Category: Devon

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Brexit reality update: mussels arrive 30 hours late, many dead or dying

Julian Andrews

Last week in West Country Voices, I wrote about a Brixham-based, family-owned company which has – somehow – managed to continue exporting live mussels to the Netherlands, despite the many and varied obstacles placed in its way as a direct consequence of Brexit. I have no connection with this enterprise other than as a writer. […]

Social feed 5: virtual reality

Babe
Pig with muddy snout

A satirical commentary on the pigswill we’re fed by an MP’s social media. Feasting at the trough: ‘Babe’ BREAKING NEWS: The Conservative Party has made a significant investment in Facebook’s Metaverse. First amongst Devon MPs to stake his claim to a piece of alternative reality is, of course, the Captain of Complicity, the Superman of […]

“It’s business, Boris…but not as we knew it”

Julian Andrews
mussel fishing vessel

Imagine that you run an innovative, environmentally sustainable enterprise which employs your wife, your kids and ten local people. You’ve been in the business for over 30 years and you know exactly what you’re doing. You and your family have invested decades’ worth of emotion, aspiration, knowledge and money in it. You’ve won the industry’s […]

‘Kill the Bill’: action in Exeter

Anna Andrews

“This Bill threatens what we do peacefully because we believe in something.” Seasoned activists, people from a wide range of pressure groups, and individuals from all walks of life came together in Exeter on 15 January to show their resistance to the Bill with Priti Patel’s fingerprints all over it: the Police, Crime, Sentencing and […]

Raise your voice!

Mick Fletcher

At West Country Voices we like to tell the stories that others in the media don’t. Often, these stories concern issues that the powerful and well-connected are keen to suppress; they involve holding policymakers to account or exposing abuse of office. Recent stories have focused on the threats to our democratic rights and freedoms. They […]

The property price boom that helps the few, not the many

Mick Fletcher
Stags estate agent sign

In 2021 the average price of houses in Taunton increased by 21 per cent: the highest rate of increase in the country. It is a sign of how utterly dysfunctional our housing market has become that this was announced as good news. According to the Daily Mail, for example, “while it was good news for […]

“First homes, not second homes!” MP Luke Pollard is on a mission

Anthea Simmons

Housing. It’s in crisis across the UK but nowhere is that crisis more acute than in the south-west, battered by the perfect storm of beauty, inequality and wealth. It’s not as if we don’t know what damage second, holiday and empty homes do to a community. There’s enough research out there, let alone the daily […]

Devon’s housing crisis: the champions of change

Anthea Simmons

How many of us have experienced, or can begin to really comprehend, what it is to be without a home? How many of us have known the unsettling insecurity of living in rented accommodation at the whim of a landlord who might at any moment, once the fixed term contract is up, issue a Section […]

Social feed 4: pre-christmas porkies!

Babe

A media tarts special double bill! “It’s media, darling!” would be a good phrase to describe Mangnall’s latest servings of pig swill to constituents. And what a marvellous couple of weeks it has been: Tory lies have flowed like sewage down the Dart, and Mangnall has worked tirelessly, attempting to transform his profile from an […]

Social feed 3: the smell of bacon frying…

Babe

A regular satirical commentary on the pig swill served to constituents via an MP’s social media feed ‘Slurping at the swill for everyone in Totnes & South Devon’ – Babe PeppaPiggate may have overshadowed the Paterson and sewage affairs, but Babe isn’t letting Mangnall off the hook… This social feed retrospective tastes disconcertingly familiar. It’s […]

Social care: another Conservative manifesto pledge broken

Sadie Parker

Social care may well prove to be Alexander Boris de Pfeffel’s Johnson’s Waterloo, and deservedly so. Out of the blue, less than a week before parliament was to vote on the matter, Number 10 tabled a new proposal (New Clause 49 to the Health and Care Bill) on the social care cap. It significantly watered […]

Don’t be seduced…

Mike Walton

Decarbonising transport – we’ve got it sorted. The UK government has been vocal in its support for electric cars as THE carbon-free future for travel. The transport carbon challenge solved! Or is it? The generously-funded motor lobby is powerful at getting its message across. We could be forgiven for thinking that electric cars are the […]