Category: UK Politics

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Progressive Alliances and Proportional Representation

Philip Cole

As far as this article is concerned a ‘progressive’ is someone who – in this or any order – wants the UK to rejoin the EU; wants to save the planet from ecocide; unreservedly supports the NHS; believes that in a decent society the strong have a moral duty to support the weak (i.e. we […]

Hands off my Pension!

Sue Wilson

British pensioners are worried about their income. For those reliant solely on the state pension, it can be a struggle to survive on what is the “world’s third worst” pension, and the lowest rate across Europe. According to data from Investing Reviews, the UK state pension is a mere 28.5% of pre-retirement earnings – less […]

Are the British a “Gaslit” Nation?

Annette Shaw

“Gaslighting” has become a widely used term in recent years and its impacts are well documented.  For those who are still not familiar with the meaning of the word, it is a form of psychological manipulation.  The term derives from a 1938 play, Gaslight, and later films, where a husband tries to drive his wife […]

Mr. Starmer – Please commit to Proportional Representation

Alex Haida

I’m finally able to get out again and I can get back to what I love, campaigning for Volt. I received my second Covid jab a little while ago and, although it gives me my freedom, I still check that I have my face mask with me when I leave the house. Fair voting will […]

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The Case for a “Progressive Alliance”

Claire Jones

There is increasing concern that Johnson’s new Tory government is undermining our democracy. Measures such as voter suppression, weakening of judicial reviews and draconian new prosecution laws for everyone from street protesters and asylum seekers to Extinction Rebellion (XR) poster makers and investigative journalists, are all driving us “ever closer to authoritarianism”.  Our sister publication, […]

Boris Johnson’s Summer of Discontent

Liz Webster

The popularity of Boris Johnson and his Government was boosted by the British people’s gratitude for the vaccine rollout, giving hope that some kind of normality and freedom could be restored.  The British nation, having been imprisoned for months, appeared to suffer some kind of Stockholm syndrome, as the reasons for Britain having the worst […]

Liberal Democrats – Stuck in the Past but perhaps not far enough?

Joe Polson

“He’s taking us back to the 1980’s” was a criticism I heard time and time again about Corbyn the man and his policies. Yet in the quagmire of mudslinging that occurs between Government and the opposition there was a party, quietly sat in the middle, bumbling along as always hoping desperately that no one would […]

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Let’s Go Change the World – We need Leadership in Opposition

Julian Greenbank

UK Politics has changed a lot since the days of Blair, Kennedy and Major. Right now, we live under a Tory rule where the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers seem to be doing everything they can to remove our rights and change what we know to be British into their own vision of what […]

“Bring on madness, banish reason” (King Lear)

Book Review by X Libris

In 1937 Jean Renoir directed a film called ‘La Grande Illusion’ about French prisoners-of-war during World War I. The title came from a book published in 1909 by Norman Angell called ‘The Great Illusion’ which argued that war is futile because of the common economic interests of all European nations. This is, of course, the  […]

Taxation without Representation is Tyranny

Bob Copeland

Many years ago, my son, then in the sixth form at Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School, Wotton-under-Edge (KLB) was wondering what he might ask local MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, when he visited the school. My suggestion was that he should ask why he isn’t allowed to vote, adding that it might be necessary to remind him […]

Edwin Poots – Is he for real?

Eoin Hughes

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

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How should we react to Cummings’ Revelations?

Claire Jones

Nothing about Cummings’ six hour diatribe last week seemed surprising. Many already sensed that the recent ‘goings on’ in Westminster in the name of ‘governance’ had levels of transparency, co-ordination and commitment to public welfare that would make Yes Minister and Faulty Towers look like modern, socially committed, streamlined organisations. Cummings’ depressing descriptions of good […]

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Councillor Candidate on Oxfordshire’s “Fair Deal Alliance”

Julian Greenbank

The results of the 2021 elections were more interesting than people initially thought. While Conservative gains in the Hartlepool by-election and council elections were predicted by many, there were a few shock results. Dan Norris being elected mayor of the West of England Combined Authority (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset) was […]

Cummings opens up Pandora’s Box

Martin Griffiths

Over a year after the start of the pandemic Cummings at last tells us how it was in the Cabinet Office and No. 10. He says they wanted “business as usual” but they should have set up a “War Room.“ But how much can we believe from someone as free with the truth as Mr […]

LOST – One LibDems Leader

Martin Griffiths

Editor (not to be confused with Sir Ed): After Martin’s encouragement to the Labour Leader, he now asks where is the LibDems Leader. Police are increasingly worried about the whereabouts of LibDems Leader, Ed Davey, who hasn’t been seen or heard of since the 6 May elections. Even internet searches throw up very little evidence […]

Populism and corruption this side of the Atlantic

The Editor

Ed: After Paul Ryder’s riveting treatment of Populism and Corruption in Trump’s USA, which we featured in March, here is a condensed version of his sequel showing how the UK is equally threatened. A right wing party moves further right When populism rules, and one party in a two-party democracy goes rogue, democracy is undermined […]

Keir Starmer, in terms of Football, what is your Goal?

Martin Griffiths

Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. Come on Keir, as the manager and striker of your team you’ve had multiple opportunities over the last twelve months to score plenty of goals. The opposition goalkeeper has sometimes not even been there and has […]

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Art Project highlights the £69k Problem facing EU Students

Matilde Converio

As an art student at London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA), I aim to create a public art project that can speak to as many people as possible through different media. Because I’m Italian my fees have gone up from £9,000 to £23,000 per year. I’ve put together this multi-media project to highlight the fact […]

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Challenging Lies and Sleaze: The Echo Chamber Problem

Claire Jones

There is a danger that the opposition narrative is stuck inside ‘Echo Chambers’ of like-mindedness which prevents our chatter, debate, research and critiques from reaching the ears of Tory supporters. Are we talking to ourselves? Can and should we escape these confines? The UK electorate seems deeply perverse. Labour has bombed overall in last week’s […]

Projecting Global British Military Power

Hadrian Cook

Are enormous and expensive aircraft carriers the best way for Britain to ‘make friends and influence people’? The Americans have Route 66, the Chinese have the Silk Road and in the West of England we have the historic A303. The ‘303’ runs between Basingstoke and Exeter. Shortly after you leave Basingstoke, Popham Airfield is visible […]

A Vacuum of Integrity

Peter Burke

It gives no pleasure to witness integrity and professionalism being treated as an optional extra by those in power. Dominic Cummings: ‘It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.’ Lord Kerslake, former head of civil service: ‘The level of toxicity […]

If you put Lipstick on a Pig, it’s still a Pig

Martin Griffiths

I once spent several days grinding the rust of my old Mini car and carefully rubbing down the applied filler before re-spraying it and polishing it. I even vacuumed (not with a Dyson!) the interior and to be fair, it looked pretty tidy when I sold it. However, whatever the cosmetics, it was still, fundamentally, […]

Johnson, Eco-Warrior?

Paul Ryder

Katy Balls is Deputy Political Editor at The Spectator magazine. Prime Minister Johnson was editor there before becoming an MP. Johnson’s new spokesperson Allegra Stratton is married to a senior Spectator journalist. The Spectator website says, ‘We uphold strict standards of accuracy’. It is clear therefore that they report accurately what is going on in […]

A Letter to other Opposition Parties

Adrian Phillips

Ed: Following his open letter to Keir Starmer, Adrian has now written this letter to Caroline Lucas, the Green’s MP, and copied to the joint leaders of the Green Party. Similar letters have been sent to the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, Alliance and SDLP parties, as well as to those leading the Parliamentary group […]

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 […]

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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 […]