Author: Hadrian Cook

What is Britain’s Role in the World post Brexit?

Hadrian Cook
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Following the disputes, division and disinformation in our national narratives, the road from the referendum of June 2016 to spring 2022 has been bumpy in the extreme. Some may find it amusing, in a dark sort of way, to enjoy politicians being exposed for illicit parties in Number 10 or finding themselves at the ‘could […]

Jacob, his Millions and his Conscience

Hadrian Cook
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The year 1956 was hardly the best. It saw the last roar of the Imperial British Lion in Suez, followed by the resignation of the Old Etonian and Oxford educated prime minister Anthony Eden. As if to compensate, Britain commenced a series of nuclear tests. Hungary was invaded by the Soviet Union. I was but […]

Return of a Dirty Old Man

Hadrian Cook

The legislation which allows sewage treatment works, at times of high discharge, to pour untreated effluent into our rivers and coastal waters has been in the news recently. On the recommendation of Environment (yes, environment!) Secretary, George Eustace, our elected representatives voted down an amendment to prevent such pollution. They seem to think the operation […]

Is there room for Nationalism, Patriotism … and Football?

Hadrian Cook

Empire Day (14th March) was celebrated from the death of the Queen Victoria in 1901 until the 1950s when it had to be acknowledged the British Empire was in terminal decline. Schoolchildren were excused lessons and obliged to wave the Union Jack and sing patriotic songs. In the mid-1920s, one group of little horrors (my […]

British Agriculture under Threat

Hadrian Cook

As we emerge, cavorting in the sunshine, from beneath the cover of Covid, long-term positivity post-Brexit remains in short supply. Yes, pent-up economic demand may mean that hospitality and tourism will bounce back, as might the housing market. On the down side, according to IHS Markit, manufacturing growth has slowed in the post-Covid world. So […]

Projecting Global British Military Power

Hadrian Cook

Are enormous and expensive aircraft carriers the best way for Britain to ‘make friends and influence people’? The Americans have Route 66, the Chinese have the Silk Road and in the West of England we have the historic A303. The ‘303’ runs between Basingstoke and Exeter. Shortly after you leave Basingstoke, Popham Airfield is visible […]

Global Britain, Greenhouse Gases and Nukes

Hadrian Cook

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk At least Dominic Raab is talking to the BBC (he’s the one who did not realise that Dover is a significant port). On the Today Programme (16 March) Raab was leading forth on a leak from the forthcoming report on ‘Global Britain’. I may have been half-asleep, but I am sure […]

Singapore-on-Channel?

Hadrian Cook

The following dramatisation depicts an event in the late seventies during strike action by HM Customs and Excise. Two besuited reps struggle to carry a heavy crate through the Port of Dover. Written on the box is ‘Les numéro treize widgettes’ with a cog wheel as illustration. Exhausted, they placed their burden on the bench […]

Changing approaches to European Integration: a view from Salisbury

Hadrian Cook

For some light holiday reading I purchased the Guardian on Saturday and the Observer on Sunday after Christmas.  I found it cathartic to move away from the epidemic towards something equally depressing.  I should first vent my frustration because I feel the present tricky position is relevant to all our futures. But don’t worry dear […]

So, what really happens if there’s ‘no deal’?

Hadrian Cook

‘Resilience’ is an interesting word. I am used to hearing it deployed in connection with the climate crisis, particularly as it affects low-lying communities vulnerable to flooding, the word implying a capacity to recover from a catastrophe that may seem intractable due to social, environmental, and economic trauma and stress the crisis may cause. In […]