Section: Politics

‘Australia deal’ = NO DEAL. Johnson has failed the nation

Anthea Simmons

How dare you try to scam us with your Australia deal baloney! How dare you try to rebrand no deal to conjure up sunshine, cricket and barbies when you know full well that ‘Australia’ means scorched earth for the UK? This comment – unverifiable but wholly believable given the man’s track record of offensive gaffes […]

Sovereignty: a fig leaf for failure

David Henig

We often publish Twitter threads for the benefit of those not on the platform but there’s another reason, too: these threads are brilliant, pithy summations of complex situations typically misrepresented in the mainstream media. This thread debunks the government’s sovereignty fig leaf and we are delighted to make it available to a wider audience. Plenty […]

Protect the NHS in trade deals! House of Lords to the rescue yet again

Anthea Simmons

Great news, but what’s the betting the Conservative super majority means that all the Lords’ good work will be thrown out, just as food safety, level playing field for farmers and measures to stop government breaking international law were also rejected? Keep writing to your MP. Ask them to vote to keep the Lords’ amendments. […]

Brexit is the UK’s Tulip Mania

Sadie Parker

When I went to work in a Dutch company at the start of my career, I was given a copy of Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. Remember the “dot.com bubble”? The delusions recounted in Mackay’s book are similar, only more colourful, ridiculous and harmful. My personal favourite is tulip mania, […]

Wishy-fishy in a dishy

Des Hannigan

Much of the British attitude to fishing, and especially to foreign fishermen, is based on prejudice and ignorance. We need to see ourselves as others see us. Fishing, eh? Symbol of Brexit Britain! Sovereignty! Taking Back Control! Getting our moat back! It’s OUR ‘English’ Channel! It’s also La Manche according to those damned Frenchies over […]

Plagues, public health and politics

Terry Riordan

“And my Lord Mayor commands people to be inside by nine at night that the sick may leave their domestic prison for air and exercise”. Samuel Pepys’s diary 12th August 1665 Throughout recorded history plagues and pandemics have had the capacity to cause massive loss of life. Those in power have sought to control or […]

Brexit’s impact on Plymouth: fishing, science and people

Ashley Beare

Where to start? There are literally so many areas of business and life that will be adversely affected. Here is a snapshot of a few, together with my thoughts: – Fisheries Deliberately focused on by the government on an emotional level whilst they are well aware that, in economic reality, fisheries account for 0.12 per […]

Today’s misleading statement re trade deals and why it matters

Anthea Simmons

Liz Truss is the master of mis-selling. Yesterday she was crowing over a ‘continuity’ deal with North Macedonia, seemingly blissfully unaware that the clue to the deal’s lack of newness was in that key word – ‘continuity’. 4 December and she’s boasting that we’ve traded 365 days of unfettered access for all UK citizens for […]

Resist the temptation to see Cummings as a svengali

Darren Lilleker

For many cabinet ministers, Dominic Cummings’ departure from 10 Downing Street will be seen as an opportunity for a reset. A controversial figure from the start, the hope is that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will pursue a different style of government without the influence of his chief adviser. Cummings raised eyebrows with his strong views on […]

Lies of the week…so far

Anthea Simmons

I think a lot of us are done with holding back on what this kleptocratic, autocratic bunch of wreckers and their mainstream media cheerleaders are doing to the UK, to truth and democracy. We are going to unpick the latest lies and call them out, three at a time, for the benefit of those not […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 4

Sadie Parker

Rejoice! Lockdown is almost over – sort of. I was hoping this would be a universal moment of ‘euneirophrenia’: the feeling of contentment that comes from waking up from a pleasant dream. Sadly, for those exiting lockdown to enter into tier three, it probably won’t feel all that much different to being in actual lockdown. […]

Farming after Brexit

Miles King

We left the EU in January 2020 and it’s now less than a month before the transition period ends.  Depending on how you look at it, we are once again a ‘sovereign state’ able to take back control and make our own decisions – as if we were not free to do so before. Or […]

