Category: Corruption

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We are in grave danger of being boiled frogs

Anthea Simmons
Frog n a bucket

I’m going to repeat the boiled frog analogy (in which no frogs will be harmed…unlike us and our democracy). The unfortunate creature (metaphorically-speaking) is in a pan of cold water which is slowly, slowly being heated up. The frog adjusts his tolerance levels as the water changes from a pleasant coolness to a mildly uncomfortable […]

7 ways the Prime Minister has humiliated the UK in 7 days

Sadie Parker
Johnson talking about Westminster bubble

I’m supposed to be on a Twitter break this summer; but every weekend I check to see what the big stories are and I am constantly surprised by how relentless the sheer incompetence, gob-smacking corruption and cavalier wrongdoing of our government is. ‘Flooding the zone’ (with bullsh*t) is a well-known Trumpian tactic to wear down […]

The corruption and cronyism box set: volume 1

Editor-in-chief
wads of £20 notes

It’s hard keep up with the new material generated daily by this government, so we thought we’d take a breather in the form of a review of some of the articles we have put out on the subjects of corruption and cronyism in the past year. Check out the dates…it’s depressing to realise that we […]

Serco in Cornwall – a lesson unlearned

Tom Scott

People in Cornwall learned about Serco the hard way more than ten years ago. Yet a company with a record of serial failure and dishonesty has just won another massive government test and trace contract. Some 15 years ago, the Scott household had its worst ever family Christmas here in Cornwall. On the day that […]

The slogan: a dangerous tool in the wrong hands

Anthea Simmons

“You jabber, we jab; you dither, we deliver; you vacillate, we vaccinate” . This was Johnson’s most recent well-rehearsed and grotesquely, offensively superficial response to a question about rape convictions in prime minister’s questions (but no answers…) on 23 June. The tactic has worked well for Johnson whom John Bercow recently described as having “a […]

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! […]

Forget this government’s twisted idea of the ‘people’s priorities’: here are some we can unite behind

Anthea Simmons

In Amersham and Chesham, many who traditionally voted Conservative abandoned the party which has abandoned them and whose leadership, priorities and methods they view with increasing distaste. Instead, they voted for the party most likely to remove the Conservatives from a seat they had held since the constituency’s creation in 1974. In this instance, it […]

Is Cornwall seeing a return to rotten boroughs?

Tom Scott

The local elections in Cornwall have seen the Conservatives take control of the council with the votes of fewer than 15% of registered voters. In the 18th and early 19th century, Cornwall was notorious for having more so-called ‘rotten boroughs’ than anywhere else in England. The historian Lewis Namier described Cornish politics in the 1760s: […]

Nine investigations into misconduct: is Johnson on his last political life?

Sadie Parker
Boris Johnson and 9 cats

Former President Donald Trump once boasted, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Impunity makes for arrogance and a blindness to reality, which eventually brings bad leaders down. Johnson appears to have reached Trump-like levels of hubris, with the blindsiding, deflection and outright lies in […]

Who is John Penrose, Johnson’s anti-corruption champion and WHERE is he?

Anthea Simmons

John Penrose ought, by rights, to be the busiest man in Westminster. The Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare is, after all, Johnson’s anti-corruption champion. One might reasonably expect him to be all over the media, given the great slew of corruption scandals leaking or erupting from government not to mention a season ticket to the courts […]

John Lewis: rich woman’s nightmare, poor woman’s dream

Sadie Parker

Carrie Symonds is at the heart of a scandal over her refurbishment of the flat above 11 Downing Street that she shares with the Prime Minister (PM) Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, their son Wilf and rescue dog Dilyn. She has allegedly spent £200,000 on it, which is £170,000 over the annual grant of £30,000 […]

#CurtainsForJohnson? Major Sleaze is surely as good as gone…

Anthea Simmons

Prime Minister’s questions (PMQs) is a pretty shameful bun fight under the slack ‘moderation’ of the hapless, hopeless Hoyle, but today’s (28 April) was easily one of the messiest, with Johnson lashing out like a cornered rat. We could take you through the catalogue of whoppers, obfuscations and bloviating blusters but, frankly, it’s history. He […]

Beware the Blabberwock…a Jabberwock for our times

Belinda Bawden and Medea Sweet

Blabberwocky. (with apologies to Lewis Carroll) ‘Twas Cummig and the Slithy Gove Did plot and scheme for power, backstabe. All mimsy were the wily SpAds, And full of faux outrage. “Beware the Blabberwock, my son! The tongue that lies, the mouth that blags ! Beware the TrussTruss bird, and shun The frumious Jenrick and his […]

Welby says forgive the corrupt. A reader takes a different view.

