Section: Politics

Why a little light lawbreaking matters

Sadie Parker

The attorney general lived up to her ‘Cruella-Suella’ nickname when she attacked Shadow Justice Minister Ellie Reeve on 24 September last. Ms Reeve had asked a perfectly reasonable question, in a polite and proper way: “…there is a universal view among those who look to the attorney general to defend the rule of law that […]

Mr President – a briefing as you assume your new role in January 2021

Eric Gates

Mr President: You asked us to brief you on the current plans to sell to the United Kingdom the next generation nuclear deterrent. In particular, you asked about the possible downsides that have emerged since the original presidential approval was given to the programme. In broad terms, Mr President, they fall into three categories. The […]

Hidden trade-offs make trade deals unpalatable

Sadie Parker

To say that farms are likely to be decimated by Brexit is inaccurate, because ‘to decimate’ means to cull one in ten. DEFRA was reported to be expecting at least one in four farms to go bust as a result of Brexit. Even DEFRA’s dire forecast may have been too generous. Last year, former National […]

Levelling up to new heights of corruption

Tom Scott

Few towns in the South West will receive funding from the government’s Towns Fund – and now we know why. In September 2019, local government secretary Robert Jenrick published a list of 101 places that would receive help to develop bids for funding from the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. There was suspicion at the […]

Whose truth? Why we are at war with ourselves

Alex Pilkington

There is only one truth. Of course there is. We are often left speechless with disbelief or find ourselves incredulous with rage at the stupidity of our fellow citizens when they don’t believe what we hold to be the truth. Why don’t they see the truth? Why do they believe fake news? Why do they […]

Furore over food standards reaching fever pitch

Sadie Parker

On 22 September, the Lords inflicted a defeat on the government when it voted, in line with the government’s own manifesto pledge, for an amendment to the Agriculture Bill to uphold our food, animal welfare and environmental standards. What was the government doing voting against its own manifesto pledge in the first place? Government has […]

The soil depletion crisis – retired Devon organic dairy farmer spells out the hard truth.

Rory O'Connor

My current edition of ‘Grass and Forage Manager’, published by British Grassland Society, shows just how far many farmers have come in recognising their responsibilities to environmental matters over the last ten to fifteen years. Articles on livestock sustainability, growing herbal leys, locking in carbon with grassland and grassland management effects on earthworm communities are […]

Making capital out of Coronavirus – the Moonshot scam

Anthea Simmons

There’s money in misery. There’s cash to be made in a crisis. You can monetise just about anything these days, after all. The growth of the social media giants should have taught us that. This government is turning out to be world-beating at funnelling your tax and mine into the pockets of mates, donors and […]

Erosion of the rights of the less-abled: incompetence or social Darwinism?

Sadie Parker

“As a father of a disabled child, and the patron of the Disability Law Service, I’ve seen legal advice that suggests his [Johnson’s] government broke international law in how the Coronavirus Act reduced the rights of disabled people,” Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson in the House of Commons […]

Working class lass makes light work of Eton mess

Sadie Parker

Spare a thought for Boris Johnson. On 16 September, he had to face his worst nightmare across the dispatch box at Prime Minister’s questions (PMQs): a bona fide working-class woman. He was obliged to be careful and remain polite, because people in the former “Red Wall” seats might be watching to see how he treated […]

The abstainers are not all Remainers

Sadie Parker

“I may be wrong,” tweeted Tory MP Michael Fabricant the morning after a late night before, “and please correct me if I am – but aren’t all the Conservative MPs (and former MPs) now campaigning against the government’s pragmatic UK Internal Market Bill all ones who campaigned vigorously against Brexit? #plusçachange #correlationcoefficient #yawn” He was […]

Grenfell – gesture politics conceal dangers which remain unresolved

Sadie Parker

There are tragedies that transcend the normal accidents of life, searing themselves into the public consciousness. The fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, in which 72 people lost their lives, 74 more people were injured, and 151 homes were destroyed, is one such event. Many children were among the dead and, in some […]

Don’t say it couldn’t happen here – it’s happening under our noses

Tom Scott

Events on both sides of the Atlantic this week have heightened fears that the US and the UK are sliding towards autocracy under their right-wing populist leaders. In the US, Trump has hinted heavily that he will not accept an election result that goes against him, prompting an alarmed Pentagon to insist that the US […]

Testing fiasco in Devon: a mother writes to Johnson

Anthea Simmons

As this economical-with-the-truth government continues to claim that testing is working fine, the facts on the ground tell a completely different story. Here is a message for our Prime Minister from a Devon mum with young kids, caught up in the testing chaos. Dear Prime Minister, This is what your handling of the pandemic is […]

Mel Stride puts his foot in it

Alex Pilkington

Mel Stride, Conservative MP for Central Devon, was photographed wearing a wheatsheaf brooch in support of the Back British Farming Day, whilst failing to vote for Neil Parish’s (Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton) amendment to the Agriculture Bill. This amendment was designed to maintain our food and animal welfare standards in any future trade […]

EuroDog considers compassionate Britain

EuroDog

Where is our humanity? In a week in which the UK Government is further shamed by its willingness to break international law over the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, Border Collies team up with Newfoundland sea rescue dogs to demonstrate a more compassionate welcome to asylum seekers crossing the Channel.