Category: UK Politics

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Let’s Go Change the World

Toby Hawkins

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk I’m bored. I’d never thought I’d say that about politics and engaging in the political debate, but I am. I’m bored with the constant bickering between party leaders; I’m bored with the fruitless in-fighting within the parties themselves; and I’m certainly bored with the opposition parties acting like nodding donkeys, constantly […]

Liar, Liar – Pants on Fire!

Martin Griffiths

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Johnson’s lies have led to the destabilisation of Ireland’s fragile peace. The real culprit for the current unrest in Ireland is the hard-line Brexit dogmatically pursued by Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers. Despite a succession of lies told by Johnson (including that there would be checks and controls between Britain and […]

LONG READ

We need to talk about Lying: Johnson’s ‘Lie Fest’

Claire Jones

Porkies and other defects Like it or not, Prime Ministers are role models. Hence Johnson’s moral bankruptcy has set a new standard of contempt for the truth. He may be only a part of a bigger process of erosion but he has massively accelerated it. By filling his cabinet with sycophants even weaker than himself […]

One of our Writers challenges Another!

A reader writes...

Dear Editor, I write in reaction to Guy Maughfling’s (Fragmentation or Unity, April 1 2021) article. Whilst the article started with a well-meaning highlighting of some poor logistical planning, it went on to make a number of far-fetched arguments from this. Firstly, the author clearly believes in democracy, but still manages to become highly undemocratic, […]

How do I feel after a Year of Lockdowns?

Bob Copeland

Angry, frustrated and now just despair! For decades successive Governments have recognised that a global pandemic was the biggest threat to our national security. Yet when faced with one, the government of the day was found wanting. Local Public Health Services had been critically weakened, and the National Health Service run down and demoralised. At […]

Fragmentation or Unity?

Guy Maughfling

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources. In simple terms, we all want lots of everything. We can’t have that because there’s only a limited amount to go round and we need to work out how best to share what we have. A lot of complicated stuff follows […]

A Tribute to our Keyboard Warriors?

Claire Jones

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk There is an army of social media users out there calling out this government every day.Should we scorn or celebrate them? I began using Facebook for political discussion in 2018. The conversation was then focussed on Brexit but inevitably in 2020 it also embraced the management of Covid by the government. […]

Open Letter to Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition

Adrian Phillips

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Dear Keir, I am 81. I have always voted Labour, or – since I now live in a Conservative/LibDem marginal – LibDem. I was a strong Remainer. My career has been mainly in public service here and abroad in the environmental sector. Now you know “where I come from”. The Conservative […]

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 […]

A Reader writes about his Stroud MP

The Editor

Dear Editor, I was very struck by the factual inaccuracies, false claims and exceptionally naïve assertions made by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie in her House of Commons speech this week. According to her, “if the Opposition had been correct about Brexit, the sky would have fallen in by now and dementors sporting EU flags would […]

Electoral Reform: keeping it in proportion

Philip Cole

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk There is a growing realisation in the UK that we have not got the government we deserve. This is because of the way the House of Commons is elected. Back in 1935 the secretary of the Labour Party said ‘There is no greater gamble on earth than a British general election’. […]

Matt Hancock explains the Government’s Gratitude to our Nurses

Martin Griffiths

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk 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 […]

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”

Have we lost the Last Traces of an Impartial Press?

The Editor

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Ed: I received this post from a disillusioned observer of the testimony of Nicola Sturgeon and the press reaction to it. I thought it worth reproducing in full as it asks many questions of the impartiality of our mainstream media. Jim McGinley writes … I watched and listened to all […]

The Disaffected Youth and Voting

Julian Greenbank

I truly believe that my generation and the one following me (often referred to as Millennial and Gen Z) are among the most political generations to exist. Whenever we see a cause to support, we’re among the most vocal supporters of it. When Greta Thunberg visited Bristol, most of the people I saw attending were […]

Can the Left fight Johnson’s Mordor?

Claire Jones

The enemy is way ahead It is a difficult time for ‘us on the left’. I know I am not alone in nowadays often feeling politically dispirited, overwhelmed and even homeless. We have watched whilst Johnson’s criminal cabal climbs in the polls, increasing its grip even in the face of extraordinary incompetence and dishonesty. For […]

Whither the Union?

