Category: Democracy

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Saying the quiet bit out loud: Tories suddenly get ‘honest’

Editor-in-chief

Flippant image, serious message. ‘When a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time.’ (Maya Angelou) On the one hand, it’s quite a relief to have some of the far right shed the final scraps of respectability and reveal their true, ugly selves. But, on the other, the abandon – even relish […]

From Nasty to Nat C?

Mark E Thomas

This article looks at how far and how fast the Conservative Party has shifted to the extreme right, and what we can do about it: Leading Conservative Party members have been warning us for a long time about the extremist trends in their party; It is not just economic policies that have become extreme: they […]

The week in Tory…

Russ In Cheshire

For a change, I’m going to begin the latest edition of The Week In Tory with some news about Labour. Don't think this makes things any better, because it doesn't. I implore you, by all you hold dear, not to read this. Under Labour, NHS wait averaged 9 weeks. After 13 years in power, the […]

Fascism: time to believe the evidence of our eyes and ears as the ‘good chap’ model disintegrates

Anthea Simmons

‘It couldn’t happen here.’ ‘This is not Nazi Germany.’ ‘It’s completely over the top to use the ‘F’ word.’ ‘Fascism? Come on! That’s hyperbole!’ As regular readers will know, we’ve been strongly opposed to the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill and watched in horror as the Lords’ amendments were disregarded. Indeed, Braverman then proceeded […]

What can we learn from the council elections?

Mark E Thomas

The results of the Council Elections are now in, and it is a good time to ask: what have we learned? Our take is that: The results were worrying for the Conservatives; but They were deeply worrying for democracy; so We can be confident about the next election but not complacent. The results were worrying for the Conservatives […]

‘I’m alright, Jack.’ Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

‘‘I’m alright, Jack.’ : a remark indicating smug and complacent selfishness.’ Collins Dictionary Most people will associate this saying with the 1959 film by the Boulting brothers, which highlighted the enormous gap between management and workers, upper and lower class folk. It is a comedy with a very strong message and well worth a view to see how little has changed in […]

Is the country safe in the Conservatives’ hands?

Mark E Thomas

After 13 years in power, the Conservatives want us to believe that the UK is safe in their hands. This article explains how, given a just a few more years, they can complete their transformation of the UK into a playground for their donors – at our expense: There has been a successful, but gradual, unwinding of […]

Political gunslingers

Andrew Levi

The Labour Party’s recent ‘attack ad’, suggesting the prime minister was soft on sexual abusers of children, raises profound, urgent questions about how a tolerant society can best defend itself against those who would wreck it, says Andrew Levi. You want to fight fire with fire? Easy to say. Who should pull the trigger, when […]

‘Why can’t we be more like the French?’ Letter to the editor.

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, The French Revolution was a defining period in the social history of France. Totally fed up with a ruling class that lived in ridiculous splendour whilst  ignoring the plight of common people – ‘Let them eat cake‘ , the masses rose up and took drastic action. ‘Madame Guillotine’ was kept very busy, not […]

State of denial

Andrew Levi

Brexitism is destroying Britain, says Andrew Levi. If our political parties fail us now, we face an existential threat. Munich, 1938 During the United Kingdom’s long march into the European Communities, leading to membership in 1973, then the referendum in 1975 on whether to stay in, ‘anti-marketeers’ invoked the appeasement of Hitler at Munich to […]

Labour – your silence on so many issues carries a price

Richard Haviland

I learnt two things about the subject of child grooming gangs on Monday’s edition of The News Agents podcast.  Firstly, there’s no evidence of over-representation of any ethnic group within these gangs. Secondly, some allegations have indeed been ignored because of “cultural sensitivities”. It's right to be horrified by the latter while recognising the vitally important […]

BBC… or is it Pravda? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, Once again, I find myself in complete agreement with the analysis of one of your contributors (Jim Grace, writing about the Conservatives’ capture of the BBC). Although I don’t watch Match of the Day, following the Lineker debacle I made a formal complaint to the BBC about long-term right-wing bias within that organisation. […]

The postal vote mailshot from the Conservatives – legit or not?

Eleanor Rylance

Many people across the country will this week have seen an envelope from their local Conservative Party slither its way through their letter box. Inside, if they live in an area where the Conservatives do not control the local council, they may have found a letter of dubious literary merit, telling voters how terrible the […]

We smell burning…

Anthea Simmons

If you didn’t watch the Johnson lie/excusathon, here’s a potted summary. Disappointingly, the King James Bible did not spontaneously combust at the touch of the former PM’s mendacious fingers, but the smell of burning boxer shorts was definitely in the air. The Privileges Committee’s questioning, under Harriet Harman’s quietly authoritative chairmanship, was a model of […]

Why so nasty?

Mark E Thomas

In 2002, Theresa May famously said to the party faithful, “Yes, we’ve made progress, but let’s not kid ourselves. There’s a way to go before we can return to government. … You know what some people call us: the nasty party.“ Since regaining power, however, it does not seem as though the Conservative Party has been […]

The Conservative capture of the BBC and why it matters

Jim Grace

The issue of BBC capture by government is serious. BBC capture by one of the parties is even more serious. But the worst scenario is what I think has actually happened: BBC capture by an extremist right wing fringe group that was no more than a weird sect within one party. The ERG / Brexiters […]

We CAN talk about morality and compassion and we MUST

Richard Haviland

The aim of so much of the ‘commentary’ which blights today’s UK is to persuade people there is no legitimate public conversation to be had about morality or compassion. To persuade them that there is only “virtue signalling”, “wokery” and “sanctimony”. Once enough people accept that premise, you are in deep trouble. Think about it. […]

Is market fundamentalism compatible with morality and religion?

Richard Playford and Mark E Thomas

Traditional Conservative politics, as the name suggests, amongst other things, places a significant emphasis on the conservation of the tried and tested, the reliable, the traditional, and so on. Traditional conservativism prioritizes practical experience over abstract theorizing, and prefers gradual changes, organically developing and emerging from the local community, to sweeping changes imposed from above. For a […]

Rishi Sunak is in trouble…

Martin Day

In fairness, it’s not an exceptionally observant point to make: anywhere you look, pundits are noting the unshakeable air of malaise around Westminster. It’s nothing compared to the death spiral of Johnson’s regime, or the barely-controlled hysteria of Truss’s brief reign of economic terror, but it’s there. The waters may be calm, but there are […]

Brexit remains a nonsense – Michel Barnier

Jon Danzig
Michel Barnier

The truth: Brexit offers no added value to Britain. Speaking to The Observer this week, the EU’s former Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, spoke common sense. “For me, for many of us, Brexit remains a nonsense,” he said. “Taking into account British national interest, there is no added value to being outside the Single Market and […]

A grim fairy tale for our times

Anthea Simmons
a deep, dark wood

Once upon a time, there were some men who made a lot of money from doing things that were wrecking the planet. They had known for ages that they were putting toxins in the air and water, causing global warming and damaging the health of their employees and the general public and the environment, but […]

What is the market fundamentalist agenda?

Mark E Thomas

This is a long post from Oct 2019, and some of what it says would have seemed seem hard to believe back then. But now? Now when we see cuts to public services, the increasing wealth gap, steady defunding of council services, the running down of the NHS and talk of the use of artificial […]

Secrets and lies

Anthea Simmons

So, finally, Sunak found himself in a position where sacking Nadhim Zahawi was his only option. It really does not look much like an act of leadership and integrity and, as many have pointed out, it’s not every sacking letter that manages to combine “it’s clear there has been a serious breach of the ministerial […]