Section: Politics

Fantasy Friday: nominations for a dream cabinet

Medea Sweet

A bit of escapism does no harm. We can all dream, can’t we? Prime Minister: fantasy world choice would be Hugh Grant. Looks the part, acts the part, cares and will ensure he has good people round him. Will make the UK lovable again. Real world: Caroline Lucas. The planet needs eco-warriors to be in […]

Somerset’s local democracy in danger from this man

Mick Fletcher

On 3 March we published an article by Theo Butt Philip highlighting the decision of Robert Jenrick to cancel elections to Somerset County Council. You can follow the preview link to the full article below. In essence Jenrick had decided that whether the people of Somerset liked it or not they would move to a […]

Liz Truss in the naughty chair

Sadie Parker

I am bent double, cringing as I write this. So much going on. The bombast expended on a football super-league by a prime minister who offered to sell Newcastle United off to some Saudi royal as a sweetener in a dodgy deal. The revelations of Johnson offering to fix a billionaire Tory donor’s tax —shocking […]

The dangerous moral vacuum

Anthea Simmons

There’s a theory going round that Johnson and his team put the Dyson texts through a focus group filter and decided that the whole story could be spun to Johnson’s advantage, portraying him as a man so committed to the care of his beloved subjects…sorry, voters… that he would move heaven and earth to save […]

Toxic tribalism in politics got us into this mess. It has to stop.

Anthea Simmons

At last! Two things happen that all sane, honest and fair-minded people have been praying for! 1) Peter Stefanovic’s tweeted video compilation of Johnson’s very many lies to parliament surged through the 10 million views barrier and beyond, and finally began to gain some traction with both the media and politicians. and (partly as a […]

2020 and all that.

Tom Scott

They say history is written by the victors. But what happens when the victors of the Brexit referendum and the ‘Get Brexit Done’ election go on to preside over a series of unprecedented national calamities and scandals? And how might the history of the last couple of years look if subjected to Johnsonian levels of […]

We must all take a stand against corruption in public life

Sadie Parker

The 8 April cover of The New European turned out to be highly prescient. It featured prime minister (PM) Boris Johnson handcuffed to Line of Duty characters DI Steve Arnott (played by Martin Compston) on his right and DI Kate Fleming (played by Vicky McClure) on his left. Had someone at the paper seen a […]

If you want to keep your community hospital, you must stay vigilant

Anthea Simmons

Back in August of last year, we published an article by Mike Sheaff on NHS Property Services (NHSPS) and its aggressive policy on rents charged and eviction of tenants (GPs etc!) from NHSPS-owned properties. We have also carried a number of press releases from the campaigning body Save our Hospital Services (SOHS), including their fight […]

Did donations to the Conservatives buy a Kremlin Brexit?

Sadie Parker

In July 2020 the Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) long-awaited Russia Report was finally published. Completed in July 2019 under the leadership of then ISC Chair Dominic Grieve, it went through extensive checking, vetting and approval processes before being presented to prime minister Boris Johnson in October 2019. Normally, such a report would be cleared […]

Former Finnish PM nails #BrexitDisaster in one tweet

Anthea Simmons

Maybe our shortest article yet! It’s simple. Brexit is bad for business. End of. Oh…and we did this to ourselves. Not the EU’s fault. Alexander Stubb, former prime and finance minister of Finland, spells it out: Write to your MP and explain that we need to get back into the single market and the customs […]

Think Brexit’s all over? Wait until the grace periods end…

Sadie Parker

Despite the best efforts of 87 per cent of the mainstream media (by circulation) trying to distract you from the battering Brexit is giving to business up and down the UK, news is at last filtering through. And, bad as this news is, we have yet to see the worst because the Trade and Cooperation […]

“Fascism has never gone away…” Letters to the editor from Spain

Mike Zollo

The following is a compilation of the comments made by members of Bremain (in Spain), most of whom are Brits living in Spain or who know the country well. These comments are their reactions to the West Country Voices article Democracy breaks up from the inside, which went online on 25 February. Lisa Ryan Burton […]

Abandon hope all youth who grow up here

Sadie Parker

“Am I gonna sit here and say that Brexit is perfect, and your generation is gonna reap the benefits? No, I’m not, because you’re not, frankly, at the minute, and I can see that. We’ve got work to do…” So said Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, addressing an audience of under-30-year-old […]

“DEFRA says get over it”: Brexit threatens to wreck Devon mussel business and DEFRA don’t much care

Julian Andrews

“DEFRA says get over it”, according to Nicki Holmyard, talking to West Country Voices, and describing the response from the department for environment, food and rural affairs since live shellfish exports to the EU collapsed in January 2021. Nicki is Communications Director of the Brixham-based aquaculture firm Offshore Shellfish Ltd, which – in common with […]

100 days of Brexit: the impact on animals

Anthea Simmons

We are such a nation of animal lovers that we barely stopped to consider the ramifications of Brexit on pets, equestrian sports, showing and breeding, and swallowed all the reassurances about food and animal welfare standards with barely a murmur. Not many of us stopped to consider the impact of a US trade deal on […]

A briefing note for POTUS: time to review the UK’s ‘closest ally’ status?

Eric Gates

Eric Gates imagines a very necessary briefing for President Biden in the wake of developments on the UK side of the pond… Mr President; you were briefed after your election about the United Kingdom’s  request to acquire the next generation nuclear deterrent from us. Since then, the UK Government has published a policy paper entitled […]

Peaceful protest in action

Rachel Marshall

After a year of signing online petitions the government will simply ignore, this Saturday feeling a mixture of anxiety and compulsion, I went back to the streets to protest – while I still can – against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill at one of the 25 protests that took place across the UK. […]

Has Brexit made us less safe?

Sadie Parker

Prior to the referendum and for a few years afterwards, Sir Richard Dearlove appeared to dominate the conversation on security, at least from a pro-Brexit stance. Dearlove is a former head of MI6, the British security service responsible for countering threats from foreign sources. His omnipresence and stark opinions drowned out the voices of other […]

The unstoppable march of the masts

Mick Fletcher

Most of us want it both ways.  We are keen, often desperate, to get improved mobile coverage. At the same time, we don’t want our precious landscapes scarred by ugly and alien structures. Reconciling the two will always be tricky. However, a little-known piece of legislation called the Electronic Communications Code (EC code) tips the […]

Meet the modern Victorians

Sadie Parker

There is something familiar about Brexit ideology, and what’s alarming is that the ‘something familiar’ consists of philosophies and slogans that were debunked decades, even centuries ago… On closer inspection, it looks as if five of the most prominent Brexiters have become ‘modern’ Victorians. Yarn-spinner Hannan Daniel Hannan, who metaphorically speaking has wet dreams about […]

Helping the police with their enquiries

Mike Zollo

Police interpreting: racism and xenophobia ‒ hardly a new phenomenon The southwest of our country has always attracted many Europeans, and not just tourists: many work in our schools, hospitals, hotels and restaurants, for example… and one mustn’t forget the language students who attend language schools in so many of our towns and cities. They […]

Les rodomontades de Boris Johnson: How the French see us

Anthea Simmons

You won’t find too many fans of Boris Johnson in France. He is regarded as “a greedy pig who kidnapped our vaccine doses”. My sister-in-law commiserated with those of us in the UK who aren’t fans either, saying “You’ve got fascism. We’re getting it next year with Marine le Pen”. Great. Just what we need… […]