Section: UK

Freeports : a pathway to the end of government as we know it

Richard Murphy

I have been asked on here if I have ever looked at the benefits of freeports. The honest answer is no, but that is because I have never been able to find any such benefits. I have, however, looked at the massive downsides to this idea that both Sunak and Truss support. It is important […]

The problem with the NHS? Capacity!

Dr Dan Goyal

The problem with the NHS is very simple: there isn’t enough capacity. There aren’t enough GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, physios, OTs, lab techs, radiographers, etc. We currently have less hospital bed capacity than Mexico. We have the second lowest in Europe.  On all metrics, the UK is way behind comparative nations and no where near […]

Why have the Tories won so many elections since 1900 and how do we stop them (before they completely destroy the country)?

Adam Herriott

Most of those registered to vote do not want a Conservative Government, yet they keep getting elected! How does this happen? Democracy campaigner and author of The Tory Winning Machine, Adam Herriott, explores the reasons. The Conservative Party has always been the party of the rich and powerful. The Tory Party operates to form governments that […]

You can bank on Rishi Sunak to do the wrong thing

Mick Fletcher

In July 2023, Rishi Sunak made a surprising public attack on the leaders of a major UK bank. “Rishi Sunak slams Coutts”. It is perhaps not surprising, however, that he picked the wrong issue. What prompted his unusual intervention was the denial of one sort of bank account to one rich man. Sunak ought to […]

‘Critical risk to life’: concrete AND the Conservatives

Anthea Simmons

So here we are again. In the middle of yet another ‘how long have they known and why did they do nothing about it’ saga. The RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) scandal demonstrates the same callous disregard for the lives outside the circles of the privileged few as did the care home tragedy during Covid. […]

The 60/50 campaign: a reader responds

Anthea Simmons

Madam, While Dr Richard Lawson is right to call for a voluntary movement to cut speeds on our roads, the 50/60 Campaign, might I ask why there isn’t a campaign to get government to cut UK speed limits as this is without a doubt one of the simplest actions that could be taken both to […]

Nadine Dorries is behaving badly. Does it matter to the South-West?

Sadie Parker

This summer’s figure of fun is Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries. She resigned on June 9, 2023 in solidarity with disgraced former prime minister Boris Johnson, who resigned suddenly and unexpectedly that same day as an MP when he realised he would be unable to avoid a sanction by the House of Commons that would lead […]

Yet more Tory gaslighting! Don’t fall for these latest examples

Anthea Simmons

We’re just waiting for the Conservatives to take credit for the Lionesses’ epic win, to be honest, but in the meantime, here are the latest shocker whoppers being trotted out to con the public. The fall in the rate of inflation is all down to government policies and the refusal to pay public sector workers […]

Smuggling and trafficking: both are bad, but they are NOT the same thing

Daniel Sohege

We need to take a dive into some of the differences between “smuggling” and “trafficking”, and, before we start, both are bad and both can involve exploitation. Daniel Sohege explains: In the simplest terms, and we’ll get into why this isn’t simple in a bit, trafficking, more often than not, is a longer term form […]

In another life…

Richard Haviland

You will need to be on top of the Tory horror show to get every reference in this thought-provoking piece from Richard Haviland, but even if you aren’t, you’ll soon pick up the theme: the casual cruelty, bigotry and hypocrisy of this government and its ministers. In another life, a man with a security fetish […]

‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…’

Anthea Simmons

This country is in a bad way, thanks to 13 years of Tory austerity. The metrics of our decline are unarguable: from NHS waiting lists to child poverty, from the cost-of-living crisis to the creaking criminal justice system, from record numbers of foodbanks to polluted beaches and ecologically-dead rivers… And Brexit has been an unmitigated […]

SEND: the next big Conservative crisis

@AdamHighcliffe

Dozens of UK councils face bankruptcy in 2026. In response, the government is forcing them to slash their Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) budgets. This will needlessly put at risk thousands of SEND children. The plan won’t work. But there’s a simple way out. How did this crisis arise? Since 2010, local authorities have […]

Culture wars: the battle for Britain’s values which we must win

Richard Haviland

The other day I heard Sir John Hayes MP, close confidant of Suella Braverman, saying that the “culture wars” are an important aspect of politics because they are about values. The implication being that they are a good thing. I also heard him saying that – in any case – it was the “other side” […]

