Section: UK

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Partygate – A Betrayal of Trust

Claire Jones

We must not ‘move on’ as Liz Truss would have us do. Partygate is existentially different from the government’s disregard for other rules because it affects each of us directly and at the most fundamental, personal level. It is a betrayal of trust. We are all holding our breath to see whether ‘Big Dog Boris’ […]

Grassroots for Europe say: Patel’s Bill steals our rights

The Editor

In April last year, Grassroots for Europe sent Harriet Harman QC MP, chair of the UK Parliament’s Joint Human Rights Committee, a letter signed by 83 local citizen organisations, setting out our concern that our future pro-European public campaign events may be among the intended targets of the draconian new police and ministerial powers created […]

Time To Go, Big Dog

Peter Burke

The country is cursed, at a time of crisis, with a Prime Minister who is not only unfit for office, but is now holed below the waterline.

Covid – The Government’s Perfect Camouflage

Claire Jones
Coronavirus image from Pixabay

The pandemic arrived, uninvited. Clearly, no government wills on their country the appalling havoc a pandemic wreaks. But the Tories are ever the opportunists and Covid has offered them a tremendous opportunity to further themselves. Profiteering and the Covid ‘box of tricks’ We are now familiar with their use of Covid PPE contracts to line […]

Open Letter to MPs

Andrew Milroy

Dear Sir, The latest drinks party in the Downing Street garden reportedly attended by both Boris Johnson and his future wife Carrie Symonds when everyone else in the country was in strict lockdown, is absolutely typical of the double standards and hypocrisy of this government and Tory MPs. It is truly remarkable that Tory MPs […]

LONG READ

A Wellbeing Government is the Way Forward

Paul Ryder

Prioritising ‘wellbeing’ makes sense, in our personal, social, political and international lives. The same process brings all these areas together. What is good for one is good for the other. And vice versa. A holistic approach which considers the whole life, the whole body, and the whole of society will bring the maximum degree of […]

The Week that Frost was Lost

Peter Burke

To lose one loyal but unpleasant supporter in a month may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness. In 1830, The Times wrote of the recently departed King George IV: “There never was an individual less regretted by his fellow creatures than this deceased King. What eye has wept for him? What heart has […]

Partying through a Pandemic. They really don’t care, do they?

Nabeela Akhtar
Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

I read about the Government and its partying and at first I told myself: don’t react. There is no point getting het up or upset. As the days went on and the denials, the lies, the disrespect continued, I kept telling myself: they aren’t worth it. But still it niggles. Looking at MPs from Gloucestershire, […]

Open Letter to Liz Truss

Sue Wilson MBE
Liz Truss poses like Royalty - Source: Liz Truss on Twitter

Dear Liz, I hope you’ll excuse the informality but dear ‘Foreign Secretary, Brexit Secretary and Women and Equalities Secretary’ is a bit of a mouthful. Let me start by wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and congratulating you on your new role, even if it wasn’t the one you were actively […]

The Health and Care Bill will kill the NHS

Mike Brooker

We are about to see the end of the NHS. Unless we stop the government’s Health & Care Bill currently going through parliament, the NHS will be all but abolished by next April. The Bill totally undermines the central principles of the NHS as envisioned by its founders – a comprehensive, publicly provided and funded service, […]

Why the LibDems won North Shropshire

Liz Webster

For years now, I have been in regular discussions with my farmer friend who lives in North Shropshire about Brexit, this Government and his MP, Owen Paterson. So, when the news broke that Paterson had been found guilty of breaking the lobbying rules, I excitedly proclaimed, “Exciting, you may get the chance of a recall […]

The Masked Bawl

Dr H Stattos

“Never apologize. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.” (Canadian politician, Agnes Macphail, 1890 – 1954) Treading water When sailing on tempestuous seas, a small horseshoe shaped ring of polyethylene will not stop you getting wet; it will not stop you inhaling salt or spray; it will not stop the unsettling […]

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 […]

A Reshuffle for Rural Affairs

George Richmond

On Monday 29 November Keir Starmer decided to continue his crusade of making Labour ‘election ready’. Starmer undertook a reshuffle that brought forward some political heavy-weights including Yvette Cooper (Shadow Home Secretary) and David Lammy (Shadow Foreign Secretary). Those on the left of the Party saw it as a final purge of the Corbyn era […]

