Section: Politics

The social contract, the ‘deal’ that makes us a civilised country, is under grave threat, but we aren’t even talking about it.

Mark E Thomas

Our social contract – the ‘deal’ that makes us a civilised country – is under grave threat both practically and philosophically. And we are not talking about it. Practically, the UK is in a grave situation. We are in the midst of a serious cost-of-living crisis which will plunge over half of the UK population into fuel poverty […]

Police intimidation of activists – a lesson from Poland

Tomasz Oryński

Recently I saw a story on West Country Voices. Two women wanted to sign up for a meeting with an MP to ask him an inconvenient question. As a result, they have been paid a visit by the police officer. This story never got attention it deserves. And it should. Because this is not only […]

Street democracy – a message from Tavistock for Geoffrey Cox MP

Simon Chater

Tavistock looked at its best this morning, its streets and buildings washed clean by overnight rain and gleaming under late November sun. Appearances are deceptive, though: a local told me the town was in decline, with shops closing and people increasingly resorting to food banks. In this it surely mirrors the fate of once prosperous […]

Hashtag Brexit denial

Sarah Cowley

The American mid-term elections are over and the election denialists seem to be losing ground over there. We can hope this might set a trend, as there seem to be any number of causes based on denying at the moment. Denying the severity of Covid-19, or the science behind vaccinations or masks, or of the […]

The importance of the number 12 right now – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

There were 12 Apostles. There are 12 days of Christmas. There were 12 knights of the round table There are 12 members in a jury. There are 12 months in a year. There are 12 numbers on a clock. There are 12 pairs of ribs in a human being. There were 12 pence in a shilling. There are 12 eggs in a dozen. There are 12 cranial nerves in the human body. There are 12 stars on […]

US mid-terms: an important lesson for progressive parties in the UK

Prana Simon

On 11 September I wrote a column on the US elections, anxiously throwing a few predictions around. I’m so relieved and encouraged to update this week that a majority of Americans rejected election denialism and minority rule. (with much gratitude!) The big news is the US Senate is still in Dem hands! (starburst emoji) The […]

80 ministerial resignations or sackings in 2022 and 3 prime ministers: we need a general election NOW

Editor-in-chief

Does anyone honestly believe that this shambles of a government has any democratic legitimacy right now? Has Rishi Sunak given any indication that he is upholding his promise to deliver a government of ‘integrity, professionalism and accountability? Gavin Williamson…known bully and enforcer via blackmail techniques. Sacked on not one but TWO previous occasions by earlier […]

The US midterms – what they mean and why they matter

Prana Simon

As US midterm election results are still coming in overnight, a myriad of thoughts/feelings are cascading in my brain right now…Did the democracy-defending Democratic party pull a rabbit out of hat throughout the US? I was imagining a decisive landslide, unlike the US mainstream and Murdoch-funded media. So many purple (mixed red Republican and blue […]

The buck stops here – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, Harry S Truman famously had this sign on his desk pointing out that as, President of the USA and the man in charge, he should take responsibility for stuff that goes wrong. If only this was true here in the UK. The first of this year’s three Prime Ministers now earns […]

Platforming bile: not just nasty. Dangerous

Richard Haviland

Yesterday I sent this tweet, in dismay at hearing Nigel Farage’s voice, once again, on the radio – in this case BBC World at One. I wondered afterwards if I’d been right. So I listened again, to see what it is about Farage I find so dangerous, and ask whether I was reasonable to suggest […]

Brave new world

Ian Shaw

Sunak needs the ballast of the far-right and is curiously-led by the angry wasp that is the ERG – currently supporting the unfathomably unpleasant Suella Braverman. Sunak has said nowt. Just perfunctory praise for the most bafflingly re-appointed Secretary of State in political history. Attacking asylum-seekers with firebombs is terrorism. Terrorism. This goes unmentioned across […]

Conservatives’ doublespeak translated – parts 1 and 2

Philip Priestley

Maybe we should review all the false language that has been used by the Tory Party over the last twelves years as they have been dismantling the country? Part 1: ‘Brexit Benefits’ & ‘Brexit Dividend’: Ok, so this was supposed to be an incentive for people to relinquish all the genuine benefits of EU membership. […]

How do you solve a problem like Suella?

