Section: UK

Page of 4

They stole my sense of patriotism

Adrian Phillips

Dear Reader of West England Bylines, my apologies for the self-centred nature of this contribution, but I suspect that some of you may be able to identify with at least parts of this story. Brexit has generated a vast amount of writing and commentary, most of it dealing with the obvious areas like trade, economics, […]

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 […]

Johnson v Trump – The Suppression of Democracy

Liz Price

This is the second in a three-part series looking at the parallel perils of Trump and Johnson’s leaderships. Part one looked at how both leaders have handled the pandemic. In part two, Liz Price examines their leadership styles and their common desire to deny debate.

Kicking At An Open Goal And Missing

Peter Burke

At a time like this, just when the profound harm done by Brexit is becoming apparent, the government is leaving an open goal for all the opposition parties. It feels as if Labour, for one, is not even making a serious attempt to kick at this goal

Can this really be the New Normal?

Peter Burke

Both fisheries and work permits for musicians are a very small part of the horrendous unfolding Brexit drama. However, they are significant because they are good examples of how gravely a massive cross section of ordinary people have been let down by this government.

Johnson v Trump – The Parallels of Death, Dishonesty and Division

Liz Price

Liz Price examines the parallel perils of Trump and Johnson’s leaderships, starting with a look at their handling of the pandemic. While we look on at the entrenched division and the violence in the US, we should take a long, hard and uncomplacent look at our democracy under Johnson.

Our “Year of Discontent” Demands a General Election in 2021

Paul Ryder

There has been some excellent journalism in recent days and weeks, particularly from the Guardian and Independent newspapers summing up events in 2020. Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty recently drew attention to the parallels between the current crises and the so-called Winter of Discontent in 1978-79. Then, it was public disaffection and anger with the Labour […]

Johnson’s “Boosterism” has to stop

Guy Maughfling

Blackadder: George, I’m in trouble here …  I’m not sure your particular brand of mindless optimism is going to contribute much to the proceedings.George: Well, that’s a shame, sir, because I was planning on playing the mindless optimism card very strongly. Blackadder 4, Episode 2: “Corporal Punishment” Sunday morning is the worst time to be […]

Thank You Teachers!

Toby Hawkins

2020, a year like no other, has caused us to need to thank so many people. Nurses, doctors, police officers, ambulance drivers, vaccine developers have all done their upmost to keep us safe. And teachers. Teachers who have kept schools open, have kept children safe and have kept doing their job when most of the […]

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”       What have we gained? The ability to negotiate our own trade agreements. A phased 25% reduction in the value of fish caught by the EU […]

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 […]

Labour’s Position On The Trade Deal: An Open Letter

Susanna Reece

A letter to Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East and Shadow Chancellor, from one of her constituents. From: Susanna Reece Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2020 Subject: Brexit Trade DealTo: Anneliese Dodds MP Dear Anneliese, I was very sorry indeed to read that Keir Starmer intends that Labour will support the Brexit trade deal, another failure […]

Divorce is just the beginning

Guy Maughfling

“Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived”. There were several ways for Henry VIII to extricate himself from his six marriages, some requiring an executioner and others needing approval from the Archbishop of Canterbury. For much of the UK it wasn’t so easy to escape unwanted relationships until the last 50 years. Matrimonial Divorce Hard as […]

A new poll shows that the British people overwhelmingly want a deal

Melissa Chemam

Ten days away from the end of the year, and the looming date of 1 January, the British government still can’t negotiate a deal with its most important commercial, political and trading partner, the European Union. As the numbers of Covid cases grow every day in the country, what could bring more panic to British […]

To Tutor or not to Tutor, that is the Question …

Tracy Lawrence

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is now allegedly “up and running”. This bold initiative aims, in its own words, to make “high quality tutoring available to schools to help disadvantaged pupils whose education has been affected by school closures”. The website for the scheme has been created to “support schools to access the Tuition Partners […]

The Gap

Jon Danzig

In my latest blog I question whether Britain really is a different type of country to the likes of France and Germany. I conclude that Britain is indeed different because UK is run for the benefit of our political masters and not for the general populace. Is there really something so exceptional and special about […]

UK Spending outstrips Peers

Andrew Milroy

The Financial Times reported on 29 November that: “The U.K. has spent more money fighting Coronavirus than almost all comparable countries but still languishes towards the bottom of league tables of economic performance in 2020 and deaths caused by the virus”. Why is this? The government appears to be semi-detached from the rest of us, […]

What Brexit means for British Expats in Europe

Sue Wilson

If you are a Daily Mail reader – or even if you are not – you may well have seen their latest outraged headline criticising the EU. It reads: “Furious British expats blast EU’s new post-Brexit travel rules which will ban them from spending more than three months at a time at their holiday home […]

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Peter Burke

As an impoverished Britain flounces away from the greatest missed opportunity in history, the words of Douglas Adams will ring in its ears: “So Long, and thanks for all the fish”

Meanwhile in the Countryside … Memories of Avian Flu

Marian Whittaker

Ed: With cases of Bird Flu reported on a turkey farm in Northallerton and now in the West England area, our countryside writer recalls her blog of the 2016 outbreak in Gloucestershire. It’s recently been announced that two swans have died at Slimbridge from Avian Flu (thankfully not a very virulent strain) and a local […]

An Independent Financial Adviser’s view on the world in times of Covid

The Editor

My “ethical and responsible” financial adviser, Philip Hanley, posts a blog most Mondays which always causes me to smile and sometimes offers sound financial advice. Here’s a sample from this week. If it gets some attention, I may make it a regular feature. Advice doesn’t have to be dull! I was told this week that […]

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 […]

How to fix British Politics

Toby Hawkins

With 2020 nearly at an end, I think we can all agree it has been an insane, unprecedented and destructive year, both on a national and global level. 2020 has given us the Covid crisis, highlighted the climate crisis and revealed the poverty crisis. This year has provided riots, mass protests and chaos whilst also […]

Why banning beef is not the answer

George Richmond

The Students Organising for Sustainability’s (SOS-UK) statement, ‘Why banning beef is not the answer’ has finally opened up a more productive conversation about sustainable food policies within universities. SOS-UK published its statement on Thursday, 22 November. This is one of the first attempts by any university-centred organisation or institution to break the static narrative, where […]

More articles filed under Section: UK Older