Category: Politics

Two pints of wine and a packet of crisps… #ComeOnKevin, tell us all about this fabulous Brexit bonus!

Anthea Simmons

Article contains strong language, reflecting the author’s frustration! The government is casting around in desperation for some kind of ‘Brexit benefit’. Today, it came up with this little gem: Fortunately, our favourite wine importer and industry commentator, Daniel Lambert, was ready to explain what this actually means for the wine trade. No punches were pulled… […]

A dangerous dowry for the new Somerset unitary authority

Mick Fletcher

We are reissuing this horribly-prescient article, given the parlous state of so many councils across the UK. The prospects for the new unitary authority recently imposed on Somerset are not good. Like local government everywhere, the county is having to cope with a dysfunctional funding system and a decade of austerity. It will soon have […]

BCP stripping public services – an open letter to the council

Editor-in-chief

Councils have been facing a growing funding gap since the Conservatives came into power in 2010. It is estimated that one in ten councils face bankruptcy. The government has just announced the first increase in funding, following this protracted period of austerity, but councils maintain that it is still not enough to meet rising costs […]

Dartmoor at risk!

Jim Funnell

Does Lib Dem-led South Hams Council know what the Freeport really means for our wild spaces? Jim Funnell questions whether the council is in control of the full facts… Last week I wrote to all the South Hams councillors with wards bordering on Dartmoor. I expressed my concern that South Hams District Council has failed […]

The week in Tory (it doesn’t get any better…)

Russ In Cheshire

Strong language warning! You don’t like it. I don’t like it. Nobody likes it, and I wish it would stop. But dream on because here, for Christ’s sake, is The Week in Tory! 1. It is 13 years since David Cameron – a thumb with a mouth slit who played at being PM in between […]

Johnny Mercer’s Question Time defence of the Rwanda refugee exchange plan

Sadie Parker

One of the south-west’s MPs has been in action on BBC Question Time, defending the increasingly expensive refugee exchange scheme officially known as the UK-Rwanda Migration and Development Partnership, or the Rwanda Plan for short. Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View, was given free rein to waffle on about what has become the current […]

Northern Lights, reindeer antlers and Tesla Taxis – this is Norway!

Anthea Bareham

“Did you see them? Aurora Borealis? The Northern Lights?” I hesitate: “Yes, and no.” “How does that work?” I will explain, but first things first. We don’t ‘do’ cruises, but we made an exception for this holiday, on the basis that to see the Norwegian fjords up close, you probably need to be on a […]

PART II: Has South Hams District Council lost credibility?

Jim Funnell

As the reality of the libertarian Freeport experiment unleashed on Plymouth and South Devon comes to weigh heavily on the shoulders of South Hams Council, the Task & Finish Group internal report (which will be discussed in Council Executive on Thursday 30 November) highlights issues of substantial concern. I unpack the concerns in detail in […]

Peace in our time

Eric Gates

It is a full seven years since the Referendum, which demonstrated that a fraction over half of the British population (or a fraction over half of those who could be bothered to vote) placed no value on Britain’s membership of the European Community. Over the following years, many of us have spent varying amounts of […]

The dark side of the boom

Tony Afanasiew

If the world’s super-rich were to hold a conference, their anthem might well be Pink Floyd’s Money, track 1, side 2 of their Dark Side of the Moon album. The beneficiaries of globalisation and the internet might hear talks on tax avoidance from offshore bankers, attend seminars on ways to influence national governments, participate in […]

Suella Braverman’s last stand

Sadie Parker

Suella Braverman’s ‘exit’ letter to prime minister Rishi Sunak was a bombshell, but perhaps not in the way she intended. After the usual platitude of it being a privilege to have served as Home Secretary and a list of what she considers to be her achievements, she made some jaw-dropping admissions. First, she reminded Sunak […]

