The narrative surrounding an election becomes that election itself, or at least that’s the sense I got discussing French electoral politics with Dr Aurelien Mondon, a senior lecturer at the University of Bath and expert in Comparative French politics. That is the power of the narrative. For France the choice is clear, a Centralist President […]
Dear Editor, Like most people, I am shocked and appalled by what is happening in Ukraine. I have donated to the DEC Ukraine appeal but felt that I needed to do more. I sat down at my computer to try and get my thoughts on what has happened, in writing. It turned into a letter […]
I’m old enough to have witnessed life during Soviet times. In 1974, as a student of Russian language and literature, I attended a summer language course at the seaside resort of Sestroretsk, northwest of Leningrad. Our group was accompanied by a Russian ‘guide’ who, we later found out, was reporting to the authorities about our […]
The French presidential elections will take place on the 10 and 24 April, 2022. If, on the evening of the 10 April, no candidate gets an absolute majority outright – and this is the most likely scenario – the two best-placed candidates will qualify for the run-off round two weeks later. An unusual election What […]
This year the Irish, South and North, are celebrating four key anniversaries of events that have shaped their shared island.
The Boundary Commission is hard at work, and the Tories expect to benefit – but will they?
Olaf Scholz has just come into office but already Putin has posed him with a massive dilemma
In early December, speaking at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos, Pope Francis called for nations to welcome strangers at their door. One man who spent decades doing exactly that, his efforts praised by the Pope on Italian national television, now faces a prison sentence of thirteen years for his efforts. Domenico […]
Turning back the clock on metrication is something the UK needs like a hole in the head. Is this just another ‘Dead Cat’?
Our food system does not work for our health, our environment, and our society, but it has ensured that most of us have food on the table, day in and day out. Is change coming?
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Northern Ireland’s largest party, has been in turmoil for weeks over a change in leadership. The successful candidate, Edwin Poots, seems unlikely to bring the party together
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?
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”
In the two decades up to 2018 more than 6,000 refugees passed through the small town of Riace in Calabria. A good number made their home there. Riace, like much of the Italian south, had for many years suffered depopulation as young people left in search of a better life, leaving behind a predominantly elderly […]
The European Union sees itself as embodying certain fundamental liberal values and the concept of the rule of law. In both Hungary and Poland there have been attacks on the independence of the courts and the media and an alarming lurch towards autocracy. The EU, not surprisingly, sees this as a threat to its core […]
The truth is that American voters at this moment probably have more influence over the fate of this country than we do ourselves.
There is madness, stupidity, destruction and bloody-mindedness all around us. Brexit itself almost amounts to a crime against the British people (West England Bylines Issue 6), if you include in all the associated losses and pain, which the new hard right wing Conservative Party are responsible for. The latest news is that Johnson is preparing […]
A London based individual, Mr PM Bumble, has reported experiencing considerable reliability issues with the car that he has been driving since December. Mr Bumble complained, ‘I had only been in charge of driving since July last year but took procession of this new car in December confident that it had over eighty improvements on […]
Whilst the ‘Sir Humphrey’ image of the civil service is one that has frequently gained accolades from those in politics – including Margaret Thatcher – it is the politicians giving those accolades who should be at the centre of public concern as regards the way government operates: for them ‘Yes, Minister’ seems an accurate depiction […]
I was relieved to hear the recent Court of Appeal ruling that Shamima Begum should be allowed to return home to appeal the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship. The fact that she has to fight to regain her citizenship is ludicrous and potentially dangerous. If she fails, the repercussions will be extensive […]
We spend trillions globally on ‘health’ – from high tech health services to health supplements and even health food. I regularly go to meetings on health protection, health screening, health promotion, health education, health and wellbeing, health and safety – and I work in a National Health Service that spends £120bn a year serving the […]
In the aftermath of the slave-trader Edward Colston’s impromptu swim in Bristol’s Floating Harbour on 7 June, the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, set the tone of what the city authorities intended to do next, when he said: “We’ll retrieve the statue and take it to one of our museums where it will be assessed […]