Category: Accountabilty

Various Shades of Gray

Philip Cole
Downing Street - Source: Wikimedia CC BY-SA 2.0

The long-awaited Sue Gray report on Nero and his acolytes enjoying themselves while Rome was burning was finally published on 25 May. It proved to be a huge disappointment. Ms Gray, or the Second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office, spends 35 pages detailing the parties that took place in Downing Street at a time […]

Social Attitudes and Johnson’s Survival after Partygate

Claire Jones
Karaoke - Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0

The Sue Gray report has done critics of the government a favour. During the past two years, criticisms of the government’s industrial scale dishonesty and moral bankruptcy mostly fell back into left wing echo chambers. But the Gray report has ripped off the veil for all, including the right-wing press, to see. The critics’ arguments are now made a whole lot more credible.

Letter to John Howell, MP for Henley – Stop Defending the Indefensible

Claire Jones

Dear Mr Howell, Thank you for your reply. The views you express echo those of other government ministers and deserve scrutiny. The scope of concern You may well have a bin reserved for the ravings of your ‘woke leftie’ constituents. But let’s be absolutely clear that the concerns being raised over Johnson’s recent law breaking […]

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The Political Impact of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry

Mike Cashman

What would you do, as a government, if you had wanted to do the right thing with the worst public health crisis this century, but even so had made some bad mistakes? You would hold an Inquiry to learn lessons as soon as possible. What, alternatively, would you do, if you had corruption and skulduggery […]

Letter to my MP – Johnson must fall on his Sword

Andrew Milroy
Johnson - Andrew Parsons - Downing Street - CC BY-SA 4 0

Dear Dr Murrison, In January 1977 in the High Court Lord Denning, (described by Margaret Thatcher, as probably the greatest English judges of modern times),  in a ruling against the then Attorney-General, quoted Dr Thomas Fuller who wrote in 1733 “Be you ever so high, the law is above you”. Boris Johnson made history when […]

Jacob, his Millions and his Conscience

Hadrian Cook
Investment Banking - Pix4Free

The year 1956 was hardly the best. It saw the last roar of the Imperial British Lion in Suez, followed by the resignation of the Old Etonian and Oxford educated prime minister Anthony Eden. As if to compensate, Britain commenced a series of nuclear tests. Hungary was invaded by the Soviet Union. I was but […]

“We Got the Big Calls Right” – Oh No You Didn’t!

Paul Ryder

As part of the ‘Save Big Dog’ campaign, the mantra “We Got the Big Calls Right”, was first uttered by the Prime Minster in Parliament on 19 January, then parroted by Tory Ministers and Members of Parliament in many interviews recently. “We got the Big Calls Right” is the latest in a long line of […]

A Letter to my MP – Publish the Sue Gray Report in Full

Andrew Milroy

Dear Sir, Regrettably, it has become blatantly obvious that the police have been asked to show their gratitude to the government for the huge number of goodies they have been promised in the Policing Bill. This Bill will remove many of the inconvenient human rights which hamper the way they can treat potential suspects. Suddenly […]

Nolan Principles

Philip Cole
Lord Nolan revealing the Nolan Principles - New European

In 1994, the UK government established a Committee on Standards in Public Life. The remit of the committee was to make recommendations to improve standards of behaviour in public life. The committee was chaired by Lord Nolan, and the first report of the committee established the seven principles of public life, also known as the […]

B.Y.O.B.

Adrian Mealing
BYOB Flickr - Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The weather is splendidwhat a shame for to wasteso let’s have a partyto the garden, make hastebring all of your chumsand come for a schmoozebut before I forget, will youBring Your Own Booze The PM, the staffersthe interns, the smartiesthere’s plenty of cheeseat Downing Street partiesbring all of your chumslet’s create headline newsbut do not […]

I Don’t see any Evidence

Richard Wain

I don’t see any evidenceOf the mess we’ve madeI don’t see any evidence Of the games we’ve played The parties in my houseThe corruption in my partyI don’t see any evidenceSo people, have a heart And see the suffering I bearClinging selfishly to powerHow unfair it is that BrexitWas to be my finest hour And now […]

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’ […]

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.

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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Populism and the Corruption of the Republican Party

Paul Ryder

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Populism Populism has a democratic-appearing, people-oriented, inclusive-sounding name, but there is nothing cuddly about it. It is exploitative, divisive demagoguery, relying on lies, slogans and scapegoating of an invented enemy. It garners support for a movement, Party or Leader to enable power to be acquired and minority interests and policies to […]

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?

Anonymity on the Internet

Stephen Kinsella

The role of anonymity in fuelling abuse of public figures has recently received significant attention in the media. Both footballers and politicians, having been subjected to horrendous levels of anonymous abuse and harassment on social media, have proposed that anonymity be banned, with all users required to verify their identity. Clean up the Internet (CUTI) […]

“Sorry seems to be the hardest word” (Elton John)

Claire Jones

Boris Johnson has finally apologised – “I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and I take full responsibility for everything that the Government has done”. This ‘apology’ was triggered by the landmark moment last week when the UK Covid death toll topped 100,000, a number bigger than the country’s civilian toll […]