Category: Democracy

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Putting Reform UK Ltd out of business – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, In the July 2024 UK General Election, the limited company known as Reform UK ended up with five MPs, having received 14 per cent of the votes cast, some 4 million votes. Under proportional representation they would have gained about 94 MPs. This is a problem, because Reform UK has a political ideology […]

We need electoral reform and Europe. A letter to a new MP

Eric Gates

Dear Sadik First of all, congratulations on a historic election result. You and your team have invested huge effort in capturing one of the more firmly entrenched Conservative seats and enabled Sir Liam Fox to spend more time with his family. Winning an election is, of course, just the beginning of the story. Sir Keir […]

Letter to a friend in America about the UK General Election

Sadie Parker

Dear —, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for a seamless transition of power after the general election here in the UK. Outgoing prime minister Rishi Sunak gave the best, most statesmanlike speech of his life when he resigned. If only he’d governed in that tone! Over the past 6 weeks, the Tories […]

Potholed society

Mike Zollo

It’s not just our roads which are potholed… the whole country shows similar symptoms of neglect. My article on the disgraceful state of so many British roads, riddled with potholes and crumbling surfaces, leads us to use the pothole theme to evaluate some aspects of our neglected services and faltering social cohesion. From crumbing surfaces […]

“I cried today in hospital. I did not cry for me.”

David Nicholas Wilkinson

Award-winning film-maker David Wilkinson discovered very recently that he had stage 4 bowel cancer. He has been sharing his experience on Facebook with his friends and admirers, of whom there are very many, including the team here at WCV. We asked if we could publish this post. We believe it’s especially important as we approach […]

The war after the battle

Mark E Thomas

How the far-right may lose the battle, but still hope to win the war As many centre-right politicians and commentators have warned us, what used to be the Conservative Party has become a vehicle for the far-right. Philip Hammond wrote:  “the Conservative party has been taken over by unelected advisers, entryists and usurpers who are trying to turn […]

A Maslow manifesto

Anthea Bareham

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who created a model of the hierarchy of human needs, from the most basic upwards. It is always represented as a pyramid and has been adapted several times, but the basics are unchanged. What if Maslow were alive today, what if he were to be our next prime minister? […]

Kevin Foster needs reminding: “Charity envieth not”

Sadie Parker

There has never been a general election like this one. The Conservative and Unionist (Tory) Party has made gaffe after blunder after miscalculation after error after outrage. Keir Starmer could sit at home and do nothing for the next three weeks and still find himself prime minister on Friday, July 5th, so amateur and awful […]

Is Rishi Sunak trying to lose the general election?

Sadie Parker

Nobody who was serious about winning the general election and forming the next government could possibly campaign like Rishi Sunak and the Tories have done in these first few days of the general election… could they? It was called on Wednesday, May 22, 2024: the day the government launched its resilience initiative and told us […]

Your go-to reminder of 14 years of Conservative ‘achievements’. Part 2: environment, housing, public services plus scandals, resignations and suspensions

Iratus Ursus Major

A continuation of the list of horrors perpetrated on this country by the Conservatives. Environment Human effluent flowing merrily through our waterways. Failure to regulate and curb energy price rises, leading to massive provider profits and pressure on consumers. Multiple failures to meet climate targets and backtracking on environmental commitments. The loss of EU funding […]

Are we in for the dirtiest general election campaign so far?

Mark E Thomas

On May 22, 2024, Sunak finally announced the date of the next General Election: July 4. As the polls show, he has quite a challenge to win – or even to prevent Labour from securing an outright majority. But the Conservative Party is traditionally one of the world’s most effective election-winning machines, and it would be complacent not to assume […]

Operation Save Little Dog

Mark E Thomas

When it was clear Johnson was on the way out, his allies launched Operation Save Big Dog. This article explores what we might call Operation Save Little Dog – the equivalent for Sunak, in the wake of the worse-than-expected results in the Council elections. The factions on the right are now quite complex: there are the extreme-right backers of the […]

What the extreme-right may be planning

Mark E Thomas

The wealthy market fundamentalists who fund the right-wing think tanks have different objectives from the UK population as a whole. These think tanks propose such policies as abolishing the NHS, allowing slums with substandard housing to ‘solve’ the housing crisis, slashing benefits to pensioners in order to reduce taxes and letting the climate crisis go unchecked. The UK population as […]

Hands up if this government makes YOU proud to be British!

Anthea Bareham

The Lords issued Parliament with a list of amendments to the Rwanda bill. The government rejected every one and the bill was put to the vote on 16 April. It passed. These were the amendments: An amendment to make sure the legislation has “due regard” for international law. Rejected. An amendment that states it is […]

Campaigning chicanery: Simon Jupp goes lower. Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, ‘Disgusted’ doesn’t come close. Although even now I am still sometimes surprised by how badly these Tories behave, I am genuinely shocked at what Simon Jupp is up to. Jupp, the Conservative elected as East Devon’s MP in 2019, is attempting to deceive voters by purloining – for his own purposes – the […]

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 budget we SHOULD have had…

Mark E Thomas

Getting the Budget right is a critically important part of governing well. If the Budget is well-formulated, it gives space to address the real issues; if it is not, then whatever promises politicians make, they will not be able to keep. Frequently, Budget analysis in the media does not look at it this way and […]

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 […]