Category: UK Economy

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Echoes of Empire?

Peter Burke

There is a new consultation about ‘bringing back Imperial measures’. Silliness, insanity or weaponised nostalgia? Take your pick. Please respond to the Government consultation

Breaking Bread Together: Community Food Initiatives

Barbara Morrison
Ciabatta - Source: Author

As the cost of living crisis grows, there is little sign that the government is taking effective action to help those who are in real need. In a pre-election interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the prime minister failed to articulate what help may be available to a pensioner struggling to make ends meet. Shortly after, […]

Live Worse for Less – The Chancellor’s Diktat

Barbara Morrison
The Rich and the Poor - Source: Pixabay Free to use

When I wrote about the looming cost of living crisis back in January, the outlook was bleak for the most vulnerable people in society. After the chancellor’s spring statement, it is clear that he is not prepared to support those in most need. In response to widespread criticism of the measures announced, Rishi Sunak has now […]

Private Island: Why Britain now belongs to Someone Else

Bob Copeland
Peoples March for the NHS 2015 – CC BY-SA 2.0

In his book Private Island (Verso 2015), James Meek dissects the impact of privatisation sector by sector. Some 40 years down the line, the result of this privatisation is that the vast majority of us, either as users of these services or as those employed to deliver them, are now worse off. Collectively we have […]

New Careers Advice required?

Martin Griffiths

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says that, of the 600,000 registered HGV license holders, half have left the industry. 16-20,000 foreign drivers are estimated to have returned home since Brexit and about 40,000 driving tests were cancelled due to the pandemic. Poor roadside facilities including a severe lack of roadside toilets and showers are also an issue. The RHA […]

HGV Driver Shortage – Open Letter to Grant Shapps

Andrew Milroy

Dear Sir, We are slipping into a desperate crisis which has been inflicted by this blinkered government. The crucial sinews which hold the British supply network together have been seriously damaged. The HGV driver shortage in the UK is estimated at 100,000 and this shortage is having a knock on effect. For example, drivers of […]


Word Salad and War on the Poor

Mark Haller

The recent Conservative conference was a real feast of word salad, ‘a confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases’, culminating in an appalling speech from the PM that ignored a series of crises of historical proportions.  This word salad disguises a deliberate war on the poor. Let us walk through some implications […]

Global Britain, Greenhouse Gases and Nukes

Hadrian Cook

Write to us at At least Dominic Raab is talking to the BBC (he’s the one who did not realise that Dover is a significant port). On the Today Programme (16 March) Raab was leading forth on a leak from the forthcoming report on ‘Global Britain’. I may have been half-asleep, but I am sure […]

Matt Hancock explains the Government’s Gratitude to our Nurses

Martin Griffiths

Write to us at 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 […]


Businesses in Gloucester Road, Bristol tell us how they survived

Julian Greenbank

>>> With Video <<< Write to us at With over a year since the pandemic struck, how have independent businesses managed to weather the lockdowns and other restrictions? We took our cameras down the iconic Gloucester Road in Bristol and asked some business owners how it was for them. We got quite differing responses; two […]

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”


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 […]

Courier Services Hit by Export IT and Paperwork Issues

The Editor

One of the unforeseen consequences of finally leaving the EU on December 31st 2020 is that many businesses are dependent on their supply partners to ensure their exports and payments are processed as efficiently as before.  Some shipping companies had announced before leaving that there would be price increases and longer delivery times to some […]

Languages are good for the Economy!

Guy Maughfling

Out of the more than 3,000 secondary schools in England, only around 160 are selective grammar schools. This includes seven schools in Gloucestershire, including Denmark Road High School in Gloucester where both my daughters are pupils. Denmark Road is a very fine school. It was the Sunday Times Southwest State Secondary School of the Year […]

Can we regenerate and transform our towns by putting people at the centre?

Rick Page

The combined impact of Covid and on-line shopping on our town centres and those working in retail is clear as it is devastating and the evidence continues to mount with the demise of Arcadia and Debenhams to name but a few. It is also likely that post-Christmas other retailers will also fall and High Street […]

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”

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 […]

Covid-19 and the Excluded Three Million

The Editor

Tewkesbury Labour Party is highlighting the dire straits of those people for whom the government’s Covid-19 support packages do not apply. And there are nearly three million of them. West England Bylines supports this action. Here are some extracts from their 19 November 2020 press release.                                        The plight of the nearly three million people who […]

Is EFTA, the ‘Norway Option’, a step in the right direction?

The Editor

Devizes for Europe investigates, with the help of Professor Juliet Lodge, whether the option of UK joining EFTA (European Free Trade Association) is viable. Our group’s [Devizes for Europe’s] priority is to get as good a deal as we can along the lines of our #RealDeal campaign.  There is however considerable interest in EFTA as an […]

Cummings and Big Tech: Good Goal – Wrong Path

Robert Whitfield

Many people see Artificial Intelligence (AI) as key to the future of humanity.  At the moment the US and China are the only two players in the game: some suggest that the race has already started and that it is too late for new entrants, leaving UK, Europe and the rest of the world to […]

We neglect British farming at our peril

Liz Webster

After much obfuscation, Brexit has finally revealed itself to be a choice between Europe and America. Britain suffers with over confidence and under confidence simultaneously.  There is a repetitive theme in British culture of superciliousness – “we are better than everyone else” – which runs in parallel with a constant hankering to be like other […]

For Airbus a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would be disastrous

Robert Whitfield

So, 30 June 2020 has passed, we have not asked for an extension to the Brexit Transition Agreement, and we now have until this coming October to finalise the terms of our relationship with the European Union. If we fail to agree a deal, suppliers across the land will be deeply affected – not least […]