Author: Claire Jones

Claire was born in Essex. In 1990 she obtained her doctorate in Philosophy at Oxford University. Her doctoral thesis was on the Philosophy of Mind. It was entitled ‘Varieties of Affect’ and was subsequently published by Simon and Schuster. Claire also has a degree in Psychology (Open University) and a Diploma in Counselling Psychology (City University, London). After finishing her doctorate Claire remained in Oxfordshire where she taught Philosophy for the Open University and worked as a counsellor.

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The Case for a “Progressive Alliance”

Claire Jones

There is increasing concern that Johnson’s new Tory government is undermining our democracy. Measures such as voter suppression, weakening of judicial reviews and draconian new prosecution laws for everyone from street protesters and asylum seekers to Extinction Rebellion (XR) poster makers and investigative journalists, are all driving us “ever closer to authoritarianism”.  Our sister publication, […]

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How should we react to Cummings’ Revelations?

Claire Jones

Nothing about Cummings’ six hour diatribe last week seemed surprising. Many already sensed that the recent ‘goings on’ in Westminster in the name of ‘governance’ had levels of transparency, co-ordination and commitment to public welfare that would make Yes Minister and Faulty Towers look like modern, socially committed, streamlined organisations. Cummings’ depressing descriptions of good […]

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Challenging Lies and Sleaze: The Echo Chamber Problem

Claire Jones

There is a danger that the opposition narrative is stuck inside ‘Echo Chambers’ of like-mindedness which prevents our chatter, debate, research and critiques from reaching the ears of Tory supporters. Are we talking to ourselves? Can and should we escape these confines? The UK electorate seems deeply perverse. Labour has bombed overall in last week’s […]

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We need to talk about Lying: Johnson’s ‘Lie Fest’

Claire Jones

Porkies and other defects Like it or not, Prime Ministers are role models. Hence Johnson’s moral bankruptcy has set a new standard of contempt for the truth. He may be only a part of a bigger process of erosion but he has massively accelerated it. By filling his cabinet with sycophants even weaker than himself […]

A Tribute to our Keyboard Warriors?

Claire Jones

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk There is an army of social media users out there calling out this government every day.Should we scorn or celebrate them? I began using Facebook for political discussion in 2018. The conversation was then focussed on Brexit but inevitably in 2020 it also embraced the management of Covid by the government. […]

Can the Left fight Johnson’s Mordor?

Claire Jones

The enemy is way ahead It is a difficult time for ‘us on the left’. I know I am not alone in nowadays often feeling politically dispirited, overwhelmed and even homeless. We have watched whilst Johnson’s criminal cabal climbs in the polls, increasing its grip even in the face of extraordinary incompetence and dishonesty. For […]

Biden’s Hyenas – Tory Backtrackers and the UK/US Ideological Alliance

Claire Jones

The nightmare is finally over. Or is it? In his inauguration speech Biden reminded us that democracy is fragile. Consider just some of Biden’s huge remit. Firstly, he has to sort out the joint crises of Covid, racial tensions and a trashed domestic economy. Failure to conquer these mountains simultaneously will be swiftly judged by […]

Fear and trauma in the “Time of Covid”

Claire Jones

Reflections on the UK’s latest baffling poll The UK is currently divided between those who support the government’s handling of the pandemic and those who see it as an unconscionable disaster. Extraordinarily, the former group are winning. According to YouGov and the latest polls, shortly after the landmark 100,000 deaths were announced, the Tories acquired […]

Right Wing Ideology and How not to nail Covid

Claire Jones

Has the government failed to control Covid because effective pandemic measures are incompatible with their ideology? When the pandemic hit, the UK was already battered by Tory austerity cuts. Hospitals were 40,000 nurses short, available beds were down from 22,000 to 13,000 and public health spend per head had been reduced by nearly a quarter. […]

“Sorry seems to be the hardest word” (Elton John)

Claire Jones

Boris Johnson has finally apologised – “I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and I take full responsibility for everything that the Government has done”. This ‘apology’ was triggered by the landmark moment last week when the UK Covid death toll topped 100,000, a number bigger than the country’s civilian toll […]