Editor-in-chief

Last week we tweeted a comment on Old Etonian and former oil company employee Archbishop Justin Welby’s call for the corrupt to be forgiven. We said: Forgiveness requires an acknowledgement of guilt and responsibility from the perpetrator. It’s not carte blanche to just carry on criming! (apologies for neologism) #Corruption It seems that one of […]

The dangerous moral vacuum

Anthea Simmons

There’s a theory going round that Johnson and his team put the Dyson texts through a focus group filter and decided that the whole story could be spun to Johnson’s advantage, portraying him as a man so committed to the care of his beloved subjects…sorry, voters… that he would move heaven and earth to save […]

Toxic tribalism in politics got us into this mess. It has to stop.

Anthea Simmons

At last! Two things happen that all sane, honest and fair-minded people have been praying for! 1) Peter Stefanovic’s tweeted video compilation of Johnson’s very many lies to parliament surged through the 10 million views barrier and beyond, and finally began to gain some traction with both the media and politicians. and (partly as a […]

2020 and all that.

Tom Scott

They say history is written by the victors. But what happens when the victors of the Brexit referendum and the ‘Get Brexit Done’ election go on to preside over a series of unprecedented national calamities and scandals? And how might the history of the last couple of years look if subjected to Johnsonian levels of […]

We must all take a stand against corruption in public life

Sadie Parker

The 8 April cover of The New European turned out to be highly prescient. It featured prime minister (PM) Boris Johnson handcuffed to Line of Duty characters DI Steve Arnott (played by Martin Compston) on his right and DI Kate Fleming (played by Vicky McClure) on his left. Had someone at the paper seen a […]

Did donations to the Conservatives buy a Kremlin Brexit?

Sadie Parker

In July 2020 the Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) long-awaited Russia Report was finally published. Completed in July 2019 under the leadership of then ISC Chair Dominic Grieve, it went through extensive checking, vetting and approval processes before being presented to prime minister Boris Johnson in October 2019. Normally, such a report would be cleared […]

Has Brexit made us less safe?

Sadie Parker

Prior to the referendum and for a few years afterwards, Sir Richard Dearlove appeared to dominate the conversation on security, at least from a pro-Brexit stance. Dearlove is a former head of MI6, the British security service responsible for countering threats from foreign sources. His omnipresence and stark opinions drowned out the voices of other […]

EXCLUSIVE: Johnson plans to reclaim Doggerland

Sadie Parker

Details have leaked of the Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s ambitious plans to reclaim Britain’s submerged ancestral lands off the east coast of our country, known as Doggerland. When asked about it at a private function for a minor royal from a middle eastern state with a big cheque-book and a penchant for […]

Will the south-west’s MPs join Charles Walker’s milk protest?

Sadie Parker

It was a depressing, foregone conclusion that MPs would vote to renew the excessive powers granted to government under the Coronavirus Act 2020. Another dull afternoon in the Commons was in prospect, when suddenly the debate took a turn for the bizarre. An MP got up on his hind legs to give one of the […]

Two jets Johnson and the second home rule

Anthea Simmons

There’s no more money for health workers. No. But there’s money for a second aeroplane. Not content with splurging £900,000 on a flag fetishist paint job on the first, spendaholic Johnson has leased a second fossil fuel-guzzling, emissions-increasing plane from Titan Airways. Really emphasising our green credentials, eh? Oh, and Titan Airways has applied to […]

The right to peaceful protest must not be undermined

Anthea Simmons

Did you take part in any of the anti-Brexit, pro-final say/People’s Vote marches in 2017/2018 or 2019? If you did, you will know what astonishingly well-mannered, convivial affairs they were (whether that was a good thing or not is another matter). Hundreds of thousands of people travelled up to London on coaches that left the […]

Voter ID and voter suppression – another threat to our democracy

Robert Saunders

For millions of voters, the most basic act of democratic citizenship – casting a vote – is about to get harder. Under legislation being trailed in the media, it will no longer be possible simply to walk into a polling station, give your name and address, and cast a vote. Instead, voters will have to produce […]