Sadie Parker

Suella Braverman is under severe pressure to resign as her story falls apart and a pattern of behaviour emerges. Sadie Parker spells out why she must, must go… If Rodgers and Hammerstein were invited to write about the political soap opera of British politics this past few weeks, they might be tempted to re-write the […]

Brexit used to sit on the far sidelines of politics and then…

Jon Danzig

Indeed, the word ‘Brexit’ was only invented in 2012, and until the referendum, most people didn’t know what it meant. (Now it’s in the Oxford English dictionary.) An in-depth study by the Migration Observatory showed that: The volume of press coverage mentioning ‘immigration’ or ‘migration’ declined from 2006 to 2011 before rising each year from 2011 to mid-2015. […]

Dizzy and Rishi

Tom Scott

Rishi Sunak is not the first prime minister from an ethnic minority – Benjamin Disraeli was ahead of him by 154 years. Tom Scott draws out some fascinating parallels. Politicians like to think they’re making history but, with some exceptions, they are seldom much interested in history more than a few years old. Still, one […]

Flash protest in Totnes and some food for thought

Simon Chater

On Friday I joined a small group of Devon for Europe supporters at a “flash protest” in Totnes. Anthea Simmons, our campaign manager, delivered a letter to MP Anthony Mangnall demanding his support for a general election. We also ran a “democracymeter”, asking passers by to answer questions about the state of our nation by […]

Eyes on the lies: four videos – please watch and share

Anthea Simmons

The first is a timely reminder of the role played by the Brexit-supporting, Conservative-backing right wing media: The second is very possibly Led by Donkeys’ most important work to date: And the third, highlighting the dreadful legacy of Brexit and emphasising the ideology behind Truss et al: Finally, here’s an extract from a video of […]

Who is Jeremy Hunt?

Rachel Marshall

If I was asked to sketch a typical Tory minister, they would probably look a lot like Jeremy Hunt. That probably means there’s something reassuringly establishment about JH which is doubtless settling a lot of the country right now after the financial shocks of the last few weeks. But who is the new chancellor? Look […]

Bullocks

Andrew Levi

Ominously omnishambolic, the government’s budget has brought the country to the brink of financial implosion. The markets were horrified by a lack of clarity and credibility. An important feature has been the impression that the prime minister and the (now former) chancellor can’t add up and have been talking … blather. Andrew Levi explains. Nightmare […]

Let’s end the power of political donors: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, Recent events in politics have brought several things to the forefront of my mind. I wrote previously about the need for electoral reform, but now another revelation has become crystal clear to me.  What I have seen in the previous few weeks has led me to believe that, as well as […]

Primed Minister – who really holds the reins of power?

Ian Shaw

As it appears that the mainstream media are finally beginning to take an interest in the insidious power of opaquely-funded think tanks, Ian Shaw expresses, in his inimitable, quirky style, his contempt for the current government and his concern for the influence these shadowy backers wield – hitherto largely ignored or. worse still, showcased and […]

What not to dare

Andrew Levi

The terrifying, chaotic incompetence of the last ten days in the UK is characteristic of a failing state, says Andrew Levi – a veteran of numerous hair-raising disintegrations of order around the world – in a long read. Feeling able to pretend we’re immune from such disaster is a luxury only available because, imperfect though […]

Just a few days in Tory… Eyes on the lies, everyone!

Russ In Cheshire

Russ Jones has done it again. Expect updates! 1. Our new PM, Margarine Thatcher, said she was “absolutely committed” to cutting tax for the rich 2. Then she cancelled tax cuts the rich 3. Truss boasted she was prepared to make unpopular decisions 4. But her decisions were unpopular, so she cancelled them 5. Truss […]

True Tories were Remainers

Jon Danzig

A reminder for the Conservatives annual conference – share 4-minute video: 𝗧𝗥𝗨𝗘 𝗧𝗢𝗥𝗜𝗘𝗦 𝗪𝗘𝗥𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗠𝗔𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗥𝗦 Conservatives, have you forgotten what your party in power used to stand for regarding Europe? For most of the past seven decades, Tory governments did more than any other to bring us closer to our continent. After all:  It’s because of the Conservatives […]

The week in Tory…

Russ In Cheshire

Second #TheWeekInTory in 4 days cos … oh god, you know why! 1. KamiKwarzi Kwarteng supports crypto so much, he’s turned Sterling into a new one called Shitcoin. 2. He fulfilled his promise to wipe out Stamp Duty by making it impossible for anyone to get a mortgage anyway. 3. These exuberantly stupid inanities had […]