Section: Politics

Remove Clause 9 from the hideous Nationality and Borders Bill

Anthea Simmons

It is savagely ironic that dozens of Conservative MPs are spitting out their dummies over the ‘outrageous’ curtailment to freedom that results from being obliged to wear a mask and to produce a Covid passport to gain entry to various venues and amenities and yet they happily wave through legislation that includes some of the […]

Forget the wallpaper. Follow the money.

Robert Saunders

We are putting this out again in the light of recent developments which appear to show Johnson, once again, lying. This story matters on so many levels. It should be the final curtain for Johnson, frankly. Ed Forget the wallpaper. Forget John Lewis. Forget the curtains and the chintzy sofas. This isn’t a story about […]

“Treating taxpayers like an ATM machine”

Anthea Bareham
Meme of an ATM reads HMRX Self-servatives

Most people seem to think that Dido Harding’s test and trace programme (NHST&T but nothing to do with the NHS) is a disaster. I won’t go into the reasons why; you can read some of it in the House of Commons committee report. Instead, let’s just look at the costs. The government allocated a budget […]

The funny side…

Graham Hurley
Boris Johnson pants on fire

The former French ambassador to the UK, Sylvie Bermann, went into print a couple of days ago to reflect on what remains of her country’s relationship with the Brits.  When she left office in 2017, there was a measure of mutual trust and conversations were conducted in good faith. Since then, Boris Johnson has barged into […]

Now that Brexit is ‘done’, Tories want human rights undone

Jon Danzig
Image of Human rights act cover and SOS

UK SOS: our human rights are under threat The Tories of this century want to abandon the human rights that Tories of the last century championed and established. It was Winston Churchill who, in 1948, advocated a European ‘Charter of Human Rights’ in direct response to the abject horrors of the Nazi regime and the […]

Costa Britannia? Bremaining in Spain after Brexit

Mike Zollo
view of Malaga

Brexit has had a devastating impact on the many British citizens who have second homes on the continent. Mike Zollo explains the work of campaign and support organisation Bremain in Spain. For my wife and me, as for many thousands of British nationals who spend time in Spain and/or have their own properties there, the […]

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 […]

Who really controls the political climate? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, Our PM isn’t very good with gates, actually he isn’t very good at anything – except, of course, at lying; and actually he seems to have lost his talent for that recently. You will remember when he was confused by Bill Gates on how much the UK would contribute towards Bill’s […]

“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 […]

‘Leave the rich alone’ is now official government policy

Richard Murphy
luxury car outside grand house

Over the last couple of years the pretty lame Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) has made a range of recommendations for the reform of capital gains tax and inheritance tax. On 30 November we finally learned of the government’s reaction. As the FT notes: The UK has shelved proposals to raise capital gains tax rates to […]

Will our MPs stand up for the lifeboats?

Mick Fletcher

If any organisation embodies the best of British values it is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).   It is funded by donations and almost entirely staffed by volunteers.  It is a charity independent of government, wholly dedicated to saving lives at sea.  Its volunteers are ready to risk their own life to help others, 24 […]

Social feed 3: the smell of bacon frying…

Babe

A regular satirical commentary on the pig swill served to constituents via an MP’s social media feed ‘Slurping at the swill for everyone in Totnes & South Devon’ – Babe PeppaPiggate may have overshadowed the Paterson and sewage affairs, but Babe isn’t letting Mangnall off the hook… This social feed retrospective tastes disconcertingly familiar. It’s […]

Why do our government and tabloid press demonise refugees?

Sadie Parker

No doubt you’ve seen the crocodile tears of some of our tabloid commentators concerning the death of 27 people in the English Channel (technically in French waters) on the night of Wednesday, 24 November. They included a young Kurdish fiancée, four other women and a little girl, and possibly an Afghan interpreter who previously worked […]

“She wanted to be with her husband in Britain”

Jon Danzig

As reported by The Times today, a young woman from Iraqi Kurdistan, who was travelling to Britain to be with her husband, was among those who died in the Channel tragedy. She was Baran Nuri Muhamadamin, 24, from the town of Souran in the far northeast of Iraqi Kurdistan, where the territory meets the Turkish […]

Greenham Common Women – 40 years on

Conor Niall O'Luby
Badge worn by Grennham Common Women's protest

A train trip back in time “Going anywhere nice today?” Taking the drink from the young woman at the station kiosk, I replied: “We’re off to Newbury, to Greenham Common. It’s the 40-year anniversary of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. My mum was one of the Greenham Women. We’re going to see the events […]

The letter we are still waiting to receive

Editor-in-chief

This is a letter we have yet to receive and even the idea of it may make the blood of some of our readers boil. But does it, or a version of it, languish in draft emails on computers right across our region, addressed but unsent? It would be good to think so.Go on. Open […]

Madness

Graham Hurley
Johnson graffiti

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad“. Sophocles did not, of course, have Boris Johnson in mind, but the dramatist’s line from Antigone has survived the passage of time, and two recent speeches – coupled with Johnson’s usual insouciance about the gathering storms that beset us all – suggest that Greek […]

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, […]

Social care: another Conservative manifesto pledge broken

Sadie Parker

Social care may well prove to be Alexander Boris de Pfeffel’s Johnson’s Waterloo, and deservedly so. Out of the blue, less than a week before parliament was to vote on the matter, Number 10 tabled a new proposal (New Clause 49 to the Health and Care Bill) on the social care cap. It significantly watered […]