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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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 […]

Helston residents rally to defend the hedgerows of Hospital Cross

Tom Scott

Helston Town Council and the Downsland Charity have failed to allay concerns over the sale of a wildlife corridor to developers. Last month, West Country Voices reported on a tangle of conflicting interests that has enmeshed Helston Town Council and a charitable trust that is meant to be acting in the interests of residents of […]

Trust issues emerge over the sale of greenfield land in Helston

Tom Scott

A tangle of conflicting interests raises questions over how developers have managed to push forward plans to build a new supermarket and a McDonald’s on a wildlife corridor on the outskirts of Helston in Cornwall. In 2019, Helston Town Council declared a climate emergency and announced that Helston was becoming an ‘Earth Protector Town’, a […]

Boris Johnson’s “not a holiday” in the West Country

Tom Scott

Confusion reigns over whether or not the prime minister is currently on holiday in the west of England with his latest family. According to a Number 10 spokesperson, he is definitely not on holiday and is “continuing to work”. Whether or not this is government work was not specified. Perhaps he is labouring at his […]

Everything we love is at stake at COP26

Tom Scott
Gyllingvase Beach

So many of the things we hold dear in our communities and local environment are threatened by the accelerating climate emergency. Tom Scott writes of one spot in Falmouth that’s close to his heart. As Cornish beaches go, Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth is pretty modest – without the thundering surf and miles-long stretches of sand […]

Lithium: Cornwall’s white gold?

Tom Scott

When leaders of the world’s richest countries gathered at Carbis Bay in Cornwall for the G7 summit, the climate emergency was (allegedly) high on their agenda. Could part of the solution lie deep in the Cornish granite? Or is lithium mining yet another environmental disaster waiting to happen? In March, the Conservative MP for St […]

Anti-vax cranks and Putin’s mafia state: an unholy alliance

Tom Scott

How is it possible that thousands of people in our country are persuaded to assemble in Trafalgar Square to applaud anti-vax cranks and far-right extremists such as Piers Corbyn and Katie Hopkins? What kind of delusional mania brings people to cheer the malignant, attention-seeking narcissist Kate Shemirani as she calls for doctors and nurses to […]

Trans rights: let’s build bridges, not walls

Tom Scott
Icon symbolising division

The issue of trans rights is being used by the right as a wedge to divide the left. And, as the resignations of Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley as Green Party co-leaders show, the left has fallen headlong into this trap. This is an article I really didn’t want to write, prompted by the decision […]

Serco in Cornwall – a lesson unlearned

Tom Scott

People in Cornwall learned about Serco the hard way more than ten years ago. Yet a company with a record of serial failure and dishonesty has just won another massive government test and trace contract. Some 15 years ago, the Scott household had its worst ever family Christmas here in Cornwall. On the day that […]

Sajid Javid: a safe pair of hands?

Tom Scott

Media outlets have been parroting the line that by appointing Sajid Javid as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Boris Johnson is putting the NHS into a “safe pair of hands”. This is no doubt exactly the line that Johnson’s government would like to hear, and it is an epithet that has been […]

Cornwall becomes Coronawall

Tom Scott

Ten days after the G7, Cornwall has some of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country. And the government is attempting to cover up one of the main reasons for this. For the first 18 months of the pandemic. Cornwall felt like a relatively safe place to be. Covid case rates were substantially lower […]

Where this culture war is headed – we have been warned

Tom Scott
representation of culture wars

To understand where Boris Johnson’s culture war is heading, the case of Spiked is instructive – and not just because his senior adviser Munira Mirza is a veteran of the former far-left & now far-right cult. Spiked grew out of a Marxist sect that called itself the Revolutionary Communist Party. It prided itself on being […]

G7 in Cornwall: greenwash, gibberish and glorious rebellion

Tom Scott
Giant globe centrepiece of climate change protest in Falmouth showing world on fire or flooded

It’s been a crazy few days here in Cornwall. The skies have been buzzing with police drones and weird-looking military aircraft, like monstrous black insects. Police with machine-guns have been hovering around the entrance to my local Tesco. And down at Carbis Bay, inside their ‘ring of steel’, world leaders concluded their deliberations on the […]

Is the G7 being held in Cornwall or Cloud Cuckoo Land?

Tom Scott
massive cruise ship in Falmouth to house police for G7

The government’s claim that the G7 in Cornwall will be “carbon neutral” is unadulterated greenwash. I just walked to the end of my road in Falmouth to have a look at the MS Silja Europa, the massive cruise ship on which a thousand police personnel will be housed during the G7 summit in Cornwall next […]

Tell them, because Matt Hancock lied

Tom Scott

If any question why we died,Tell them, because our fathers lied. So reads one of Rudyard Kipling’s Epitaphs of the War. Substitute “Matt Hancock” for “our fathers” and it could serve as an epitaph for the many thousands of vulnerable elderly people and hundreds of care home staff who were consigned to die in the […]

Minister makes fishy suggestion on water quality

Tom Scott

Recent remarks by fisheries minister Victoria Prentis suggest the government is pressuring the Food Standards Agency to change its water quality assessment for the Fal estuary and other waters used by shellfish producers.  Cornwall Green Party has described this suggestion as “frankly outrageous”. On Wednesday 12 May, the DEFRA minister responsible for fisheries, Victoria Prentis, […]

Indian variant: Boris Johnson’s indecision is final – and fatal

Tom Scott

Brexit was supposedly about “controlling our borders”. But when controlling our borders became a matter of life and death, Johnson’s government has proved pathetically inadequate.. There is as, far as we know, not yet any spread of the super-infectious Indian coronavirus variant in the South West. But this is unlikely to be the case for […]

Is Cornwall seeing a return to rotten boroughs?

Tom Scott

The local elections in Cornwall have seen the Conservatives take control of the council with the votes of fewer than 15% of registered voters. In the 18th and early 19th century, Cornwall was notorious for having more so-called ‘rotten boroughs’ than anywhere else in England. The historian Lewis Namier described Cornish politics in the 1760s: […]