Category: Politics

Trump pardons, Johnson ennobles – the swamp deepens

Anthea Simmons

It is impossible to shake off the sense that decent people, on both sides of the pond, are being brazenly trolled by their corrupt and mendacious leaders. “Look what I can do!” Trump and Johnson seem to say, “and there’s not a darned/damned thing you can do to to stop me.” Trump’s sick execution spree […]

While hedge funds shorted stocks by night…

Tom Scott

A timely reworking from Tom Scott of ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night’ for the secular, Brexiter age. While hedge funds shorted stocks by nightAnd bet against the pound,A WhatsApp from BoJo came down,And glory shone around. “Fear not,” said he, for mighty dreadHad seized their troubled mind;“Glad tidings of No Deal I bringTo […]

Brexit blame bingo!

Tom Scott

Get ready to play Brexit Blame Bingo! As millions of British families face a Covid Christmas capped with what looks set to be disastrous end to the Brexit transition period, we’ve devised a fun game for all the family – whether together or apart. All you need is a TV tuned to any news channel […]

John le Carré: Traitor or Patriot?

Mike Zollo

“El Brexit es la mayor idiotez perpetrada por el Reino Unido” “Brexit is the greatest act of stupidity perpetrated by the United Kingdom” For many years I have followed with interest how some elements of the European press present the UK. Whenever there is a major event, it is fascinating to compare the treatment of […]

Is callousness a vote winner? Rees-Mogg appears to think so.

Anthea Simmons

Self-professed man of faith gave an interesting demonstration of Christian charity yesterday when he took a pot shot at UNICEF. The government he represents appears to be in denial about the record levels of child poverty, but does not take kindly to being forced to confront the truth by the likes of Marcus Rashford and, […]

Hearts of Oak

Canon Robin Murch

Since I was a child I have always had a love of oak trees. In the war years my anxious mother would send my brother and me into the garden to play. It was a nice sizeable garden with a good chicken run to interest us. There at the end of the garden stood a […]

The complexity of Brexit delay and what to do about it

Jon Worth

This post was originally a Twitter thread by Jon Worth (@jonworth) on 15/12/2020. It has been adapted to turn it into a blog post. OK, it can be avoided no more. Understanding and explaining the complexity of Brexit negotiations right now is one of the most complicated conundrums I have faced. But this issue really […]

The seven deadly sins of 2020

Rachel Marshall

When Covid-19 and the lockdown first hit, there was a magical outpouring of willingness to help, support people in communities, think greener and kinder. We relished the fresher air, the new things we discovered on our daily walk or run, we appreciated nurses, carers, binmen, transport workers, supermarket staff. As the year draws to a […]

John le Carré – prescient chronicler of a nation betrayed

Tom Scott

Obituaries describing John le Carré as a “Cold War spy novelist” are selling him short. More than any other contemporary writer, he had a finger on the dark pulse of our times. It’s not often that the death of a novelist can be described as a national event, but the passing of David Cornwell, better […]

No deal takes UK back to the 70s and food anxiety

Robert Saunders

No apologies for reproducing yet another Twitter thread. Everyone should have the chance to read this. Ed The 1970s was a decade of serious anxiety about food supplies. Norman Tebbit, of all people, urged the government to consider rationing basic foodstuffs. That played a significant role in the decision to join the EEC, and raises […]

Rule Britannia! Britannia waives the rules!

