Author: Martin Griffiths

Martin grew up on a small farm on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire borders where he seemed to spend all summer picking fruit and all winter chasing lost sheep. After College he set up a successful ceramics workshop in Cirencester but after travelling in Africa he took on a teaching post including Art, Drama and Sports before eventually becoming a Housemaster and wearing a suit and tie every day! He spent the next few years teaching mainly Art, Photography and Literacy part time at an FE College and combined this with being a Barman, Chef, Photographer and Food Writer. He moved back into full time teaching with posts in Greece, Switzerland and France, mainly teaching Literature, and now combines examination work for the International Baccalaureate with making Ceramics, Drawing and Writing. He remains Chair of Tewkesbury for Europe.

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No to War!

Martin Griffiths
No to war - Martin Griffiths

There are many events demonstrating solidarity with Ukraine and protesting against war. This one is in Tewkesbury at 11am on Saturday 12 March. There are many ways to donate for Ukraine but the best is to go via the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC).

Murderer of Peace

Martin Griffiths

The invasion of Ukraine by Putin and Russian forces is not only a human tragedy caused by a desperate move by a desperate man, it has at last made Western and European democracies come together against a tyrant and totalitarian rulers such as Putin. It should remind everyone in the UK that being truly European […]

Lies, Lies and More Bloody Lies

Martin Griffiths
A cartoon of Johnson amongst the debris of empty bottles by Martin Griffiths

For some people, telling lies seems to be a sort of party game! Is this history repeating itself? However, telling lies does matter. It creates discord and distrust in values, which democratic countries should hold as precious. Every truth requires a contextual perspective (we sometimes change our opinions!) but the cynical distortion, manipulation and adulteration […]

The Green Man and Climate Change

Martin Griffiths

With so much discussion about climate change, I was reminded of the myriad sculptures and images that I have seen around the world featuring ‘The Green Man’ and wondered if they might offer us a symbol for a sustainable, harmonious future relationship with nature? These images can be found in the UK and across all […]

Christmas Morning

Martin Griffiths

The ground is iron,Diamond white,Laced with pearlsOf frozen light. The spiked Holly,A silvered Queen,The winter windA Vixen’s scream. A winter waltzOf ice and glass,A song of leaving.A frozen Mass

They are Extraordinary! And not in a good way.

Martin Griffiths

When is a party not a party? If there are drinks and food and games and gifts and a specific get together to celebrate and have fun then surely that sounds like a party? Of course if you are in tier three of a pandemic which is killing thousands of people and many thousands more […]

Tewkesbury for Europe asks “How Is Brexit going?”

Martin Griffiths

How is Brexit going? Working for a better deal with Europe. Despite a rather chilly day, Tewkesbury for Europe were out in the high street recently and handing out leaflets, engaging people and asking ‘How is Brexit going?’ Over 50 leaflets were handed out and, despite a few negatives, there were over twenty very positive […]

COP26 – Real Progress or just more Hot Air?

Martin Griffiths

Is COP26 solving problems or is it just so much more political rhetoric, green-washing and hot air? The planet is in trouble. Climate change is having a devastating impact and while historically it is the G20 countries that have made the greatest impact by burning dirty fossil fuels, it is poorer countries and their people […]

New Careers Advice required?

Martin Griffiths

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says that, of the 600,000 registered HGV license holders, half have left the industry. 16-20,000 foreign drivers are estimated to have returned home since Brexit and about 40,000 driving tests were cancelled due to the pandemic. Poor roadside facilities including a severe lack of roadside toilets and showers are also an issue. The RHA […]

Step by Step, back into Europe

Martin Griffiths

Martin Griffiths reports on Lord Andrew Adonis’ visit to Malvern for Europe and his suggested route for the UK’s step by step return to the EU. At a meeting on 17 September hosted by Malvern for Europe, their guest speaker Lord Andrew Adonis reviewed the factors leading up to Brexit, the perils facing the UK […]

Musical Notes

Martin Griffiths

Ed: This poem from Martin is part of a collection of poems and illustrations which his wife, Pamela Richmond, has bound as her exhibition entry for ‘A Gathering of Leaves‘, the Designer Bookbinders International Competition, to be held at the Bodleian Library next year. We also show a picture of Pamela’s unique, leather bound Fine […]

As the World gets Hotter – Small Steps must become a Stride!

