Section: UK

NHS Covid pay, a missing MP and inappropriate behaviour: letters

Editor-in-chief

Dear Sheryll Murray MP I am writing to you with grave concerns that the government is going to remove special Covid sickness rules for NHS staff in the coming days. My fellow NHS colleagues have had to work tirelessly against a background of a decade of poor investment to fight a pandemic. Boris Johnson and […]

Cartoon: Mr Steve Baker

Mr Rushforth

Steve Baker is standing for election to the Conservatives’ all-powerful 1922 committee. He may want Boris gone (good), but as a Brexiteer cultist who will he want to replace him? A tweet and a couple of articles to remind us of what Mr Baker is all about…

The week in Tory… brace, brace!

Russ In Cheshire

Warning: strong language. Ed Because I was busy last week, this episode of The Week in Tory covers more than seven days, but not – you’ll be amazed to hear – the 700 years it would take most governments to get through this lot. Remember, it’s OK to want to scream or take drugs during […]

Tiananmen-on-Thames: Priti Patel creates her own Forbidden City

Sadie Parker

The Vote Leave government must have thought it was being so clever, abusing its position to slip draconian, Putinesque provisions into the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. Part 3 on ‘Public Order’ targets all the protests and protestors that the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, in particular despises: Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter and […]

Mickey Mouse, Peppa Pig and the war on empathy

Tom Scott

The government’s trashing of arts education will do great harm to the UK’s ‘soft power’. But as Tom Scott explains, the damage will go deeper than that. A few days ago, I was at a meeting of University and College Union (UCU) delegates from around the country. Hearing from other delegates about the swathe of […]

The warning signs we simply cannot continue to ignore

Mark E Thomas

In the wake of Steve Bray’s threatened arrest, this article counts the warning signs the UK has largely ignored. And shows what we can do about it. When Johnson first pulled together a cabinet of market fundamentalists, most people ignored the risk of a constitutional crisis. Most of us ignored Philip Hammond’s warning about “extreme […]

The V5 scam – why aren’t the police or the DVLA bothered?

Anthea Simmons

This is quite some story. It was news to me, but perhaps you know someone who has also been a victim, or maybe you yourself, in which case this will resonate painfully. I am keeping the names and places anonymous for obvious reasons, but here’s the tale. A friend decided to sell her 4×4, partly […]

Age of Spin

Dr Dan Goyal

If there is one lesson we should take from Covid so far, it’s that we live in an age of disinformation and political Spin. And it works! Arguably, the ease in which we are manipulated is one of the greatest threats to humanity and social justice. Covid is a good example… 🧵 At the point […]

Dante’s Divine Comedy: tasting notes 8 – the wood of the suicides

Simon Chater

Suicide is the ultimate form of self-harm. In Inferno 13, Dante invents a new language of pain and despair to evoke the tortured minds of those who choose this ending. At the start of the canto we return to the landscape of the poem’s prologue, finding ourselves, again, in a pathless wood – not coincidentally, […]

The people of Tiverton and Honiton have not spoken – they have roared

Anthea Simmons

This is not a country of Johnson fans. This is not a country which will put up with lies, corruption, oppression, racism, law-breaking, hypocrisy and exploitation. There is a majority not just for specific progressive parties but for the core values of truth, fairness, inclusion, kindness, decency, integrity, humanity and the rule of law. Tiverton […]

UK immigration and asylum – it’s a minefield and getting tougher

Nicola Kelly

Last week I did a talk on what it’s like to report on UK immigration and asylum. There’s been a bit of interest in it, so I thought I’d take you behind-the-scenes, too. Topline: it’s like navigating a minefield – and it’s getting tougher. Here’s how. I worked for the Home Office during the rollout […]

Ghost gear: meet the heroes cleaning up our ocean’s frontline

Kristy Westlake

With our oceans quickly filling up with plastic and fish stocks dwindling, it’s time to start talking about the massive whale in the room: ghost gear. An enormous environmental problem caused by commercial fishing and fuelled by our ever-growing appetite for seafood. Kristy Westlake talks to some of the heroes on the ocean’s frontline and […]

Is Town Twinning winning?

Mike Zollo

A review of town twinning schemes after Covid… and Brexit Over the past year or so, WCV has published articles which demonstrate clearly the degree to which Brexit is having a negative impact on educational and cultural contacts between the UK and the EU… It’s almost as if this is a conscious policy of this […]

Why the European Court of Human Rights HAD to intervene

Daniel Sohege

When you hear government spokespersons banging on about how dare a “European Court” rule against it, this is why it had to. The UK government, by its own admission, has no means of monitoring conditions for the asylum seekers it sends to Rwanda. Yet, despite the highly selective glossy tourist pics being put out by […]

Children’s services should protect children not profit

WeOwnIt

Our children’s services are there to protect and care for vulnerable children in our communities, providing a lifeline for those in difficult situations. But doesn’t it seem wrong that private companies are able to run these services and prioritise profit over the children they are meant to protect? The government recently dropped its unpopular plans to reduce council responsibilities […]

Death trap

Tom Scott

To set a death trap, careful preparation Will be repaid. You need first to make sure That no alternative accommodation Is on hand for the undeserving poor. This won’t be hard – with council homes sold off, Sit back and let the market do its work. The gratitude of landlords at their trough Will be […]

Miss Snuffy is right about social mobility!

Mick Fletcher

To my surprise, I find myself agreeing with Katharine Birbalsingh, who tweets under the slightly eccentric name of “Miss Snuffy”. Birbalsingh is regularly referred to in the less serious type of newspaper as “Britain’s strictest headmistress” and her views go down well with the Conservative rank and file. I suspect that it is her strong […]

Compassion must win out against the drip feed of propaganda

Richard Haviland

Recent years have led many of us to question what we once felt about this country. But one thing I do believe is that most people, whether here or elsewhere, feel instinctive compassion for those in need when they are not being subjected to a drip feed of propaganda. But the drip feed of propaganda […]

Brexit bravado: building immunity

Andrew Levi

Even as some hard-core Brexiters concede that the project isn’t working for the country, they reach for tired claims that there have been benefits in certain high-profile areas. The reality is very different, as Andrew Levi explains, in the case of the Covid vaccine public health response. Radical Remainers ‘The Great British, world-beating, Covid vaccine […]

The week in Tory…it’s a cracker.

Russ In Cheshire

A round-up of a typically marvellous #TheWeekInTory 1. Loving crowds of flag-waving patriots loudly booed Boris Johnson, the one-man game of shag, marry, avoid who is still – amazingly – our PM. 2. Priti Patel, the Shetland Pony of the Apocalypse, told Tory MPs not to attempt to sack Johnson because of the Jubilee. 3. […]

Children in care: big business for international investors

Martin Barrow

Editor: This is the first in a series of articles about the privatisation/monetisation of a number of aspects of social and health care. For every pound that was once spent directly on providing a service and those being cared for by that service, a chunk will now go to shareholders. With a profit motive driving […]

Johnson’s housing speech gets the treatment it deserves!

Russ In Cheshire

Boris Johnson press conference. He just said the UK will have the worst performance in the G7 next year cos “we came out of the pandemic first, so had a faster recovery”. So [deep breath] we’re doing badly because we’re doing so well. Then he said we need to build 300,000 more homes. Then he […]

Just like Mr Toad…sorry not sorry

Anthea Simmons

As news comes out that Johnson boasted to MPs that far from regretting the partygate scandal/crime, he “would do it again”, it is not hard to see why this excerpt from The Wind in the Willows has been doing the rounds on social media. It’s all part of Johnson’s modus operandi: apologise ostentatiously and fulsomely […]