Philip Cole

It is time to accept that the United Kingdom is no longer united in any meaningful sense. This is a factual statement, not a gloat. What purpose does the Union serve, and what is the advantage of being part of a Union? Also is it really a ‘union’ if its constituent parts are hopelessly unequal […]

We can afford to pay our NHS staff more than 1%

Liz Price

More likely to die and more likely to suffer long term effects of Covid-19, our frontline workers have undoubtedly shouldered the heaviest burden of the pandemic. In recognition of their commitment and sacrifice, we were encouraged to come out and clap for our carers during the early months of lockdown. Rainbow pictures were hung in […]

The Corruption of Lies and the Erosion of Trust

Martin Griffiths

When politicians consistently lie, trust in government decreases and crucial international agreements are undermined. That politicians tell lies is hardly shocking news. What is shocking, is that it has become so blatant, arrogant and without censure. However, in December 2019 something surprising happened in Finland. Their PM resigned after it was discovered that he has […]

Leadership and Labour

Oliver Ursus

‘I can’t vote for a man who gives a speech about future policy, and not about Brexit, and who then doesn’t mention Brexit’. ‘Keir Starmer? More like Blair Starmer, if you ask me. And what did Blair ever do for The Party?’ ‘I’m a socialist. I’m not going to vote for a Sir. Whose backside […]

LONG READ

A Touch of Frost

Peter Burke

With effect from 1 March 2021 the newly-ennobled Lord David Frost stepped into the role of UK Chair of the Partnership Council. He therefore enters the Cabinet, and becomes yet another ‘unelected bureaucrat’ at the centre of power.  He is there to preside over a difficult new round of negotiations at a time when ministers would […]

How to roll out a successful Vaccine Programme

Guy Maughfling

Wednesday morning was sunny so I rode my bike through Sandford Park in the centre of town to Cheltenham East Fire Station. Inside, I took my shirt off, someone stuck a needle in my shoulder, I rested for 15 minutes and then I cycled home. Once there, I sat and watched England’s batting collapse in […]

Biden’s Hyenas – Tory Backtrackers and the UK/US Ideological Alliance

Claire Jones

The nightmare is finally over. Or is it? In his inauguration speech Biden reminded us that democracy is fragile. Consider just some of Biden’s huge remit. Firstly, he has to sort out the joint crises of Covid, racial tensions and a trashed domestic economy. Failure to conquer these mountains simultaneously will be swiftly judged by […]

Why I’m excited about the forthcoming May Elections

Liz Webster

This May, the electorate will finally get the opportunity to express their views on Boris Johnson’s Government at the ballot box. This is the largest electoral test since the General Election and the widest local government vote in 40 years. The Government confirmed early in February that the May elections will go ahead. A number of […]

Fear and trauma in the “Time of Covid”

Claire Jones

Reflections on the UK’s latest baffling poll The UK is currently divided between those who support the government’s handling of the pandemic and those who see it as an unconscionable disaster. Extraordinarily, the former group are winning. According to YouGov and the latest polls, shortly after the landmark 100,000 deaths were announced, the Tories acquired […]

LONG READ

Biden’s Inspiration for a Radically Better Future for the United Kingdom

Paul Ryder

The Inauguration of Biden Joe Biden is a politician with decades of experience at the highest level of US politics. With the energetic support of his Democratic Party, its senior politicians and its supporters, and despite all the rancour, anti-democratic and hateful un-American behaviour of the Republican Party, he has risen to the occasion of […]

Alcoholic Parents and an Abusive Government

Liz Webster

I am the child of alcoholic parents. You have no idea how hard it is for someone to be able to admit such a thing. It fills you with shame, guilt, doubt and anxiety to accept that the very people who brought you into the world and who you rely on for care are not […]

Right Wing Ideology and How not to nail Covid

Claire Jones

Has the government failed to control Covid because effective pandemic measures are incompatible with their ideology? When the pandemic hit, the UK was already battered by Tory austerity cuts. Hospitals were 40,000 nurses short, available beds were down from 22,000 to 13,000 and public health spend per head had been reduced by nearly a quarter. […]

Why we mustn’t be like Homer Simpson

Guy Maughfling

In one brilliant episode of “The Simpsons”, Montgomery Burns instigates a personal fitness regime to reduce Homer’s excessive weight gain. He quickly realises Homer lacks the discipline to get fit and goes for the easy solution of fat removal using plastic surgery. This was the exchange: Montgomery Burns:    “Bah! I will just pay for […]