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 […]

The Inconvenient Truth about Homelessness

Mark Haller

Homelessness is often used to gaslight foreigners and people fleeing war as less important than ‘our own’. I have even heard people in my own group of friends say we should look after our own homeless before migrants. Let us explore key areas that uncomfortably identify drivers for both cost and scarcity of housing. EU […]

Our Elective Dictatorship – A Letter to Conservative MPs

Paul Ryder

Two years of outrageous and dysfunctional Conservative Government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson are pushing us dangerously close to an ‘Elective Dictatorship’. Administratively incompetent. Politically and financially corrupt. Unreliable. Untrustworthy. Self-serving. Litany of broken promises. U-turns. Avoidance of scrutiny. Absence of principle or moral purpose. Deliberate misinformation. Trashed relationships with everyone including the devolved UK […]

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 […]

This Culture of Racism is not Cricket

Nabeela Akhtar

I see Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the England and Wales Cricket Board are making headlines for a culture of racism that continues unabashed. We have multiple Asian and Black cricketers dehumanised and degraded, racist slurs casually used and racist action over a number of years. I actively resist the temptation to veer into flippant comment, as […]

A “Banana Republic” with no Bananas

Peter Burke

Last week saw yet another in a long series of attempted power grabs by this government. Fortunately, on this occasion at least, it was not wholly successful. As Peter Jukes, Editor of Byline Times, put it: “A Banana Republic with no bananas”. The First of the Power Grabs Much has been written about the Paterson […]

Educational Cost in the UK outpaces Europe

Mark Haller

After the Second World War there were many social advances in the UK that helped forge the basis of the UK economy. The UK was broke and the benefits (to the UK) of the empire had all but died out. Industry was sick and we had labour issues, partly caused by government, partly caused by […]

LONG READ

The Compassion Gap – Do the Tories Care enough?

Claire Jones

“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” Mahatma Gandhi. The British view themselves as a caring lot. Yet, on Gandhi’s measure, our right wing government are staggeringly far removed from greatness. What fills me with even more horror than the current leadership’s dishonesty and incompetence is the indifference to suffering […]

The Emperor’s New Loft Insulation … A Pantomime in 15 Minutes

Elizabeth Stanley

Cast  Narrators 1 and 2: Honest, decent, a bit naïve. Smart Alec: An intelligent child, who asks awkward questions. Chancellor: Classic panto villain The Emperor: Also a villain, but a jovial, matey sort of villain. Party animal. Other parts only have a few lines including Police Officer and an old lady who is Rapunzel in […]

Why is Proportional Representation (PR) good for the Left?

Sue Sturgeon

Think back to 1 May 1997 and ‘the new dawn’. Finally, after 18 years of Tory control we had a Labour Government and a landslide victory. Now, 24 years later, we are faced with a hard-right Tory government that could possibly be in power for decades. Back in 1997 one of the first things that […]

Step by step Campaign to re-join Europe

A reader writes...

Lord Andrew Adonis in Oxford Town Hall this week (Thursday 28th October) launched the next step of a campaign to re-join the rest of Europe ‘Step by Step‘. “Boris Johnson’s Brexit isn’t working – as the empty shelves and closed petrol stations of recent months demonstrate”, Lord Adonis told over 100 people in the Town […]

The Climate Emergency – Part 1: Lessons from the Pandemic

Bob Copeland

The Government couldn’t cope with the pandemic, and clearly can’t cope with the climate emergency. A few months before the pandemic hit, there was a short presentation and discussion about the Climate Emergency at our village church. I went along with my two daughters and joined a group of around 20. It was a surprisingly […]

Brexit Unfolded – Contradictions and Lies don’t make good Policy

Ian Bartle

One of the abiding questions of Brexit is how the very close referendum result in June 2016 led to a very hard Brexit in 2020, a Brexit that remains far from settled to this day. This is the main theme of Professor Chris Grey’s new book Brexit Unfolded. How No One Got What They Wanted […]

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 […]