Cornish beaches top anthropogenic litter league

Bernard Deacon

It is becoming ever more starkly apparent that human activity and over-exploitation is having a disastrous effect on species and habitats in the marine environment. Pollution, particularly by plastics, over-exploitation of fishing grounds and climate change are producing a lethal cocktail of habitat degradation and loss of biodiversity – at sea as well as on […]

In defence of Carrie Symonds

Sadie Parker

“Had Carrie pulled the plug before Bozzie said something she didn’t approve of?” This was the casually misogynistic sentence Daily Mail journalist Henry Deedes threw into his write-up of Boris Johnson’s technical difficulties while participating in a parliamentary debate from splendid self-isolation. Deedes has form when it comes to casual misogyny. When describing Angela Rayner’s […]

Pilgrim’s shame – the price of cheap meat

Tom Scott

While argument rages over whether Cornwall should have been assigned to Tier 1 of the government’s social distancing regime, little attention has been paid to the US company operating the meat-packing plant in Cornwall which has been at the centre of a major outbreak of Covid-19. Tom Scott lifts the lid on its grim record […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 3

Sadie Parker

Well that didn’t last long. Here we are, back on the ‘sorry-go-round’ – trapped in a repetitive cycle of depressing actions or events. There were glimmers of good news. Hope of a vaccine, and even of vaccines, plural. Lewis Hamilton became the most successful Formula-1 champion ever, raising the spirits of Britain’s sports fans. The […]

Living through austerity with a learning disability

Neil Carpenter

Since 2010, successive Conservative governments have made it a priority to ‘clear up the financial mess left by Labour’ through a wide-ranging programme of austerity measures intended to reduce the deficit. As those cuts were biting, I began working as a volunteer advocate for adults with a learning disability, going into day centres, running a […]

Bullies on top in anti-bullying week

Sadie Parker

This government doesn’t do irony, does it? Hypocrisy? Yes! In spades! Sadie Parker goes a bit deeper into the Patel Bullygate scandal. Ed The Anti-Bullying Alliance was all ready to go with an impressive package of events, resources and merchandise in support of anti-bullying week, which this year fell on 16-20 November. Their aim: to […]

Fund Police. Fund Courts. Fund CPS. Fund Legal Aid. Now.

CrimeGirl

As you may know, we sometimes reproduce Twitter threads for the benefit of those not on the platform. This thread caught our eye and, though it makes rather grim reading, thought our readers might appreciate it. Imagine this You wake up in bed with your partner, your little ones are asleep in their bedrooms. It’s […]

Green industrial revolution or greenwash?

Miles King

Earlier this week I imagined, not altogether seriously, how Boris Johnson came to create his ten point plan for the climate, or the green industrial revolution, if you like. At the time, there was no detail other than the prime minister’s article in the Financial Times and a shortish press release. Now the government has […]

Hooray! We are taking back control…of GM

Simon Chater

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. There are precious few upsides to Brexit, but here’s one. We’re coming out of the EU’s dysfunctional system for regulating genetically modified (GM) crops! What do we know? It’s a quarter of a century since the first GM crop, a tomato modified to prolong its […]

Conservative leadership race: the runners and riders

Russ In Cheshire

Boris Johnson is failing, and Tories are already sniffing around for a replacement. It used to be a shoo-in for Sunak, cos he’s been Mr Giveaway. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/nov/20/rishi-sunak-warned-not-to-freeze-public-sector-pay-in-mini-budget But soon he’ll be Mr PayItBack, and his star will fall. So who’s next? Here are the runners and riders… Priti Patel, Home Secretary and Horcrux. Nurse Ratched […]

Priti vicious behaviour

Tom Scott

Priti Patel’s contempt for ethical standards is what put her in her job – it was never going to give Boris Johnson reason to sack her. When Dominic Cummings announced he would be leaving Downing Street, some excited commentators speculated that this might signal a fresh new phase in Boris Johnson’s government. “Will the departure […]

Hunger games

Oliver Patrick

Not content with fiercely resisting calls to provide our poorest children with free school meals twice this year, the conservative government is charging headlong into a Brexit that risks all our school children going hungry in Brexit Britain. On Tuesday 17 November 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) released guidance on how schools should prepare […]