Top ten Tory gaslighting lies

Editor-in-chief

Could have done 100, to be honest, but it would just be even more depressing. It’s important that we don’t let the Conservatives get away with these and other dreadful lies: New gas drilling will reduce domestic bills. Desperate people arriving on boats are the cause of all our woes. Government has no control when […]

Talking to your neighbour

Mark E Thomas

We all have at least one neighbour who has become despairing about the state and trajectory of the UK. And despair is not a basis for change. This article suggests three simple and powerful messages that you can share with anyone open-minded enough to listen and which, once they are aware, might give them cause […]

Sunak’s culture wars – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, ‘Culture wars’: the phrase seems to have originated in 1990s America but is now bandied about in many contexts. Events of this summer – 2023 – have opened a clear new front in today’s culture wars in the UK, by actually engaging Joe Public in the question of whether there is a climate […]

This is not normal

Anthea Simmons

Every day in Toryland seems crazier and more disturbing then the last, doesn’t it? We are in the middle of a climate emergency and a cost-of-living crisis. The energy companies are making outrageous profits from ordinary people. The Tories have shrugged off landmark defeats in two by-elections as nothing, while Labour ties itself in knots […]

Foreign Secretaries since 2016: has the UK been well-served? UPDATED

Richard Haviland

The position of Foreign Secretary is one of the Great Offices of State. It requires tact, command of a brief, outstanding communication skills, and a real interest in the wider world. Here’s a look at recent incumbents, picking a random starting point of June 2016. In January 2017, Boris Johnson accused the then French president […]

Right to roam: quashing the scaremongering

Jonathan Moses

Where to start with the recent Farmers Weekly piece on the right to roam (RTR)? It seems to have no idea what is being proposed and bemoans the loss of opportunities to “monetise partnerships with healthcare providers as solutions to the UK’s health and wellbeing crisis”. Firstly, the RTR proposals are not an “all-access approach”. […]

Saving the UK’s social contract – starting with the NHS

Mark E Thomas

Even on the 75th anniversary of its foundation, the NHS came under assault from the far-right. This article tackles the claims of its detractors and shows how a team of volunteers has taken the argument to Parliament to defend the NHS – and the UK economy. The assault on the NHS When the NHS was […]

We desperately need a new way of doing politics in Westminster

Rick Gaehl

In the UK today, it’s largely accepted that we should cherish and celebrate a culture of inclusion. We like to promote acceptance and diversity in all things – from religion and ethnicity, to age and sexual orientation. We even value diversity in the languages we speak to one another. Why is it then, when it […]

Killing the (market fundamentalist) Hydra

Mark E Thomas

Sometimes the challenges facing those of us who would like the UK to remain a civilised country with a functioning democracy and a strong social contract seem daunting. This article suggests that we may be able to learn a lot from Greek mythology. The way Hercules killed the Hydra – a 10-headed venomous serpent – […]

Battling body image

Oli Smith

Leader of the Men’s Mental Health group at his school, year 12 student, Oli Smith, candidly shares his own struggle with body image and the impact sport has had on this, including his experience of anorexia. He also offers advice for anyone struggling with the same issues. Body image is a major focus point which […]

The Covid inquiry raises bigger questions about criminality

Dr Dan Goyal

Monday was another damning day for the government at the Covid Inquiry. It is becoming clearer what the recommendations from the Inquiry are likely to be… But there is also a bigger question raised about criminality… TUC union, the BMA, the Health Foundation, and The British Red Cross gave evidence. Many of the government defence […]

Sunak’s cynical pay stunt: banks win, working people lose

Richard Murphy

Rishi Sunk has said that this year’s public sector pay awards have been agreed in full but with no new or additional funding to cover them. There is literally no economic sense in this whatsoever. Pay rises of around 6 per cent for education and health have been announced – with there being no room […]

Cruel, corrupt and in contempt – it’s all about ‘c’ words for these Conservatives

Anthea Simmons

They really don’t care, do they, these Conservatives? They don’t care how they’re seen by the public. They don’t care if they break the law. They don’t care about the optics of selecting accused/under-investigation rapists retaining the whip. They don’t care about trashing the economy/the environment/the NHS/people’s lives or the UK’s reputation. Instead, they appear […]

NHS ‘pen-pushers’ are doing a great job

Emma Monk

In the week when the NHS celebrated its 75th birthday, there was an article in The Telegraph  headlined ‘NHS to slash bureaucracy by recruiting doctors and nurses over pen-pushers’. This, of course, led to all the usual clichés about the NHS being full of managers. I thought I’d take a look at what the evidence […]