Category: Society

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Now is the summer of our discontent!

Mike Zollo

“Your government?! What a joke that is!” That was the sniggering reaction earlier this afternoon, albeit not in so many words, from our Danish neighbours in the Spanish village where we are spending a few weeks. OK, so it’s human nature to find it easier to recognise other people’s problems than to acknowledge our own, […]

Tory promised land of milk and honey: the reality

Richard Murphy

The Tory leadership election is offering the party faithful an image of a land about to flow with milk and honey, so good are the prospects arising from the so far unspecified benefits of Brexit. The reality is about as far from that is it can be. In reality, this morning we have news of […]

The Tory leadership election and fascist creep

Tom Scott

Politicians whose only response to desperate times is to resort to fantastical mythologising, scapegoating of imaginary enemies and suppression of protest should be seen as truly dangerous, argues Tom Scott. In June, the eminent historian of Nazism, Timothy Snyder, was interviewed by Ukraine’s Euromaidan Press. Professor Snyder, who has also written extensively about the threat […]

The Truss growth plan: more money for the rich

Mark E Thomas

Truss has launched her so-called ‘plan for growth.’ This article shows that the likely impact of that plan is to redistribute wealth upwards at an increasing rate, impoverishing most of the UK population. The post-war period 1945-1980 was known as the Golden Age of Capitalism; the period from 1980-2015 was the age of Market Capitalism. […]

The real risk is that the economy could fail this winter

Richard Murphy

How many people lived in fear in the summer of 1914, dreading what might happen? Come to that, what about 1939? People must have known that they were living on a precipice then, just as we are now. A disaster is about to happen, but there seems to be denial all around. The disaster that […]

Women’s football: what will the legacy really be? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, Even if we aren’t remotely interested in sport, I think we can all rejoice unequivocally at the success of the England women’s football team in the European championships; it’s an achievement to be celebrated. I’m sure I’m not alone in being delighted at their win if only because they have done […]

Human Rights? No, thanks, we’re British!

Mark E Thomas

The UK Government has a Bill of Rights bill which (at the time of writing) is in the Commons for its second reading. Many civil liberties commentators have expressed alarm about the Bill, suggesting that it risks watering down the rights of UK citizens. Are they right to be concerned about the Bill, or are they over-reacting? They are […]

Where are the police when you need them? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Andy Steel, from Devon, believes police failed to act appropriately when their urgent help was needed: Just because you live in a hidden, rural village doesn’t mean you can escape hit-and-run drivers. Not long ago a 17 year-old with a chequered motoring history ploughed into the front of my parked 1.8 tonne Land Rover with […]

The lifting of the ‘colour bar’

Jon Danzig

Invited to come to Britain in the 1950s, when the country was massively short of workers (sound familiar?), Asquith Xavier left Dominica where he had been a police officer and in the army. For ten years, he worked as a porter at Marylebone station in London. Then, in the spring of 1966, the 46-year-old decided […]

Stop Rwanda flights! Twitterstorm and demo/live share 12 July!

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, As a matter of urgency I write to remind you of the court case challenging the Government’s policy on forced deportation to Rwanda of asylum seekers and refugees to the UK. There is a live protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London TOMORROW (July 12) with a LIVE share […]

The week in Tory… brace, brace!

Russ In Cheshire

Warning: strong language. Ed Because I was busy last week, this episode of The Week in Tory covers more than seven days, but not – you’ll be amazed to hear – the 700 years it would take most governments to get through this lot. Remember, it’s OK to want to scream or take drugs during […]

Tiananmen-on-Thames: Priti Patel creates her own Forbidden City

Sadie Parker

The Vote Leave government must have thought it was being so clever, abusing its position to slip draconian, Putinesque provisions into the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. Part 3 on ‘Public Order’ targets all the protests and protestors that the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, in particular despises: Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter and […]

The warning signs we simply cannot continue to ignore

Mark E Thomas

In the wake of Steve Bray’s threatened arrest, this article counts the warning signs the UK has largely ignored. And shows what we can do about it. When Johnson first pulled together a cabinet of market fundamentalists, most people ignored the risk of a constitutional crisis. Most of us ignored Philip Hammond’s warning about “extreme […]

The V5 scam – why aren’t the police or the DVLA bothered?

