Category: Democracy

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Let’s re-boot democracy!

Anthea Simmons

I was beginning to despair about the state of our politics and voter apathy. The multiple assaults on democracy, the poor, the environment and the truth perpetrated by successive governments under Johnson, Truss and Sunak, voted in by a minority, have left our democracy looking very weak indeed. Many have tuned out of politics altogether. […]

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 […]

Sewage questions to MP prompt police home visits

Editor-in-chief

When I was first contacted with this story, my source asked me to listen and tell her whether I thought this story was at all weird. My immediate response on hearing what happened was “Bloody hell!”. I think that reaction will be shared by many readers and my comments on this incident are at the […]

52 per cent to 48 per cent equals uncertainty

Jon Danzig

So, in a straw poll of Twitter users organised by the new Chief Twit, Elon Musk, Donald Trump has been ‘elected’ back onto the platform after being banned in 2020 for reasons we all know. “The people have spoken,” tweeted Mr Musk. Haven’t we heard that phrase before, ad nauseam, since 24 June 2016? Musk’s […]

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 […]

Anthony Mangnall’s £250,000 half term appraisal

Babe

Babe – the pig with the unerring snout for pigswill – returns for a satirical sojourn in the Sunlit Uplands and a political sketch. As the year moves into its closing phase, there’s never been a better time to root through the fallen fruit and leaf litter of Anthony Mangnall’s autumnal tenure as Constituency MP […]

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 […]

Letter to Labour: a wish list

Anthea Simmons

It can only be a matter of time before you get to hold the reins of power. The only possible way this cannot happen is if the current increasingly fascist regime finds a way to halt elections altogether – maybe by engineering a state of emergency, having pushed millions of decent people out of their […]

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 […]

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 […]

General election now, please, Mr Jupp!

Rachel Marshall

On Monday evening, as Rishi Sunak was being welcomed at Conservative HQ as the latest new party leader and Prime Minister, a group of Devon For Europe activists gathered in Exmouth to campaign for an immediate General Election. Outside East Devon MP Simon Jupp’s off-the-beaten-track office, in a very fresh sea breeze, we set up […]

Caught the Tory Johnson amnesia or know someone who has? Here are fifty reminders of why he is unfit for office

Marcus Fitzsimons

We liked Marcus’s Twitter compilation of crimes and misdemeanours and thought you would, too. A useful aide-memoire… Will the Conservatives REALLY choose this self-obsessed serial liar and incompetent? Please note that there are a few typos which could not be corrected by us. Please excuse these! and let’s not forget the Russia connections! even the […]

If a lying, lazy, venal narcissist is the answer to the Conservative party’s problems, then they are well and truly &*$&£%!

Clare Knight

My blood is boiling. What is there to say about a political party which has absolutely trashed this country’s reputation, cratered the economy, run-down the NHS, increased poverty, increased social inequality, broken the law, taken Russian money, implemented corrupt practices to favour their cronies and donors, presided over the avoidable deaths of tens of thousands, […]

End the era of the lightweight: general election now – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Cometh the hour, cometh the man (or woman)? If only. The Tory leadership contest threatens another selection of lightweight, venal, self-interested candidates wholly unsuitable to lead our country through its current crisis. Liz Truss’s public appearances to promote her campaign over the summer or to defend her suitability since taking office were puddle-deep in content […]

Open letter to Sheryll Murray and all Conservative MPs

Nicola Tipton

Dear Mrs Murray, On Monday, the following petition was debated in Westminster Hall: Call an immediate general election to end the chaos of the current government Call an immediate general election so that the people can decide who should lead us through the unprecedented crises threatening the UK. More details: Sign this petition 645,670 signatures Unsurprisingly, […]

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 […]