Category: UK Politics

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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 […]

Reply from Tewkesbury MP on Partygate

The Editor

Dear Editor, I wrote to my MP Laurence Robertson, the Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, expressing my anger about the claims of parties in Downing Street. This is the reply below. I don’t mind that it is a standard reply because at least he has written it and it is not a ‘cut and paste’ from […]

Open Letter to Liz Truss No. 2 – January 2022

Sue Wilson MBE

Dear Liz, It’s a month since my last letter and I’m still eagerly awaiting your response. I appreciate it’s been a busy time for you, especially with you wearing so many ministerial hats. Your quest to replace Boris Johnson in No. 10 must also be quite demanding of your time. I would venture that your […]

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’ […]

Grassroots for Europe say: Patel’s Bill steals our rights

The Editor

In April last year, Grassroots for Europe sent Harriet Harman QC MP, chair of the UK Parliament’s Joint Human Rights Committee, a letter signed by 83 local citizen organisations, setting out our concern that our future pro-European public campaign events may be among the intended targets of the draconian new police and ministerial powers created […]

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.

Covid – The Government’s Perfect Camouflage

Claire Jones
Coronavirus image from Pixabay

The pandemic arrived, uninvited. Clearly, no government wills on their country the appalling havoc a pandemic wreaks. But the Tories are ever the opportunists and Covid has offered them a tremendous opportunity to further themselves. Profiteering and the Covid ‘box of tricks’ We are now familiar with their use of Covid PPE contracts to line […]

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 […]

The Week that Frost was Lost

Peter Burke

To lose one loyal but unpleasant supporter in a month may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness. In 1830, The Times wrote of the recently departed King George IV: “There never was an individual less regretted by his fellow creatures than this deceased King. What eye has wept for him? What heart has […]

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, […]

Open Letter to Liz Truss

Sue Wilson MBE
Liz Truss poses like Royalty - Source: Liz Truss on Twitter

Dear Liz, I hope you’ll excuse the informality but dear ‘Foreign Secretary, Brexit Secretary and Women and Equalities Secretary’ is a bit of a mouthful. Let me start by wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and congratulating you on your new role, even if it wasn’t the one you were actively […]

The Health and Care Bill will kill the NHS

Mike Brooker

We are about to see the end of the NHS. Unless we stop the government’s Health & Care Bill currently going through parliament, the NHS will be all but abolished by next April. The Bill totally undermines the central principles of the NHS as envisioned by its founders – a comprehensive, publicly provided and funded service, […]

Why the LibDems won North Shropshire

Liz Webster

For years now, I have been in regular discussions with my farmer friend who lives in North Shropshire about Brexit, this Government and his MP, Owen Paterson. So, when the news broke that Paterson had been found guilty of breaking the lobbying rules, I excitedly proclaimed, “Exciting, you may get the chance of a recall […]

WITH VIDEO

Should Bristol keep its Mayor?

Julian Greenbank

Politics in Bristol is shaping up to have an interesting year. Will the Bristol Mayor survive? Last Tuesday, the Council voted on a motion for a new referendum about the abolition on the role of Mayor of Bristol. It passed with 41 votes in favour to 24 against. The role was first created in 2012 […]

The Masked Bawl

Dr H Stattos

“Never apologize. Never explain. Just get the thing done, and let them howl.” (Canadian politician, Agnes Macphail, 1890 – 1954) Treading water When sailing on tempestuous seas, a small horseshoe shaped ring of polyethylene will not stop you getting wet; it will not stop you inhaling salt or spray; it will not stop the unsettling […]

They are Extraordinary! And not in a good way.

Martin Griffiths

When is a party not a party? If there are drinks and food and games and gifts and a specific get together to celebrate and have fun then surely that sounds like a party? Of course if you are in tier three of a pandemic which is killing thousands of people and many thousands more […]

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 […]

A “Banana Republic” with no Bananas

Peter Burke

Last week saw yet another in a long series of attempted power grabs by this government. Fortunately, on this occasion at least, it was not wholly successful. As Peter Jukes, Editor of Byline Times, put it: “A Banana Republic with no bananas”. The First of the Power Grabs Much has been written about the Paterson […]

Does The Cotswolds need “Levelling Up”? Yes it does!

Paul Hodgkinson

The Cotswolds is a beautiful place to live, and having made it my home for 32 years, I feel proud to represent some of the area’s iconic places like Bourton on the Water. Yet it isn’t simply a museum for tourists, it’s a thriving district with a strong rural economy and history. But what makes […]

Why is Proportional Representation (PR) good for the Left?

Sue Sturgeon

Think back to 1 May 1997 and ‘the new dawn’. Finally, after 18 years of Tory control we had a Labour Government and a landslide victory. Now, 24 years later, we are faced with a hard-right Tory government that could possibly be in power for decades. Back in 1997 one of the first things that […]

Brexit Unfolded – Contradictions and Lies don’t make good Policy

Ian Bartle

One of the abiding questions of Brexit is how the very close referendum result in June 2016 led to a very hard Brexit in 2020, a Brexit that remains far from settled to this day. This is the main theme of Professor Chris Grey’s new book Brexit Unfolded. How No One Got What They Wanted […]

War Games on Guernsey

AL Kennedy

So I’m walking along a flower-flanked path near Pleinmont on a delightful section of Guernsey’s coastline drenched in autumn sun, on what was called Westberg by occupying Nazi forces. Weathered little concrete markers bearing swastikas peep from amongst grasses showing sites of former minefields, as if they’re a part of distant history.                    Here on […]

WITH VIDEO

A Tory ex-MP who wants to defend Democracy and Share Power

Julian Greenbank

Robert Key was the former Conservative MP for the City of Salisbury. He served under Margret Thatcher and John Major and continued to serve the city when the party was in opposition in the noughties. Just as West England Bylines asked the opposition parties to support Proportional Representation, Robert asks his Conservative Party to share […]

LONG READ

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 […]

Energy Security is National Security

Mark Haller

Following on from recent failures to protect the UK from energy volatility, it is prudent to search out some facts on Energy Security, which is a complex and wide issue. Is the Government lazy or has it just focused on the wrong priorities? Energy Security and Russia We are currently bouncing around a bunch of issues that […]

LONG READ

Non-voting: How to solve a growing Problem

Tom Crook

However we might feel about the merits of Proportional Representation (PR), or electoral alliances, the likelihood – indeed certainty – is that we think that non-voting is a bad thing. The right to vote has been hard won, after all. Think of the Chartists and the Suffragettes. Surely we should exercise this right? And voting […]