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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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 […]

Borders and Boundaries – An Email from Northern Ireland.

Martin Griffiths

One of my old college friends who has spent her life working as an illustrator and nurse in Northern Ireland recently wrote the following email to him, which highlights some of her personal concerns regarding the future. I believe that it’s better that we work towards bringing people together than putting up barriers between them […]

Looking at the Stars in a Time of Dejection

Martin Griffiths

How to survive the post Brexit Blues and Lockdown Lows. Martin Griffiths recommends we look to the stars to find light in the darkness. Oscar Wilde wrote, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”. With this, Wilde reminds us that however low we feel, whatever the darkness, […]

A Stranger in my own Land

Martin Griffiths

I feel like a stranger.Living in a strange land. Yet, I was born and raisedAmongst the English Greens.I even sang JerusalemAlthough not knowing what it means. But I mowed my lawnAnd I trimmed my hedge.I read Cider with RosieUp on Stinchcombe Edge. I even played CricketAll dressed in white,I celebrated The AshesAnd drank beer all […]

The Brexit Deal – A Report Card

Martin Griffiths

A brief examination of the Brexit Deal signed by Boris Johnson yesterday (30 December 2020) shows that this piece of schoolwork gets very poor marks. We will “take back control”       Of our laws:      Just 14% of UK laws were made by the EU, 89% of which were ratified by successive UK Prime Ministers as members of […]

A Good Trade Deal or a Sea of Trouble?

Martin Griffiths

Boris Johnson should remember that over optimistic, re-assuring statements do not always go down well outside Downing Street. His recent rhetoric doesn’t indicate that he’s understood this.  When Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1938 with his ‘peace in our time’ deal with Hitler, he announced outside Downing Street, “Go home and get a nice […]

Love Local, Shop local, Eat Local

Martin Griffiths

When so much of our food and food influences have their origins in foreign fields, why should we shop local, buy local and eat local? International travel, Commonwealth legacies and European freedom of movement have developed our taste for a diverse range of flavours. Everyday products such as tea, coffee and spices, which were once […]

Bullying Matters

Martin Griffiths

Bullying in the workplace should be taken seriously and not just dismissed as ‘unintentional.’ Our Home Secretary Priti Patel has been found to have broken the ministerial code of conduct and bullied staff. Yet Boris Johnson decides to leave her in her post and excuses her behavior on the basis it was ‘unintentional’ and that […]

It’s not a joke

Martin Griffiths

Trump’s refusal to accept that he is a loser not only shows him to be a spoilt baby unable to accept defeat but, as Obama told CBS’s Scott Pelley, “It’s one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration but democracy in general.” Trump and his allies have continued to challenge the results […]

Food for Thought

Martin Griffiths

A Meat Eater chews over some Food Dilemma Issues. The debate on food poverty has been a hot political potato but the dilemma is not only how do we eat well on a budget but how do we eat well and what do we eat? It’s a political hot potato! While multiple agencies, charities and […]

Pantomime American Style!

Martin Griffiths

America provides a tragic pantomime while UK theatres are closed. Europe and its democracies look even more necessary today. Read more articles from West England Bylines here >>>

Food Poverty and Children in 21st Century Britain

Martin Griffiths

What is it our Eton educated prime minister doesn’t understand about poverty, child hunger and government responsibility? There are children in this country who are hungry today. Many people and organizations are helping but are Johnson and the government doing enough? Johnson, his government and the majority of the Tory MPs recently voted against extending […]