Martin Griffiths

Recently, The UK’s Committee for Climate Change (CCC) issued a report painting a stark picture of the increased risks of wildfires, floods, storms, landslides and droughts becoming increasingly common. The impact, even in a northern European country like the UK, could be devastating, with disruption of food supplies, risks to crops and livestock, damage to […]

Johnson caught out by Racist Tweets

Martin Griffiths

The cricketer Ollie Robinson has recently been suspended when it came to light that, as an 18 and 19 year old, he tweeted comments which were both racist and sexist. On the verge of a promising test career, how should he now be treated and punished for past mistakes? He has offered a full apology […]

Cummings opens up Pandora’s Box

Martin Griffiths

Over a year after the start of the pandemic Cummings at last tells us how it was in the Cabinet Office and No. 10. He says they wanted “business as usual” but they should have set up a “War Room.“ But how much can we believe from someone as free with the truth as Mr […]

LOST – One LibDems Leader

Martin Griffiths

Editor (not to be confused with Sir Ed): After Martin’s encouragement to the Labour Leader, he now asks where is the LibDems Leader. Police are increasingly worried about the whereabouts of LibDems Leader, Ed Davey, who hasn’t been seen or heard of since the 6 May elections. Even internet searches throw up very little evidence […]

Keir Starmer, in terms of Football, what is your Goal?

Martin Griffiths

Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. Come on Keir, as the manager and striker of your team you’ve had multiple opportunities over the last twelve months to score plenty of goals. The opposition goalkeeper has sometimes not even been there and has […]

If you put Lipstick on a Pig, it’s still a Pig

Martin Griffiths

I once spent several days grinding the rust of my old Mini car and carefully rubbing down the applied filler before re-spraying it and polishing it. I even vacuumed (not with a Dyson!) the interior and to be fair, it looked pretty tidy when I sold it. However, whatever the cosmetics, it was still, fundamentally, […]

Black, White, Black

Martin Griffiths

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Martin Griffiths looks at the impact of history on language transference and music. A 1986 BBC TV series and subsequent book, “The Story of English” (McCrum, Cran and MacNeil) says that: “‘Black English’ [or African-American Vernacular English] is the product of one of the most infamous episodes in the history of […]

Liar, Liar – Pants on Fire!

Martin Griffiths

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Johnson’s lies have led to the destabilisation of Ireland’s fragile peace. The real culprit for the current unrest in Ireland is the hard-line Brexit dogmatically pursued by Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers. Despite a succession of lies told by Johnson (including that there would be checks and controls between Britain and […]

Walk – A Poem

Martin Griffiths

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk I’ve walked this way before.Down the steep slopeInto a fog of darkness Where iron-black treesCage my breathWith their un-giving silence. Then I find youStanding besides me.Taking my hand,Intertwining our fingers,We walk together once more. Out through the cutting cold,The drizzle and the dark.Back up onto Harebell Hill Where once, a warmer […]

WITH VIDEO

It’s just the Colour

Martin Griffiths

It’s just the colour of my skin.It’s not a coatI bought to wear. I also feel the sun,Smell the earthAnd hear the birds sing. I work and play,Dance and eatAnd hold my child’s hand. I kiss, I love,I smile, I cryAnd if I’m pricked, I bleed. It’s just the colour of my skin.It’s not a […]

Matt Hancock explains the Government’s Gratitude to our Nurses

Martin Griffiths

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Throughout the pandemic the government have praised the courage and fortitude of our NHS staff. We were asked to clap to show our appreciation, which we did. But how are the government showing their appreciation? By a derisory 1% pay rise for those NHS workers who have sacrificed a whole year […]

The Corruption of Lies and the Erosion of Trust

Martin Griffiths

When politicians consistently lie, trust in government decreases and crucial international agreements are undermined. That politicians tell lies is hardly shocking news. What is shocking, is that it has become so blatant, arrogant and without censure. However, in December 2019 something surprising happened in Finland. Their PM resigned after it was discovered that he has […]

Film, Food & Romance – Savour the Flavours on Valentine’s Night

Martin Griffiths

Maybe the run-up to Valentine’s Night in Lockdown is a good time to review both our film watching and perk up our romantic food choices. When it comes to film, there’s plenty of romance being dished up and lashings of sex. From the smoldering intensity in “Casablanca”, the smug innuendo in the “Carry On” films […]

FOUL! Football, Racism and Language

Martin Griffiths

Following continued online racist abuse from “humanity and social media at its worst,” footballer Marcus Rashford said on Twitter: “I have beautiful children of all colours following me and they don’t need to read it [screenshots of abuse]. Beautiful colours that should only be celebrated.” Dare we hope, that eventually these diverse, beautiful colours will […]

The Border is a Problem that won’t go away

Martin Griffiths

Brexit isn’t working. It’s causing real damage. Who is to Blame? As the border down the Irish Sea starts to cause real damage to the very sensitive balance in Northern Ireland between the two different communities and further damages relationships and trade. Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls for: “Urgent action from the EU to resolve […]

Something Fishy is Going On

Martin Griffiths

British Fishermen can now catch more fish … but can they sell them? UK fishermen usually sell a large proportion of their catch to the EU so access to EU markets is as important as the amount you catch. There is little point being able to catch more fish if you don’t have a market […]

Trump’s Towering Legacy

Martin Griffiths

As Donald Trump cements his place in history and infamy, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger who posted a video on social media, which most clearly condemned Trump as a ‘failed leader’ and held him and his rhetoric responsible for inflaming those who broke into the Senate and caused such extreme damage. In his video, Schwarzenegger went […]