Category: Democracy

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Make Votes Matter! June 11, Totnes

Editor-in-chief

Don’t miss this! As you will know, West Country Voices is a strong and vocal supporter of electoral reform – it’s essential for empowerment of citizens and engagement with the politics that affect our lives, no matter how much we may want to stay out of it or are bored or turned off by it. […]

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

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 […]

Traditional Conservatives should take a stand and not vote for Johnson’s party

Mark E Thomas

It is obvious why those who have never seen themselves as Conservative should not support this government. This article explains why those who do see themselves as traditional Conservatives should take a stand against this government: This government shares none of the values that traditional Conservatives hold dear; Traditional conservatives prize pragmatism and competence; this government is reckless […]

Cornwall is dead. Long live Cornwall!

Joel Griffet

No one cares about Cornwall. Not even half of Cornwall cares about Cornwall. The Duchy doesn’t care about Cornwall. Westminster doesn’t care about Cornwall. The sooner we realise this the better. All politicians care about is power and doing the bare minimum they can, to cling onto popular support, and if we dare to complain, […]

Battling against this government’s moves towards authoritarianism

Jenny Jones

This is the text of Jenny Jones’ speech in the House of Lords’ Queen’s Speech debate. You can read all the speeches on Hansard, including the powerful words of Lord Judge who asked: “…what is the point of us being here if, when we identify a serious constitutional problem, we never do anything about it […]

Calling all tractor enthusiasts! Conservatives desperate for a candidate to beat the LibDems in Tiverton and Honiton…

Anthea Simmons

Well, well! The ConservativeHome website makes for a fascinating visit. It seems applications are now open for a candidate to replace disgraced former MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, in the upcoming by-election. Anyone interested in standing needs to apply by 18 May. William Atkinson, the site’s assistant editor, writes: “Though traditionally safe, the […]

Tory council leader Drew Mellor faces Vote of No Confidence tonight at Bournemouth/Poole/Christchurch Council

@Adam5of

It’s story time:A land politically divided. Run by a controversial Conservative group. Where public services are visibly failing, and accusations of cronyism are growing.No, not the UK. Welcome to the metaphor that is Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole Council.Let me begin… Tonight sees a vote of no confidence (VONC) in BCP council leader Drew Mellor. It’s the first VONC […]

‘The People’s Priorities’

Clare Knight

People of Britain! Today the Queen’s Speech will remind you of your priorities! You want to see all protest against your glorious Conservative government stopped. We will make it so. You want to see the men and women who are desperately trying to save the planet for your children and your children’s children locked up. […]

Judging Johnson

Mark E Thomas

At some point, possibly this year, the Johnson premiership will be history. Johnson says that he would like to be judged on his record. How does that record look? Johnson’s record is extremely poor in terms of measurable things like wage growth, protecting the economy, keeping the citizens of the UK safe from COVID and […]

The real battle for control of the UK

Mark E Thomas

The battle in the UK is not the traditional competition between parties, but a much more dangerous struggle between a small number of billionaires and the bulk of the UK population. On 5 May, much of the country went to the polls: most for local and mayoral elections, and Northern Ireland for the Assembly. The results […]

Democracy at the cliff edge

Mark E Thomas

Sometimes a moment can be pivotal in a way which is not obvious at the time. This article explores whether the UK is at such a critical moment now, without most of the population realising it. And it suggests what we can do about it. The challenge is that we have a government which is […]

The Electoral Commission – independent no more

Jon Danzig

Search, and you’ll hardly find any mention of this in the national press. But last night, the government won a vote to end the independence of the UK’s Electoral Commission. Yes, you read that right. The Tory government has just seized control of the Electoral Commission. It can no longer describe itself as independent. Best […]

Fascism is advancing, rapidly

Richard Murphy

That we face a risk of fascism taking hold in the UK, with democracy failing as a consequence, is something I have recognised as a very real risk for longer than most when writing my blog. The risk has come from a Tory party determined to hold power in the interest of the narrow clientele […]

Don your biohazard suits – it’s the week in Tory!

Russ In Cheshire

It’s been a challenge to find anything to write in the latest edition of the Week in Tory. They’ve all been such well-behaved boys and girls. Only kidding: it’s absolute carnage. Don your biohazard suits, top up your breakfast absinthe, and let’s dive in. 1. Under Boris Johnson, 10 Downing Street now holds the record […]

Pride and shame

Richard Haviland
Union flag

Some years ago, while staying in the Loire Valley, we were taken by our French host to visit a memorial to seven crew members of an Avro Lancaster shot down over the Commune of Grez-Neuville in June 1943. It was special to him, since he was responsible for its upkeep, a role in which he […]

The UK and Russia: two “sick men” in need of a cure

James Chater
Johnson and Putn in close discussion

The UK and Russia are two of the ‘sick men of Europe’ (the others being Hungary and Poland), bookending a continent that has been pursuing peaceful collaboration and exchange for decades – on the whole with positive results in terms of stability and prosperity. Both countries have lost their way, crippled by myths and ‘alternative […]

Winter is here

Tomasz Oryński
Locals standing up to Russian soldiers in Mariupol

Tomasz is our ‘resident’ Polish writer. We preserve his unique voice in this challenging, thought-provoking piece on the reality of Putin’s Russia and the implacability of evil. In the first days of this war I was really hoping it’s true, that this is just a madness of one man, that those poor boys were lied […]

If Johnson’s Conservatives wrote the constitution…

Richard Haviland
a row of evil clowns

Many will feel that the need for a written, enforceable constitution must surely be beyond doubt. But imagine if Johnson’s government decided to write it? [They’d want to ensure they were in power forever, thereafter, for sure. Ed] 1) When a prime minister or minister breaks the ministerial code, an apology will suffice instead of […]

The week in Tory: tax, Channel 4, #partygate and more…

Russ In Cheshire
Graffiti: sleaze

As some of you might expect, the latest banshee howl that is #TheWeekInTory is quite lengthy, and I advise a deep dive into your preferred sedative before beginning. Let us begin where the last one ended, which is, astonishingly, a mere five days ago [cue wobbly screen]… 1. Having spent a week insisting there was […]

Partygate: letters to Conservative MPs

Editor-in-chief
champagne being poured

Here is a sample of the letters MPs will no doubt be receiving today and for days to come. The anger is not going to go away and the fact that the Conservatives feel they have no one to take Johnson’s place merely adds yet more insults to the very many injuries. Attention Mr Jupp […]

Fictitious times and magical thinking

David Knopfler
Unocorn toy

It’s high time we got real and faced up to the disastrous performance of the Johnson government and its damaging impact on our lives argues David Knopfler. We live in fictitious times, where magical thinking has replaced facts: where we pretend that pandemics are over despite the bodies piling up at our mortuaries in ever […]

The week in Tory…partygate, Sunak, world-beating tailbacks, MadNad and more

Russ In Cheshire
Honey Monster

Let’s start #TheWeekInTory with PartyGate, where randy Honey Monster and (no, really) Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied 20 fines meant there had been wrongdoing. 2. This doesn’t quite explain why he had personally phoned the Queen to apologise for all the wrongdoing. 3. Regardless, The Metropilitan Police issued MASSIVE fines of £50 for breaching lockdown […]