Tom Scott

With Daily Mail and Daily Express headlines screaming SEND IN THE GUNBOATS, it seemed to Tom Scott that Rule Britannia needed rewriting to reflect Brexit Britain’s proud new status as a banana republic (without the bananas). Rule Britannia! Rule, Britannia! Britannia waives the rules!Keep on voting for the crooks, you utter fools. While Brexit conmen […]

‘Australia deal’ = NO DEAL. Johnson has failed the nation

Anthea Simmons

How dare you try to scam us with your Australia deal baloney! How dare you try to rebrand no deal to conjure up sunshine, cricket and barbies when you know full well that ‘Australia’ means scorched earth for the UK? This comment – unverifiable but wholly believable given the man’s track record of offensive gaffes […]

Sovereignty: a fig leaf for failure

David Henig

We often publish Twitter threads for the benefit of those not on the platform but there’s another reason, too: these threads are brilliant, pithy summations of complex situations typically misrepresented in the mainstream media. This thread debunks the government’s sovereignty fig leaf and we are delighted to make it available to a wider audience. Plenty […]

Brexit is the UK’s Tulip Mania

Sadie Parker

When I went to work in a Dutch company at the start of my career, I was given a copy of Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. Remember the “dot.com bubble”? The delusions recounted in Mackay’s book are similar, only more colourful, ridiculous and harmful. My personal favourite is tulip mania, […]

Wishy-fishy in a dishy

Des Hannigan

Much of the British attitude to fishing, and especially to foreign fishermen, is based on prejudice and ignorance. We need to see ourselves as others see us. Fishing, eh? Symbol of Brexit Britain! Sovereignty! Taking Back Control! Getting our moat back! It’s OUR ‘English’ Channel! It’s also La Manche according to those damned Frenchies over […]

Plagues, public health and politics

Terry Riordan

“And my Lord Mayor commands people to be inside by nine at night that the sick may leave their domestic prison for air and exercise”. Samuel Pepys’s diary 12th August 1665 Throughout recorded history plagues and pandemics have had the capacity to cause massive loss of life. Those in power have sought to control or […]

Brexit’s impact on Plymouth: fishing, science and people

Ashley Beare

Where to start? There are literally so many areas of business and life that will be adversely affected. Here is a snapshot of a few, together with my thoughts: – Fisheries Deliberately focused on by the government on an emotional level whilst they are well aware that, in economic reality, fisheries account for 0.12 per […]

Today’s misleading statement re trade deals and why it matters

Anthea Simmons

Liz Truss is the master of mis-selling. Yesterday she was crowing over a ‘continuity’ deal with North Macedonia, seemingly blissfully unaware that the clue to the deal’s lack of newness was in that key word – ‘continuity’. 4 December and she’s boasting that we’ve traded 365 days of unfettered access for all UK citizens for […]

Resist the temptation to see Cummings as a svengali

Darren Lilleker

For many cabinet ministers, Dominic Cummings’ departure from 10 Downing Street will be seen as an opportunity for a reset. A controversial figure from the start, the hope is that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will pursue a different style of government without the influence of his chief adviser. Cummings raised eyebrows with his strong views on […]

Lies of the week…so far

Anthea Simmons

I think a lot of us are done with holding back on what this kleptocratic, autocratic bunch of wreckers and their mainstream media cheerleaders are doing to the UK, to truth and democracy. We are going to unpick the latest lies and call them out, three at a time, for the benefit of those not […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 4

Sadie Parker

Rejoice! Lockdown is almost over – sort of. I was hoping this would be a universal moment of ‘euneirophrenia’: the feeling of contentment that comes from waking up from a pleasant dream. Sadly, for those exiting lockdown to enter into tier three, it probably won’t feel all that much different to being in actual lockdown. […]

In defence of Carrie Symonds

Sadie Parker

“Had Carrie pulled the plug before Bozzie said something she didn’t approve of?” This was the casually misogynistic sentence Daily Mail journalist Henry Deedes threw into his write-up of Boris Johnson’s technical difficulties while participating in a parliamentary debate from splendid self-isolation. Deedes has form when it comes to casual misogyny. When describing Angela Rayner’s […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 3

Sadie Parker

Well that didn’t last long. Here we are, back on the ‘sorry-go-round’ – trapped in a repetitive cycle of depressing actions or events. There were glimmers of good news. Hope of a vaccine, and even of vaccines, plural. Lewis Hamilton became the most successful Formula-1 champion ever, raising the spirits of Britain’s sports fans. The […]