Category: Politics

Is Cornwall seeing a return to rotten boroughs?

Tom Scott

The local elections in Cornwall have seen the Conservatives take control of the council with the votes of fewer than 15% of registered voters. In the 18th and early 19th century, Cornwall was notorious for having more so-called ‘rotten boroughs’ than anywhere else in England. The historian Lewis Namier described Cornish politics in the 1760s: […]

WCB event: 26 May, 8pm: How do we fix our broken democracy? UPDATE!

Editor-in-chief

Every day it becomes more obvious that our first past the post system is not fit for purpose, Around sixty percent of the electorate are unrepresented, disengaged, disenfranchised and disillusioned. We must have electoral reform. West Country Voices is hosting a Q&A session on this burning issue with a cracking panel drawn from campaign organisations […]

Gunboats at the ready

Shev Fogarty

I wrote this as an overview for my non-Jersey friends on Facebook, as I thought that the morning headlines of gunboats being dispatched to St Helier might have surprised and alarmed them, happening (as it appeared to) out of the blue. Firstly, it is important to know that Jersey and the other Channel Islands are […]

Putain de Brexit (or is that Putin…?)

Anthea Simmons

“Look how the gods smile upon me”, gloated Johnson as he gave the order to send two naval patrol vessels to menace French fishing boats on the eve of local elections and the by-election in Hartlepool. After all, the Falklands War had been absolute catnip for Thatcher supporters! Nothing like another excuse to put out […]

Are XR being targeted in Cornwall? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, According to Cornwall Live, on 5 May “Truro Farmers Market’s biggest event is cancelled because it’s now a site for G7 summit protests. The market has had a terrible year and now its biggest event has to be called off”  Truro’s Lemon Quay was to have hosted a special 5 day market during […]

Letter to the editor: Dartington – threatened with devastating change

Editor-in-chief

“Conservative party plans at their worst were realised in Dartington yesterday. The disastrous Joint Local Plan and its unsustainable plan which dumped far too many new housing sites in Dartington, left its very grubby marks at SHDC Planning Committee yesterday. Very regrettably, all my fellow Councillors except for Cllr Kate Kemp, voted in favour of […]

Brexit…out of fashion in Somerset

Richard Wilkins

It would be fair to say that businesses in Somerset are now really starting to feel the effects of Brexit and our new trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world. From all the businesses I have spoken to so far the effects have ranged from bureaucratic nightmares with unnecessary paperwork and […]

Making democracy difficult

Eric Gates

While we have all been hearing about the interior design tastes of various Conservative ladies (past, present and aspiring residents of Downing Street), there has been another little episode in the drama of local democracy. The case brought by Hertfordshire County Council to allow the continued use of Zoom and similar tools to enable on-line […]

Nine investigations into misconduct: is Johnson on his last political life?

Sadie Parker
Boris Johnson and 9 cats

Former President Donald Trump once boasted, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Impunity makes for arrogance and a blindness to reality, which eventually brings bad leaders down. Johnson appears to have reached Trump-like levels of hubris, with the blindsiding, deflection and outright lies in […]

Who is John Penrose, Johnson’s anti-corruption champion and WHERE is he?

Anthea Simmons

John Penrose ought, by rights, to be the busiest man in Westminster. The Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare is, after all, Johnson’s anti-corruption champion. One might reasonably expect him to be all over the media, given the great slew of corruption scandals leaking or erupting from government not to mention a season ticket to the courts […]

John Lewis: rich woman’s nightmare, poor woman’s dream

Sadie Parker

Carrie Symonds is at the heart of a scandal over her refurbishment of the flat above 11 Downing Street that she shares with the Prime Minister (PM) Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, their son Wilf and rescue dog Dilyn. She has allegedly spent £200,000 on it, which is £170,000 over the annual grant of £30,000 […]

#CurtainsForJohnson? Major Sleaze is surely as good as gone…

Anthea Simmons

Prime Minister’s questions (PMQs) is a pretty shameful bun fight under the slack ‘moderation’ of the hapless, hopeless Hoyle, but today’s (28 April) was easily one of the messiest, with Johnson lashing out like a cornered rat. We could take you through the catalogue of whoppers, obfuscations and bloviating blusters but, frankly, it’s history. He […]

