Section: Society

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The ‘do nothing’ dilemma: bias and ‘othering’ in the Conservative Party

Jim Funnell

The disturbing claims from Nusrat Ghani that she was sacked from her ministerial position because of her ‘Muslimness’ are as chilling as they are unsurprising. We have become accustomed to the ugly reality of a ruthless far-right party machine that keeps this government in power. Jim Funnell examines the government’s record on inclusion. Johnson’s government […]

Gnasher strikes again!

Mike Zollo
cartoon of cyclist being chased by a dog

If there’s one thing that’s just as divisive as Brexit, it’s the ‘cat/dog’ schism. OK, I’ll admit it: I’ve always preferred cats, and over the 50 years or so we’ve had our own home, we’ve usually had one or more moggy sharing our space. As for dogs, I’d be the first to admit that I’ve […]

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 […]

“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 […]

Boris Johnson: say sorry and mean it; then DO something

Peter Cordwell

Editor preface: As the BBC looks set to make money out of telling the Jimmy Savile story, the issue of historic child sex abuse is back in the spotlight. Amongst the very many lies, obfuscations and offensive statements made by Boris Johnson in the course of his political career, perhaps the most hideous and reprehensible […]

Universal discredit: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Further to Valerie Huggins’s recent excellent article on universal credit (UC), I’d like to offer the following experience of a family reliant on UC: Over the last couple of years, my local church charity group has been in a position to help a ‘distressed’ family. Confidentiality prevents me from giving any details; suffice to say […]

The £20 UC cut: the final straw?

Valerie Huggins

At the beginning of August, the headline in the Guardian stated “Johnson faces rebellion over ‘intolerable’ hunger and poverty in home counties”. Steve Baker, MP for Wycombe in Buckinghamshire (and lead Brexiter) was apparently shocked by the crisis in food insecurity after a study by Sheffield University researchers revealed that his constituency is one of […]

The housing emergency in Totnes (and beyond): Sandra’s story, part 1

AtmosTotnes

When we say Atmos will build 62 truly affordable homes, and that Totnes is experiencing a housing emergency, it is easy to lose sight of the human stories behind that. So @SaputoInc, we’re going to tell you one of those stories. Let’s call our teller ‘Sandra’… It matters that you hear her story, Saputo Inc. […]

A fair start? Poor children locked out of vital early years services

Valerie Huggins

I awake this morning to news of yet another example of the deceit underpinning this government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda, in one of the most neglected areas of public policy: the support for our youngest children. According to the latest research by the Sutton Trust and the Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust, England’s poorest children are being ‘locked-out’ […]

Was the mass murder in Plymouth terrorism? A letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, Re: Let’s not mince words: the mass murder in Plymouth was an act of terrorism I worry society is becoming too quick to judge and that we are too easily convinced we are right on every issue (having tapped into the opinions of people ‘like us’ on social media). During the Brexit campaign […]

An archbishop who prioritises English nationalism above honesty and social justice: latest recruit to the culture wars

Clare Knight

Meet the latest culture wars ‘warrior’, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, the second most powerful cleric in the land, admired by none other than that living embodiment of Christian values, Nigel Farage. Since we appear to be returning to a Henry VIII-style era, with a much-married autocrat dominating the political stage empowered by the eponymous powers of […]

Garden villages – are they as green as they seem?

Mick Fletcher

In August 2018 the government set out proposals for the creation of ‘garden communities’, intended to tackle the chronic shortage of housing in the UK and raise the standard of building development.  The name consciously harks back to the ‘Garden City’ vision of Ebenezer Howard but also reflects one of the stock cliches of property […]

Early years forgotten again

Valerie Huggins
child playing with wooden toys in early years class

I listened to Johnson’s levelling-up speech with hope in my heart that he would at last focus on the sector that has the potential to make the most difference to children’s life outcomes – early years care and education. In the speech, Johnson acknowledged that after ten years of Conservative government: “If you are a […]

Trans rights: let’s build bridges, not walls

Tom Scott
Icon symbolising division

The issue of trans rights is being used by the right as a wedge to divide the left. And, as the resignations of Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley as Green Party co-leaders show, the left has fallen headlong into this trap. This is an article I really didn’t want to write, prompted by the decision […]

The Little Black Book of Data and Democracy: WCB author event

Editor-in-chief
Data and Democracy

Join us on 13 July at 18:30 when we will be discussing ‘The Little Black Book of Data and Democracy’ with its author, Kyle Taylor. The event is free and whilst it would be best if you had read the short book before, it’s not a prerequisite. You’ll almost certainly want to read it afterwards! […]