Second Anniversary Issue #34 – 27 July 2022

Yes we’ve been going for two years. Two years that started in the days when we thought there was a chance of a reasonable Brexit deal and ended in these dark days of a Conservative government which seeks to perpetuate the folly of Brexit, to erode our basic human rights and to ignore the pressing problems of cost-of-living crisis, climate change and the war in Ukraine.

Globally we have condemned Putin’s land grab, welcomed Biden taking over from Trump and worried about the Front National in France. We have published many articles on the climate emergency and the Covid pandemic. We now have special sections for Ukraine and Women in Focus. Refugees and immigration have also spawned many articles. 

At home we have highlighted the need for a long-term energy policy, reversal of our worsening river water quality and a transformation of our food production. We support our farmers whose livelihood is under threat from trade deals. Our articles shine a light on the failings of our right wing government and explore the possibility of electoral cooperation in order to get an enlightened progressive government and perhaps proportional representation.

In the West England region we have featured local issues in Bath, Bristol and Oxford, many via our ‘Bitesize News’ videos. We have a permanent display at the Westbury People’s Gallery in Oxford.

We are fortunate to have a couple of poets amongst our writers and an excellent cartoonist.

So a lot to celebrate on our second birthday!

West England Bylines stands in Solidarity with Ukraine.
Donate to DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal here

Sunflowers near Odesa – CC BY 1.0

Ukraine is not forgotten – Andy Milroy says Putin’s hands are as bloody as Stalin’s or Hitler’s.

This month we lead with a couple of pieces on making our votes matter, Dr Sue Ledwith on Proportional Presentation and Kerry Ann Christelow’s ‘Your Vote must Matter’. Jim Price revives Umberto Eco’s Ur-Fascism essay as still relevant today and Sean Hannigan compares liberal and illiberal regimes. Philip Cole asks what next for Macron after his loss of control in the national assembly. Richard Wain writes a chilling poem, ‘What’s a Gun For’ in the wake of the Uvalde shooting. On Johnson’s resignation, Sue Wilson asks what talent was there in his cabinet and Claire Jones sends a strong warning that Britain needs constitutional change. And Mark Haller shows how Johnson got the big calls wrong not right. Peter Burke asks if, on past performance, we can trust Liz Truss.

Locally Julian Greenbank reports on the Bath Quays renovation project and an archaeological dig at Arthurs Stone in Herefordshire. One must-read is Paul Ryder’s final part of his epic dissertation on the Degrading and Renewal of UK Democracy. Finally we have a couple of press releases from Rejoin EU and Compass.

And don’t forget we’re adding articles all the time. Happy reading!


Read all the reports and analysis on West England Bylines…

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