The non-binding referendum that became absolutely binding

Dominic Minghella

We are reproducing this important Twitter thread with the kind permission of Dominic Minghella in order to reach beyond the Twitter bubble. A non-binding referendum turned out to be absolutely binding. A non-binding referendum turned out to be absolutely binding, and set in a tablet of stone – and to question it became traitorous heresy. […]

Beware the Blabberwock…a Jabberwock for our times

Belinda Bawden and Medea Sweet

Blabberwocky. (with apologies to Lewis Carroll) ‘Twas Cummig and the Slithy Gove Did plot and scheme for power, backstabe. All mimsy were the wily SpAds, And full of faux outrage. “Beware the Blabberwock, my son! The tongue that lies, the mouth that blags ! Beware the TrussTruss bird, and shun The frumious Jenrick and his […]

Welby says forgive the corrupt. A reader takes a different view.

Editor-in-chief

Last week we tweeted a comment on Old Etonian and former oil company employee Archbishop Justin Welby’s call for the corrupt to be forgiven. We said: Forgiveness requires an acknowledgement of guilt and responsibility from the perpetrator. It’s not carte blanche to just carry on criming! (apologies for neologism) #Corruption It seems that one of […]

Boris Johnson IS Pinocchio! How the Italian press see our PM – and us

Mike Zollo

Remember when Johnson senior accused the British public of illiteracy, saying they would not be able to spell Pinocchio? This was the evasive response to a Tweet calling Boris Johnson ‘Pinocchio’ – a liar. Now, who else can we think of who uses that sort of evasive technique?! The Italian press is still fascinated by […]

Fantasy Friday: nominations for a dream cabinet

Medea Sweet

A bit of escapism does no harm. We can all dream, can’t we? Prime Minister: fantasy world choice would be Hugh Grant. Looks the part, acts the part, cares and will ensure he has good people round him. Will make the UK lovable again. Real world: Caroline Lucas. The planet needs eco-warriors to be in […]

Somerset’s local democracy in danger from this man

Mick Fletcher

On 3 March we published an article by Theo Butt Philip highlighting the decision of Robert Jenrick to cancel elections to Somerset County Council. You can follow the preview link to the full article below. In essence Jenrick had decided that whether the people of Somerset liked it or not they would move to a […]

The dangerous moral vacuum

Anthea Simmons

There’s a theory going round that Johnson and his team put the Dyson texts through a focus group filter and decided that the whole story could be spun to Johnson’s advantage, portraying him as a man so committed to the care of his beloved subjects…sorry, voters… that he would move heaven and earth to save […]

Toxic tribalism in politics got us into this mess. It has to stop.

Anthea Simmons

At last! Two things happen that all sane, honest and fair-minded people have been praying for! 1) Peter Stefanovic’s tweeted video compilation of Johnson’s very many lies to parliament surged through the 10 million views barrier and beyond, and finally began to gain some traction with both the media and politicians. and (partly as a […]

2020 and all that.

Tom Scott

They say history is written by the victors. But what happens when the victors of the Brexit referendum and the ‘Get Brexit Done’ election go on to preside over a series of unprecedented national calamities and scandals? And how might the history of the last couple of years look if subjected to Johnsonian levels of […]

We must all take a stand against corruption in public life

Sadie Parker

The 8 April cover of The New European turned out to be highly prescient. It featured prime minister (PM) Boris Johnson handcuffed to Line of Duty characters DI Steve Arnott (played by Martin Compston) on his right and DI Kate Fleming (played by Vicky McClure) on his left. Had someone at the paper seen a […]

If you want to keep your community hospital, you must stay vigilant

Anthea Simmons

Back in August of last year, we published an article by Mike Sheaff on NHS Property Services (NHSPS) and its aggressive policy on rents charged and eviction of tenants (GPs etc!) from NHSPS-owned properties. We have also carried a number of press releases from the campaigning body Save our Hospital Services (SOHS), including their fight […]

Did donations to the Conservatives buy a Kremlin Brexit?

Sadie Parker

In July 2020 the Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) long-awaited Russia Report was finally published. Completed in July 2019 under the leadership of then ISC Chair Dominic Grieve, it went through extensive checking, vetting and approval processes before being presented to prime minister Boris Johnson in October 2019. Normally, such a report would be cleared […]