Section: Politics

Trying to do more with less: austerity lives on in Devon

Julian Andrews
elderly woman in window looking out

As government continues to shift the burden for services (and the blame for their shortcomings) onto councils, whilst cutting their budgets, Julian Andrews explains the impact on Devon’s budget and inhabitants. “The age of irresponsibility is giving way to the age of austerity”, said David Cameron in 2009. Shortly afterwards, then-Chancellor George Osborne announced cuts […]

Johnson may yet fight an ugly rearguard action

Richard Murphy
cartoon poster of Johnson , middle finger raised

Political speculation abounds on whether Johnson can survive. It is apparent that the consensus is that he cannot. But let me offer a word of caution. The assumption is being made that a man who has refused to comply with every convention in life that governs good behaviour will do the honourable thing and step […]

Democracy in Danger event report

Editor-in-chief
taped mouth marked with red x

This is a record of our well-attended Democracy in Danger event on Thursday 20 January. Unfortunately the tape was not running for the introductions and so I paraphrase in this summary. Molly Scott Cato, (Greens) talked about her work to research and then to raise awareness of the rise of fascism in the UK. She […]

We need radical political change – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, The Conservative party has clearly been in power for too long and has too much power based on significantly less than half of the votes cast in the last general election (an 80 seat majority based on securing a mere 43.6 per cent of the ballots cast in 2019). The recent […]

How to engage with power and make a difference

Editor-in-chief
laptop open on desk

DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT How to contact your MP, Select Committees, the Lords, Councillors etc Parliament Find your MP: https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons Find out about your MP and their voting record: They work for You Contacting your MP: https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/ Best for Britain’s excellent Hey MP! contact software that has a campaign focus but ensures your email address is […]

Social feed 5: virtual reality

Babe
Pig with muddy snout

A satirical commentary on the pigswill we’re fed by an MP’s social media. Feasting at the trough: ‘Babe’ BREAKING NEWS: The Conservative Party has made a significant investment in Facebook’s Metaverse. First amongst Devon MPs to stake his claim to a piece of alternative reality is, of course, the Captain of Complicity, the Superman of […]

Starmer’s beer: A case of malicious false equivalence

Sadie Parker

This weekend (16/17 January) we have all been given a stunning lesson in the strength of the Conservative Party’s propaganda machine. Hemmed in by his lies, his popularity plummeting faster than a spacecraft re-entering earth’s atmosphere and hurtling towards the sea, Boris Johnson called in favours from mainstream broadcasters, three major newspapers, and his pet […]

Closed minds, broken politics

Barbara Leonard
meme: waiting for Sue Gray

Last week I wrote to my local MP Robert Syms. I explained the great sadness and upset I felt had been caused by the revelations of casual disregard of the Covid rules by those responsible for imposing them. While my family had been prevented from seeing dying relatives and attending funerals, they partied on. Back […]

What happens to the Tories now?

Richard Murphy

We know that Boris Johnson’s days in Number 10 are numbered now. We can’t be sure how many there still are. That his tenure will end well before the time of the next election is, however, seemingly certain. But my question is, so what? What then for the Tories, and us. The Conservative Party is […]

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 […]

Grassroots for Europe say: Patel’s Bill steals our rights

Editor-in-chief
two placards opposing Patel's Police Bill

This is a press release from campaign organisation, Grassroots for Europe. We do not usually publish these verbatim, but this is a well-worded and powerful summary of the situation we face, a situation that seems unbelievable in the UK, a situation which is a key characteristic of a repressive regime. We will be covering the […]

How can any of us feel safe with a Home Office that lies so relentlessly?

Sadie Parker

Unnerved by all the criticism of the Nationality and Borders Bill, the Home Office has come out swinging, lambasting alleged “inaccuracies” in some of the commentary. The only problem is, their defence is riddled with what could at best be described as misleading statements, and at worst as outright lies. Sadie Parker calls them out. […]

More than words

Jim Funnell
neon art "all we have is words"

Words matter. Every second around 6,000 tweets are sent worldwide, equating to 500m a day – that’s 200bn tweets of 280 characters every year – you can watch it happening in real time at Internet Live Stats. It’s a lorra words. And 2021 was full of them. 2021 was the year of what was said […]

Democracy in danger: call to action

Sadie Parker
Green peers Jenny Jones and Nathalie Bennett challenge Patel's dreadful Bills

Sadie Parker explains why we need to act now to arrest the erosion of our democracy and rights. In January 2022, two of the worst Bills ever conceived by a British government return to the House of Lords: the Nationality and Borders (NB) Bill on 5 January, and then on 10 January it is the […]

“Say whatever you like. You’ll probably get away with it”

Julian Andrews
Michael Gove - scouts' honour

This is the tale of one man’s attempts to hold a politician to account for his public utterances – utterances which some would say represent an over-sized helping of double standards. If this interests you and you are one of those who, like me, are inclined to exclaim, “You effing liar” whenever a current Tory […]

A year of very British scandals

Sadie Parker
meme of the big figures of political scandal in 2021

Has there ever been a British government this rotten, this out of touch with the public and this much of a danger to British democracy, public well-being and our international reputation? Judge for yourself as we take you on a whirlwind tour of the highs and lows of 2021, a year many of us might […]

The last thing we need in 2022 is a poll tax on energy consumption

Richard Murphy

The FT reports this morning that: Households facing a “cost of living catastrophe”, including soaring gas and electricity charges, in April could yet be spared a £100 levy on their bills which had been intended to recoup the money to cover recent energy company failures. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is looking to spread the cost of the […]

A case of the African giggles

Canon Robin Murch
Desmond Tutu

Canon Robert Murch pays his own tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, recalling a meeting in the mid-sixties in Wells, Somerset. I spent 1965/1966 as a theological student at Wells Theological College. A recently retired army officer, I knew little about the Church of England and even less about theology, but it was an education which […]