Category: Politics

The Bayside/FuturePlaces story…a reminder. Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Editor’s note: Bayside Restaurant was funded by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, ostensibly to pilot the feasibility of beachfront eateries. It was open on the seafront, between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers, for just one month in August 2022. From the start, it was dogged with controversy, first about the poor quality of service and […]

A plea to Keir Starmer for electoral reform – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Keir Starmer I hear that you are now not going to support the introduction of real, meaningful electoral reform in the form of proportional representation. Have you forgotten 2019? The Tories completely played a broken, undemocratic and unrepresentative first past the post system and pretended it was a “second referendum” on Brexit. This has […]

A short guide to tactical voting in the BCP Council elections

James Bean

Four years after its first election, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) faces another day of reckoning on May 4, 2023. Since the 2019 poll that formed this new, unitary authority, BCP has had two administrations, three leaders, three votes of no confidence, racked up record debts, achieved national infamy, flirted with insolvency, and even […]

The BCP Council box (of horrors) set!

Editor-in-chief

We are about to put out a piece on tactical voting in the upcoming elections. We thought you might like a little refresher/reminder of what has gone before in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole! In chronological order: Well done! You’re nearing the end of this saga…May 4! Don’t forget your photo ID!

Is the country safe in the Conservatives’ hands?

Mark E Thomas

After 13 years in power, the Conservatives want us to believe that the UK is safe in their hands. This article explains how, given a just a few more years, they can complete their transformation of the UK into a playground for their donors – at our expense: There has been a successful, but gradual, unwinding of […]

Political gunslingers

Andrew Levi

The Labour Party’s recent ‘attack ad’, suggesting the prime minister was soft on sexual abusers of children, raises profound, urgent questions about how a tolerant society can best defend itself against those who would wreck it, says Andrew Levi. You want to fight fire with fire? Easy to say. Who should pull the trigger, when […]

‘Why can’t we be more like the French?’ Letter to the editor.

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, The French Revolution was a defining period in the social history of France. Totally fed up with a ruling class that lived in ridiculous splendour whilst  ignoring the plight of common people – ‘Let them eat cake‘ , the masses rose up and took drastic action. ‘Madame Guillotine’ was kept very busy, not […]

State of denial

Andrew Levi

Brexitism is destroying Britain, says Andrew Levi. If our political parties fail us now, we face an existential threat. Munich, 1938 During the United Kingdom’s long march into the European Communities, leading to membership in 1973, then the referendum in 1975 on whether to stay in, ‘anti-marketeers’ invoked the appeasement of Hitler at Munich to […]

Labour – your silence on so many issues carries a price

Richard Haviland

I learnt two things about the subject of child grooming gangs on Monday’s edition of The News Agents podcast.  Firstly, there’s no evidence of over-representation of any ethnic group within these gangs. Secondly, some allegations have indeed been ignored because of “cultural sensitivities”. It's right to be horrified by the latter while recognising the vitally important […]

Send MPs on a Brexit awareness course – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, This week we heard of a six-month ban and a speeding fine levied against Robert Jenrick, our esteemed immigration minister. He is the one who has to appear in parliament when his boss, Suella Braverman, either can’t be bothered or doesn’t feel up to answering difficult questions. Most of us will […]

Stop gaslighting us! The CPTPP deal is PANTS!

Anthea Simmons

Let’s leave aside for a moment the whole issue of democracy, sovereignty and ‘taking back control’ which is covered in this article from Jon Danzig, and instead call out the abject gaslighting and lies being spewed out to defend a lamentable deal that has some real nasties hidden inside it. It’s not for nothing that […]

When did WE have a say on this?

Jon Danzig

Britain is joining an 11-member Asia-Pacific trade bloc, the CPTP. The UK government thinks this is a suitable replacement for our membership of the EU. But when did we have a say on this? When did Parliament consent to this? Brexiters often claim that the EU is undemocratic and that we should have had a […]

“I hate what Brexit’s done to this country!”

