Section: UK

Brexit and farming

Emma Monk

Four years on from Brexit, I’m taking a look at how various industries have been affected by the realities of our decision to leave the EU. The first in the series looked at ‘How fishing was gutted by Brexit’, and this time I’m going to look at how British farming has fared. Before I begin, […]

Mel J Stride MP – Misleader of the House

Trevor Price

Meet Mel J Stride, the ‘Right Honourable’ MP with a controversial association with the loan charge scandal. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been the Member of Parliament for Central Devon since 2010. What is the Loan Charge? Sixty-seven thousand people are being pursued by HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs: the tax office) under a piece of legislation – the Loan Charge […]

Don’t let TV soaps make Covid reality a casualty

Jane Stevenson

A recent episode of the hospital drama Casualty misrepresented the very serious risks that Covid still poses. Jane Stevenson wrote to the BBC to explain just how wrong they’d got it. On Saturday 9 March, an episode of Casualty was broadcast, “Trauma”, which created a lot of upset. After reading a robust Twitter/X post by […]

A democratic revolt from below is bubbling up

Neal Lawson

No-one outside of a diminishing band of party bureaucrats believes our political and democratic system is working. Of course, the charade continues; of PMQ’s, of who’s up and who’s down, of polls and predictions. But this, in the phrase of Colin Crouch, is a post-democracy, a democracy in name only in which the game is played […]

Ugly language, ugly outcomes – this government is a danger to us all

Richard Haviland

When I look back over the last eight years, one image dominates: September 2019, and Paula Sherriff ‘s pleas to Johnson to tone down his language – language being quoted back to her colleagues in death threats – is dismissed as ‘humbug’ It wasn’t the day the ugliness started – heaven knows there’d been enough […]

The defender of upskirters strikes again

Sadie Parker

One could almost sense an epic eye roll and audible sigh rippling across the land, when news broke that the government was pulling a vote on banning MPs accused of violent and sexual offences from the parliamentary estate, due to objections by Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch) and Philip Davies (Shipley). What could be more sensible […]

Love in a hostile environment

Mike Zollo

Make Love, not War! Since time immemorial there have been marriages and relationships between people of different nations. My own knowledge of history is pretty limited, but I suppose one could cite Anthony with Cleopatra, Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon, Mary with Philip II of Spain, Victoria with Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha… and, […]

Bribe and rule – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the NHS is falling apart. Doctors are striking, but the government say their salary demands are unaffordable. I don’t what the roads are like where you live, but round here there are huge potholes that risk taking your wheel off. But the county council have no […]

Stopping the slide

Mark E Thomas

In many elections, the key issues are living standards and the state of the economy. In the UK today,  voters are (rightly) concerned that their living standards are lower today than they were in 2010 and that public services (especially the NHS) are in crisis. These valid concerns can however obscure an even more fundamental […]

The first ‘Week in Tory’ of 2024

Russ In Cheshire

Brace, brace for the first ‘The Week In Tory’ of 2024. Also, please read the information at the end, which my publisher insists I add, and which helps to pay for my dog to eat things (other than rotting pigeons he finds on the field). Ta. 1. Boris Johnson, once voted “worst PM ever”, heroically volunteered […]

Anthony Mangnall MP’s cynical silence on climate change

Simon Oldridge

Global average temperatures in 2023 exceeded 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, conditions never before experienced by human civilisation.  Though crossing this iconic milestone for one year doesn’t mean that average warming has yet reached that point, it was only in 2018 that UN climate experts, the IPCC, predicted that we wouldn’t reach 1.5°C until around 2040. […]

Time to put an end to this Tory chaos and destruction

Editor-in-chief

Enough is enough. Time to stop the destruction of the fabric of our society. Brexit has been the unmitigated failure it was always destined to be. Ideologues, fantasists and proto-fascists are taking the country in a disastrous direction. Corruption is rampant. Sickness and poverty are rife. Victorian diseases of poverty and malnutrition are back – […]

Why Brexit is bonkers

Jon Danzig

From 31 January 2024, certain goods coming from the EU to Great Britain – particularly fresh foods – will be subject to full Brexit border controls and checks for the first time, meaning extra paperwork, delays, and costs. The UK government had previously delayed the new Brexit controls five times, concerned about the impact on […]

Copyright ‘predators’. What do we do?

Anthea Simmons

Look. I absolutely get copyright. As a children’s author with a sixth title out in July, I want my copyright protected. PDF versions of my books and pirated audio versions crop up from time to time and my publisher, part of Penguin/Random House, quickly gets them taken down. These breaches are not innocent. People are […]

Government finally bites the Brexit bullet

Jon Danzig

Starting on 31 January 2024, the UK government is imposing full Brexit border controls on imports from the EU, having delayed them on five previous occasions. This is three years after the UK left the EU’s Single Market, when the EU had no qualms in immediately imposing full border controls on goods from the UK […]

Time to get fair about farming! UPDATE

Anthea Simmons

Update: Riverford’s petition will be debated in parliament Jan 22 with potentially important ramifications for farmers across the UK. We’ll be listening in. Devon-based Riverford (of veg box fame) have launched a new #GetFairAboutFarming campaign, calling for British supermarkets to sign up to the principles of Riverford’s Fair to Farmers charter: Pay what you agreed […]

How to change the world

Jon Danzig

Yes, YOU can change the world. Or more pertinently, WE can change the world. People of all ages, from all ages, have been changing the world since humans arrived on it. There’s no doubt that the standard of living of the average human has considerably changed and improved in the past 100 years, 1000 years, […]

Hopes and fears for 2024

Sarah Cowley

Each new year brings hopes and fears – hope for good changes, fear that bad ones might arise. Mostly, we hope things will improve for family and friends who are struggling but worry about how events outside their control will prevent progress. All our personal futures are bound up with the wider world, so here […]

Thirteen years of Tory governance – manifesto promises vs reality. Part 4: 2019

Iratus Ursus Major

Welcome back, readers, to our scorching series where we’ve previously dissected the 2010, 2015, and 2017 Tory manifestos. Today, we turn our critical eye to the 2019 Tory manifesto, continuing our journey through a decade of Conservative rule marred by unmet promises and political chaos. Our previous analyses have laid bare the stark reality of a party struggling with […]

Thirteen years of Tory governance – manifesto promises vs reality. Part 3: 2017 -2019

Iratus Ursus Major

Welcome, readers, to the third instalment in our biting series dissecting over a decade of Tory rule. Today, we tackle the tumultuous 2017 Tory manifesto – an era that epitomizes the Conservatives’ descent into political chaos and policy disarray. After our critical examinations of the 2010 and 2015 manifestos, we’re now delving into a period that escalated the Conservative […]