss’s move to ‘negotiate’ Brexit following Frost’s resignation. That’s the same Brexit Johnson and Frost claim to have got done… It would be easy to dismiss Liz Truss as an intellectual lightweight, and […]

Is Boris Johnson being fitted for concrete shoes?

Tom Scott
Boris Johnson as the Godfather

The prime minister may soon have cause to reflect on the lessons of the greatest gangster movie ever made.­ Tom Scott explains the connection. Boris Johnson’s sister, Rachel Johnson, once described her brother as “quite Sicilian” in his attitude towards loyalty. She was no doubt thinking of the Sicilian Mafia, and not just because one […]

If protest changed anything, they’d make it illegal…

Tom Scott

… and that’s exactly what Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill aims to do. Tom Scott explains why this is yet another assault on freedom and democracy and must be opposed. In St Stephen’s Hall in the Houses of Parliament, a stained-glass window commemorates the women who fought for voting rights in the […]

“Last Christmas”: the Boris Johnson Christmas party karaoke version

Tom Scott

Last Christmas, I kept you apartBut the very next day, I partied awayThis year, to save donors from tearsI’ll give them all something special Once bitten and twice shyThat what they say, but it doesn’t applySleaze and corruption, so many storiesBut still you will keep on voting for Tories “Forgive me, forgive me” you all […]

Cornwall Council flies in the face of the climate crisis

Tom Scott

On Monday, Conservative-led Cornwall Council announced with a fanfare that flights between Newquay and London will be resuming next month. Curiously, it omitted to mention just how much this will be costing council taxpayers in Cornwall. Tom Scott explores the inequity behind the headlines. The so-called public service obligation (PSO) deal struck between Eastern Airways, […]

A monumental COP-out

Tom Scott
'climate criminals': Putin, Morrison, Bolsanaro masks at COP26

“It’s hard not to see the Glasgow Climate Pact as an elaborate suicide note couched in the language of blah-blah-blah”: Tom Scott’s powerful COP26 report. I returned home from a few days at COP26 in Glasgow more bone-tired than I think I’ve ever been in my life, and watching the news coming out of the […]

Why I’m clanging for climate on 30 October

Tom Scott

At 6pm on Saturday 30 October, I’ll be standing on my doorstep banging a saucepan more often used for stews. Not because I’ve taken leave of my senses (yet) – it’s part of a big national action called ‘Clang for Climate’ that’s encouraging people in communities across the country to raise the alarm about the […]

Climate of lies

Tom Scott

The BBC’s new docudrama The Trick dramatises events around ‘Climategate’ – the hacking and subsequent false representation of thousands of emails between climate scientists, just before the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit. It’s an episode that can now be seen as a blueprint for a later – and even more devastating – disinformation operation. Writer Owen […]

26 Voices for Change

Tom Scott

On Friday I took part in the launch of 26 Voices for Change, a new anthology of work by Cornwall-based writers responding to the climate and ecological emergency. Held in the splendid new performance space at The Cornish Bank in Falmouth as part of the Falmouth Book Festival, the event showcased an incredible diversity of […]