Category: Politics

The Starmer deepfake affair – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, An element of doubt is insidious, I thought, having read about the ‘recording’ posted on X (formerly twitter), purporting to be a tirade from Sir Keir Starmer, effing and blinding at his staff because they forgot to bring his tablet (as in iPad, not paracetamol). Labour staffers were taken somewhat by surprise, it […]

Freeports : a pathway to the end of government as we know it

Richard Murphy

I have been asked on here if I have ever looked at the benefits of freeports. The honest answer is no, but that is because I have never been able to find any such benefits. I have, however, looked at the massive downsides to this idea that both Sunak and Truss support. It is important […]

Virtual Ministers…

M I Birtwhistle

Greetings, South-westerners! Now you see him… The news that Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health, was meeting the Prime Minister for discussions about the NHS refutes the widespread belief, supported by the press and social media, that he is a Virtual Minister.   Virtual Ministers are the result of a dire shortage of genuine […]

Conspiracy theorists awake – and are heading to a town near you

Tom Scott

When Russell Brand issued his pre-emptive denial in an attempt to get ahead of the horrendous allegations of rape and sexual assault aired by The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches on Saturday, he addressed his 6.6 million YouTube subscribers with the words: “Hello there, you awakening wonders.” It’s Brand’s standard greeting to his followers and […]

Why have the Tories won so many elections since 1900 and how do we stop them (before they completely destroy the country)?

Adam Herriott

Most of those registered to vote do not want a Conservative Government, yet they keep getting elected! How does this happen? Democracy campaigner and author of The Tory Winning Machine, Adam Herriott, explores the reasons. The Conservative Party has always been the party of the rich and powerful. The Tory Party operates to form governments that […]

The BCP Council saga – a closure of sorts

@AdamHighcliffe

A closure of sorts for BCP, as an independent report is revealed at the recent Audit and Governance Committee. The audit covers the 2021-23 era of former Conservative leaders Drew Mellor & Phil Broadhead, and slams their chaotic time in government. The headlines:Red flags were raised against BCP’s financial management, governance, efficiency and effectiveness.Auditors found […]

Introducing M I Birtwhistle, special adviser on burning boats…

M I Birtwhistle

Hello South-westerners, My name is M I Birtwhistle, retired secret service officer, and I live in a small Somerset village where I’ve kept my neighbours up to date on government thinking almost every month for the last fifteen years.  By a strange quirk of family history I recently found I was entitled to a place […]

Safe seats, stale seats – whatever we call them, we need them gone

Editor-in-chief

Did you know that nearly 200 parliamentary seats have not changed party hands since WWII? Conservative East Devon hasn’t changed hands since 1835! West Dorset has been Tory since 1857. That’s 200 seats where the incumbent MPs (or their successors) have felt pretty relaxed about retaining their jobs. No need to panic, come election time! […]

That resignation letter…

Emma Monk

Nadine Dorries’ resignation letter in full. It was quite fun to read. I fluctuated between “what on earth is she talking about” to “ha ha, she’s bang on there”; a mixture of whining “poor me” to real hatred towards Sunak! Wow – a lot of the things she thinks she achieved during her time as […]

Nadine Dorries is behaving badly. Does it matter to the South-West?

Sadie Parker

This summer’s figure of fun is Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries. She resigned on June 9, 2023 in solidarity with disgraced former prime minister Boris Johnson, who resigned suddenly and unexpectedly that same day as an MP when he realised he would be unable to avoid a sanction by the House of Commons that would lead […]

‘Small Boats Week’ fiasco vindicates Portland mayor

Sadie Parker

Suella Braverman is the kind of person who cuts corners and ploughs on regardless. Nothing gets in her way. Not our constitution. Not parliamentary sovereignty. Not the rule of law. Now, in her latest project, the Bibby Stockholm detention barge for asylum seekers, those behaviours have put the lives of people under her department’s care […]

Yet more Tory gaslighting! Don’t fall for these latest examples

Anthea Simmons

We’re just waiting for the Conservatives to take credit for the Lionesses’ epic win, to be honest, but in the meantime, here are the latest shocker whoppers being trotted out to con the public. The fall in the rate of inflation is all down to government policies and the refusal to pay public sector workers […]

Gaslighting on climate change: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor Thank you for your great article on gaslighting. It made me wonder if there’s a ‘how to spot a climate change denier’ type exercise or set of questions anywhere? There seem to be various myths which are trotted out in meetings or conversations as excuses for inaction – not just fear of change […]

Culture wars: the battle for Britain’s values which we must win

Richard Haviland

The other day I heard Sir John Hayes MP, close confidant of Suella Braverman, saying that the “culture wars” are an important aspect of politics because they are about values. The implication being that they are a good thing. I also heard him saying that – in any case – it was the “other side” […]

Top ten Tory gaslighting lies

Editor-in-chief

Could have done 100, to be honest, but it would just be even more depressing. It’s important that we don’t let the Conservatives get away with these and other dreadful lies: New gas drilling will reduce domestic bills. Desperate people arriving on boats are the cause of all our woes. Government has no control when […]

Freedom of movement

Anthea Bareham

There is something disconcerting about wild creatures behaving in an unnatural way, like the pigeon that turned up in our drive one Saturday afternoon. However close we got, he made no attempt to move away from us, seemingly unable or unwilling to fly. It was a hot day, so we gave him water and he […]

Talking to your neighbour

Mark E Thomas

We all have at least one neighbour who has become despairing about the state and trajectory of the UK. And despair is not a basis for change. This article suggests three simple and powerful messages that you can share with anyone open-minded enough to listen and which, once they are aware, might give them cause […]

This is not normal

Anthea Simmons

Every day in Toryland seems crazier and more disturbing then the last, doesn’t it? We are in the middle of a climate emergency and a cost-of-living crisis. The energy companies are making outrageous profits from ordinary people. The Tories have shrugged off landmark defeats in two by-elections as nothing, while Labour ties itself in knots […]

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

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 […]

We desperately need a new way of doing politics in Westminster

Rick Gaehl

In the UK today, it’s largely accepted that we should cherish and celebrate a culture of inclusion. We like to promote acceptance and diversity in all things – from religion and ethnicity, to age and sexual orientation. We even value diversity in the languages we speak to one another. Why is it then, when it […]

Killing the (market fundamentalist) Hydra

Mark E Thomas

Sometimes the challenges facing those of us who would like the UK to remain a civilised country with a functioning democracy and a strong social contract seem daunting. This article suggests that we may be able to learn a lot from Greek mythology. The way Hercules killed the Hydra – a 10-headed venomous serpent – […]