Anthea Simmons

This is quite some story. It was news to me, but perhaps you know someone who has also been a victim, or maybe you yourself, in which case this will resonate painfully. I am keeping the names and places anonymous for obvious reasons, but here’s the tale. A friend decided to sell her 4×4, partly […]

US gun and abortion laws are topsy- turvy

Jon Danzig

This is controversial, I know. I may have to take cover for posting this. However, in my view, some USA ‘rights’ are topsy-turvy.  There is the right to bear arms, under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Citizens have the right carry a gun that only has one mechanical function: to kill or maim. Consequently, […]

UK immigration and asylum – it’s a minefield and getting tougher

Nicola Kelly

Last week I did a talk on what it’s like to report on UK immigration and asylum. There’s been a bit of interest in it, so I thought I’d take you behind-the-scenes, too. Topline: it’s like navigating a minefield – and it’s getting tougher. Here’s how. I worked for the Home Office during the rollout […]

Can Kevin Foster justify the hideous Rwanda policy?

Jack Dart

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to stop talking about the behaviour of Kevin Foster until we start getting some answers. Since the introduction of this new, disgraceful Rwanda policy, we’ve not heard any substantial justification from Kevin Foster. The facts are that Rwanda has: 1. Highly questionable political freedom. 2. A poor human rights […]

WTF: the Why This Field? campaign in Totnes

Anthea Simmons

A group of people who live in the beautiful Devon town of Totnes, have come together in the Why This Field (WTF) campaign to support Totnes Town Council’s (T.T.C.) bid to purchase The Lower Field & The Elmhurst Site from K.E.V.I.C.C. school. The much-loved school is in need of funds to fix, revive and improve […]

Is Town Twinning winning?

Mike Zollo

A review of town twinning schemes after Covid… and Brexit Over the past year or so, WCV has published articles which demonstrate clearly the degree to which Brexit is having a negative impact on educational and cultural contacts between the UK and the EU… It’s almost as if this is a conscious policy of this […]

Ukraine rocks

Gérard Fabrice Guminski

On 24 February 2022, I saw the first footage of Putin’s invasion of a sovereign nation, Ukraine: the beginning of what will be a long journey of suffering for so many innocent civilians. I’m sure we all agree that this conflict doesn’t belong in the 21st century, whether here in Europe or anywhere else in […]

Why the European Court of Human Rights HAD to intervene

Daniel Sohege

When you hear government spokespersons banging on about how dare a “European Court” rule against it, this is why it had to. The UK government, by its own admission, has no means of monitoring conditions for the asylum seekers it sends to Rwanda. Yet, despite the highly selective glossy tourist pics being put out by […]

Children’s services should protect children not profit

WeOwnIt

Our children’s services are there to protect and care for vulnerable children in our communities, providing a lifeline for those in difficult situations. But doesn’t it seem wrong that private companies are able to run these services and prioritise profit over the children they are meant to protect? The government recently dropped its unpopular plans to reduce council responsibilities […]

Death trap

Tom Scott

To set a death trap, careful preparation Will be repaid. You need first to make sure That no alternative accommodation Is on hand for the undeserving poor. This won’t be hard – with council homes sold off, Sit back and let the market do its work. The gratitude of landlords at their trough Will be […]

Miss Snuffy is right about social mobility!

Mick Fletcher

To my surprise, I find myself agreeing with Katharine Birbalsingh, who tweets under the slightly eccentric name of “Miss Snuffy”. Birbalsingh is regularly referred to in the less serious type of newspaper as “Britain’s strictest headmistress” and her views go down well with the Conservative rank and file. I suspect that it is her strong […]

Compassion must win out against the drip feed of propaganda

Richard Haviland

Recent years have led many of us to question what we once felt about this country. But one thing I do believe is that most people, whether here or elsewhere, feel instinctive compassion for those in need when they are not being subjected to a drip feed of propaganda. But the drip feed of propaganda […]