Section: UK

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Let’s Go Change the World

Toby Hawkins

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk I’m bored. I’d never thought I’d say that about politics and engaging in the political debate, but I am. I’m bored with the constant bickering between party leaders; I’m bored with the fruitless in-fighting within the parties themselves; and I’m certainly bored with the opposition parties acting like nodding donkeys, constantly […]

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 […]

LONG READ

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 […]

Death of a salesman?

Philip Cole

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk The Queen’s husband has died, not far off his 100th birthday. As a republican my first thought was ‘Oh, yes… So what?’ This is an event that has no impact whatsoever on my life or the life of anyone else I can think of. I have no objection to commemorating the […]

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 […]

One of our Writers challenges Another!

A reader writes...

Dear Editor, I write in reaction to Guy Maughfling’s (Fragmentation or Unity, April 1 2021) article. Whilst the article started with a well-meaning highlighting of some poor logistical planning, it went on to make a number of far-fetched arguments from this. Firstly, the author clearly believes in democracy, but still manages to become highly undemocratic, […]

How do I feel after a Year of Lockdowns?

Bob Copeland

Angry, frustrated and now just despair! For decades successive Governments have recognised that a global pandemic was the biggest threat to our national security. Yet when faced with one, the government of the day was found wanting. Local Public Health Services had been critically weakened, and the National Health Service run down and demoralised. At […]

Fragmentation or Unity?

Guy Maughfling

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources. In simple terms, we all want lots of everything. We can’t have that because there’s only a limited amount to go round and we need to work out how best to share what we have. A lot of complicated stuff follows […]

WITH VIDEO

Why a Rural Bus Service is Essential

Julian Greenbank

As the West England Bylines ‘roving reporter’, I interviewed George Richmond who wrote this article about rural bus services back in February – https://westenglandbylines.co.uk/rural-communities-cut-off-by-cuts/. I asked him why he is passionate about rural bus services and why wanted to write the article. George told me that he believes that good reliable rural bus services can make […]

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. […]

Open Letter to Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition

Adrian Phillips

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Dear Keir, I am 81. I have always voted Labour, or – since I now live in a Conservative/LibDem marginal – LibDem. I was a strong Remainer. My career has been mainly in public service here and abroad in the environmental sector. Now you know “where I come from”. The Conservative […]

UP TO SIX

Adrian Mealing

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Riff-raff and roughthe folks round hereand we love that stuffwhen we go for a beer riff-raff and roughit’s true, beg your pardonbut do you fancy salt crispsand a beer in our garden? riff-raff and so roughI’m needing a fixin the garden of lovewith a beer, up to six oh, riff-raff and […]

Britain is losing its Moral Fibre

The Editor

Dear Sirs, As a child of a single parent growing up in London NW10 in the 1950’s / 60’s , I was taught by my mother that cheats do not prosper and lying was a sin. My mother came from a poor area of Fulham and was taught to read and write in a convent […]

Electoral Reform: keeping it in proportion

Philip Cole

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk There is a growing realisation in the UK that we have not got the government we deserve. This is because of the way the House of Commons is elected. Back in 1935 the secretary of the Labour Party said ‘There is no greater gamble on earth than a British general election’. […]

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 […]

Not a Welcome Bill

Lizzy Price and Peter Burke

Without the right to protest, would we have ever had universal suffrage, would the Berlin wall ever have come down, would apartheid in South Africa have come to an end, would civil rights legislation have happened in America, would people have been able to mark their opposition to the Iraq war or to Brexit, would inequality or climate change be such ubiquitous and necessary talking points?

No Way To Start A trade War

Peter Burke

Despite all the screamingly obvious evidence to the contrary, most of us hoped that by some miracle Brexit would turn out well. We still live in hope, but the chances are diminishing by the day. Some of what is happening was foreseeable, and some goes even further than the worst predictions of “project fear”

Have we lost the Last Traces of an Impartial Press?

The Editor

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Ed: I received this post from a disillusioned observer of the testimony of Nicola Sturgeon and the press reaction to it. I thought it worth reproducing in full as it asks many questions of the impartiality of our mainstream media. Jim McGinley writes … I watched and listened to all […]

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

Barbara Morrison

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Women are not safe either in public or private spaces. It has been a difficult and painful week which began with International Women’s Day and ended with the worst possible news that Sarah Everard who vanished as she walked home, had been killed and a serving Met police officer charged with […]

A Modern Monarchy

Toby Hawkins

The monarchy needs to change. That’s become incredibly clear in recent weeks, months and years. Whether the monarchy needs to be abolished, as some would advocate, or whether we need to keep it in its entirety, as many support, is a debate that’s been lurking in the background for many years. It makes sense, following […]

The Disaffected Youth and Voting

Julian Greenbank

I truly believe that my generation and the one following me (often referred to as Millennial and Gen Z) are among the most political generations to exist. Whenever we see a cause to support, we’re among the most vocal supporters of it. When Greta Thunberg visited Bristol, most of the people I saw attending were […]

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 […]

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 […]

Whither the Union?

Philip Cole

It is time to accept that the United Kingdom is no longer united in any meaningful sense. This is a factual statement, not a gloat. What purpose does the Union serve, and what is the advantage of being part of a Union? Also is it really a ‘union’ if its constituent parts are hopelessly unequal […]

We can afford to pay our NHS staff more than 1%

Liz Price

More likely to die and more likely to suffer long term effects of Covid-19, our frontline workers have undoubtedly shouldered the heaviest burden of the pandemic. In recognition of their commitment and sacrifice, we were encouraged to come out and clap for our carers during the early months of lockdown. Rainbow pictures were hung in […]

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 […]

Dog Theft on the Increase after Brexit

Liz Webster

Dog theft campaigners are calling on pets and their owners to participate in the world’s first ever DogZoom event to kick-start the national “Pet Theft Awareness Week” on 14th March. Hosted by Emma Kennedy with surprise video messages from celebrities and politicians. Last year, I noticed a sudden increase on my local social media posts […]

Leadership and Labour

Oliver Ursus

‘I can’t vote for a man who gives a speech about future policy, and not about Brexit, and who then doesn’t mention Brexit’. ‘Keir Starmer? More like Blair Starmer, if you ask me. And what did Blair ever do for The Party?’ ‘I’m a socialist. I’m not going to vote for a Sir. Whose backside […]

Stonehenge Alliance wins a Three Day High Court Hearing

The Editor

Stonehenge Alliance heard last week (24 February) that Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Ltd (SSWHS), the company set up to take forward its legal case against the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to approve the A303 development through the World Heritage Site (WHS), has been granted a three day hearing at the High Court. This […]