Oh Lord! ‘Call-me-Dave’ is back, Dallas-style

Sadie Parker

Rishi Sunak’s long-anticipated reshuffle was less significant for its scale than for its surprises. The news broke at 8.35am: Suella Braverman had been sacked. It later emerged there would not be the customary exchange of letters, where the outgoing minister says it has been the honour of their life to serve and the prime minister […]

Have a laugh! Here is a prize email from the numpties who have been in post for ten minutes (and in government for thirteen years…)

Clare Knight

Here’s the Year 6 (11 year olds) ‘writing-for-a-purpose’ attempt from this week’s new chairman of the Conservatives. So proud is Richard Holden of his party that he decided to skip pasting in the logo. Astonishingly, it appears that ministers have all been endowed with magical powers which have made them instantly successful in all their […]

The week in Tory – and, yes, it’s only Monday

Russ In Cheshire

Warning: contains strong language. Somehow, it’s time for #TheWeekInTory again, even though it’s still only Monday. Four more days of this week to go, and we’re already up to 74 points. F*ck-a-doodle-doo! Anyway, do a quick snort of glue, and then let’s get stuck in.  1. Suella Braverman took a break from kidnapping dalmatians to say […]

Sunak’s strategy with Braverman…not as astute as he might think

Daniel Sohege

All this talk about how “Sunak is waiting for the verdict on the Rwanda policy” before sacking Braverman isn’t quite the politically astute move some seem to think. Here’s my analysis of the pointlessness of the Rwanda policy and why Sunak’s best option is to fire Braverman before the verdict is out.  First off, fairly […]

Rishi closes his eyes to think…

Richard Haviland

Rishi closes his eyes to think. This time next year he’ll have left this all behind. California. Sunshine. No annoying questions from annoying journalists. Surrounded by people he can relate to. Despite all the damage, Rishi knows he has the chance to do one good thing today. This culture war stuff was never really his […]

The week in Tory…it’s an absolute casserole

Russ In Cheshire

I apologise, but try as I might, I can’t find any material for #TheWeekInTory. Only kidding. It’s an absolute casserole. Let’s down a pint of absinthe and get stuck in. Also – trigger warning. [Contains strong language] 1. We begin with the Covid inquiry, which revealed the shocking news that everything we all knew three years […]

Ending the monstrous dance of death in Gaza

Molly Scott Cato

Hamas are winning in this latest appalling round of conflict in Israel-Palestine, whilst innocent Palestinians are losing their lives. Yes, their monstrous attacks on innocent civilians in southern Israel have been condemned by almost every country in the world, but they have surely reinforced their standing amongst extremists and bolstered their recruiting. What does a Hamas commander care […]

Nobody loves us

Tony Afanasiew

Many people have tried to analyse the secret of Sir Alex Ferguson’s success as a football manager over so many years, first with Aberdeen, then with Manchester United. What was clear, from many interviews with the man, was that he consistently adopted a siege mentality, suggesting repeatedly that ‘they’ were out to get United, that […]

How can we restore confidence in government?

Richard Murphy

One of the questions in a rather dull edition of Question Time last night was, “How can we have confidence in the running of our country?” A number of aspects of this question were interesting, with the most significant being that it was asked. The BBC do appear to be permitting a more subversive form […]

He’s back! The week in Tory…

Russ In Cheshire

Delighted to be publishing Russ again. This episode of the week in Tory is a cracker. Contains strong language. 1. Britain faces a crisis in health, education, farming, energy, housing, childcare, social care, imports, exports, manufacturing, services, debt, growth and infrastructure, so Rishi Sunak announced his grand plan to slightly alter A-Levels. 2. As Sunak finished […]

The Polish election – a fabulous ad for proportional representation

Anthea Simmons

Proportional representation delivers the right kind of Donald! “Poland won! Democracy won! We removed them from power! […] This is the end of bad times.” Donald Tusk, 15 Oct 2023 When we put out Tomasz Oryński’s piece setting out the significance of Sunday’s vote outcome for his country, we shared his anxiety about a further […]