Anna Andrews

“I hate what Brexit’s done to this country”, one woman said, “I just hate it.” I looked encouragingly at her and she went on, “Britain’s just going down the pan, isn’t it?” It seemed that, once started, she couldn’t stop and, knowing she would get a sympathetic hearing, she told me about how her daughter […]

BBC… or is it Pravda? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, Once again, I find myself in complete agreement with the analysis of one of your contributors (Jim Grace, writing about the Conservatives’ capture of the BBC). Although I don’t watch Match of the Day, following the Lineker debacle I made a formal complaint to the BBC about long-term right-wing bias within that organisation. […]

Johnson isn’t a liar… he’s a bullsh*tter

Russ In Cheshire

Boris Johnson is not a liar. He is a bullshitter. There is a difference. A liar knows (and cares) what the truth is, and is attempting to conceal it. A bullshitter doesn't care. For a bullshitter, whatever he says becomes the new truth. Bullshitters don't think they're "lying", because (in their minds) the utter shite […]

The postal vote mailshot from the Conservatives – legit or not?

Eleanor Rylance

Many people across the country will this week have seen an envelope from their local Conservative Party slither its way through their letter box. Inside, if they live in an area where the Conservatives do not control the local council, they may have found a letter of dubious literary merit, telling voters how terrible the […]

We smell burning…

Anthea Simmons

If you didn’t watch the Johnson lie/excusathon, here’s a potted summary. Disappointingly, the King James Bible did not spontaneously combust at the touch of the former PM’s mendacious fingers, but the smell of burning boxer shorts was definitely in the air. The Privileges Committee’s questioning, under Harriet Harman’s quietly authoritative chairmanship, was a model of […]

Why so nasty?

Mark E Thomas

In 2002, Theresa May famously said to the party faithful, “Yes, we’ve made progress, but let’s not kid ourselves. There’s a way to go before we can return to government. … You know what some people call us: the nasty party.“ Since regaining power, however, it does not seem as though the Conservative Party has been […]

Hunt’s defeatist budget needlessly fails to tackle our problems

Mark E Thomas

Hunt’s latest Budget shows the UK heading for a dismal future. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK is now facing two years with the sharpest fall in living standards since records began. The economy will contract again this year. The level of taxation is at the highest for many decades. Our growth […]

The Conservative capture of the BBC and why it matters

Jim Grace

The issue of BBC capture by government is serious. BBC capture by one of the parties is even more serious. But the worst scenario is what I think has actually happened: BBC capture by an extremist right wing fringe group that was no more than a weird sect within one party. The ERG / Brexiters […]

The view through the Overton window must be changed, and fast

Anthea Simmons

This week, under cover of darkness, 100 mature trees were felled in the centre of Plymouth, ripping out the green lungs of a city which had pulled itself up out of the ashes of WWII. In fact, these were the very trees planted to celebrate the city’s rebirth. This act of environmental vandalism has so […]

The campaign to save the 136 mature trees on Plymouth’s Armada Way UPDATE: a scene of devastation

Ali White Founder, STRAW Plymouth

The trees planted to symbolise Plymouth’s ‘rebirth’ after the devastation of WWII have been torn up, chopped down and destroyed overnight. Luke Pollard MP: Overnight Plymouth’s Conservative council chopped down nearly 100 trees in the city centre. It’s a scene of environmental devastation and utter council vandalism. I’m appalled at the actions of the Tory […]

We CAN talk about morality and compassion and we MUST

Richard Haviland

The aim of so much of the ‘commentary’ which blights today’s UK is to persuade people there is no legitimate public conversation to be had about morality or compassion. To persuade them that there is only “virtue signalling”, “wokery” and “sanctimony”. Once enough people accept that premise, you are in deep trouble. Think about it. […]

The orchestrated campaign to get the BBC to self-sabotage

Erika John

Cancelling Sir David Attenborough, Gary Lineker and the BBC Singers and reducing BBC orchestra numbers all in a single week does seem like a bit of an orchestrated PR campaign to get the BBC to self sabotage. To quote Ian Fleming: ‘Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.’ There has been a long-running campaign […]

Is market fundamentalism compatible with morality and religion?

Richard Playford and Mark E Thomas

Traditional Conservative politics, as the name suggests, amongst other things, places a significant emphasis on the conservation of the tried and tested, the reliable, the traditional, and so on. Traditional conservativism prioritizes practical experience over abstract theorizing, and prefers gradual changes, organically developing and emerging from the local community, to sweeping changes imposed from above. For a […]

The ultimate political tomato joke…

Richard Scott

A man walks into a greengrocer and asks for a kilo of tomatoes. The greengrocer tells him, “That’s £50, please, mate”. The man is shocked. ‘£50? Last week these tomatoes only cost me £2!’ ‘Well, today it is £50.’ ‘But why £50? You’re having a laugh!’ The greengrocer says, ‘I’ll explain it: – £2 for […]