Section: Society

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Would you accept this for YOUR child?

Daniel Sohege

When working at Love146UK we researched this. We campaigned against this. Biological age assessments are notoriously unreliable, and incredibly traumatic for children who have been through war and persecution. It is part of a pattern with this government to put immigration enforcement ahead of child protection, though. They are abandoning the very principles of safeguarding […]

“From the Tamar to the sea, Cornwall will be fascist-free!”

Tom Scott

Anti-fascists, including large numbers of local people, gathered outside a hotel in Newquay this morning to stand up to a far-right campaign that’s stirring up fear and hatred of asylum-seekers. Tom Scott reports from the scene. It was a lovely, fresh spring morning in Cornwall today, more than making up the hour of lost sleep […]

How to counter the hostile anti-migrant narrative

Lou Calvey

I get a few messages from lovely people asking for basic information to counter hostile anti-migrant narratives. So I’ve pulled this together to try and cover the typical points – hopefully it helps with those awkward dinner discussions or difficult family members. 1. ‘We can’t help everyone.’ This is often said by otherwise liberal people. […]

Why so nasty?

Mark E Thomas

In 2002, Theresa May famously said to the party faithful, “Yes, we’ve made progress, but let’s not kid ourselves. There’s a way to go before we can return to government. … You know what some people call us: the nasty party.“ Since regaining power, however, it does not seem as though the Conservative Party has been […]

We CAN talk about morality and compassion and we MUST

Richard Haviland

The aim of so much of the ‘commentary’ which blights today’s UK is to persuade people there is no legitimate public conversation to be had about morality or compassion. To persuade them that there is only “virtue signalling”, “wokery” and “sanctimony”. Once enough people accept that premise, you are in deep trouble. Think about it. […]

Is market fundamentalism compatible with morality and religion?

Richard Playford and Mark E Thomas

Traditional Conservative politics, as the name suggests, amongst other things, places a significant emphasis on the conservation of the tried and tested, the reliable, the traditional, and so on. Traditional conservativism prioritizes practical experience over abstract theorizing, and prefers gradual changes, organically developing and emerging from the local community, to sweeping changes imposed from above. For a […]

Christianity and Shamima Begum

Chris Tehan

As readers will no doubt be aware, Shamima Begum’s quest to have her British citizenship returned to her has failed yet again. I’m not going to get into the details of why, and of what sort of threat she poses to our national security. Nor am I concerned with why she went to join ISIS […]

Shamima Begum: a time to confront our prejudices

Lucy-Ann Pope

In John Grisham’s 1989 novel A Time to Kill, ten-year-old Black girl Tonya Hailey is viciously raped, abused and left for dead by two White drunken men in 1980s Mississippi. Defence lawyer Jake Brigance, played by Matthew McConaughey in a film of the same name, takes on the defence of the little girl’s father, Carl […]

A take-down of the top anti-migrant ‘gotchas’

Lou Calvey

Some comments on social media around migrants are so vile – I’m venting in a take down of the top anti migrant ‘gotchas’… God help me. 1. We need security checks!/people in the asylum system are criminals, drug dealers, terrorists, blah blah The asylum system takes years. You the think government aren’t doing background checks […]

Dozens of child refugees abducted in Brighton. Where is the national outcry?

Jon Danzig

Dozens of children have been abducted by gangs in Brighton, the Observer reveals today. A whistleblower and child protection sources told the newspaper that the children have been taken off the street and “bundled into cars”. The source said that the children have disappeared and have not been found. “They’re being taken from the street […]

Ukrainian Christmas in the UK

Alan Wilson

The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church gave special dispensation for Ukrainian refugees to celebrate Christmas on 25 December instead of on the customary date, so here in Somerset we treated our guests to an authentic English Christmas meal of turkey with all the trimmings, crackers, carols, and stockings. Our tradition of kissing under mistletoe […]

Refugees: how to normalise the abnormal

Richard Haviland
Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem

Refugees: how to normalise the abnormal in 75 easy steps. 1) Flood public discourse with falsehoods and straw men, to ensure there are no commonly accepted facts; making serious discussion of a complex issue impossible. 2)Relentlessly conflate asylum with immigration, knowing that the media will play along. 3)Call legitimate asylum seekers “illegal migrants”, confident that […]

‘Clumsy’, Clarkson? Really? A non-apology is never enough

Richard Haviland
Jeremy Clarkson

Richard Haviland on the Clarkson incident. For those who do not know what he said and wish to, you can read it here. Be warned. It cannot be unread. No decent editor would have let it go to press. Ed Even by the usual standards of non-apologies, it was dire. A classic non-apology will tell […]

Has Britain lost its sense of history? Who are the real invaders?

Jon Danzig

A few thousand bedraggled, desperate human beings have crossed the English Channel to seek our help. They are unarmed and come in peace from war-torn and devastated countries. In many cases, their plight was caused by the bombing of their homes by us and our allies. Under international law, they are not considered to be […]

Qatar 2022 – polemic, politicisation and possibilities

Lucy-Ann Pope
world cup opening ceremony

“It’s the most controversial World Cup in history and a ball hasn’t even been kicked.” Ever since FIFA chose Qatar back in 2010, the smallest nation to have hosted football’s greatest competition has faced some big questions. From accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who built the stadiums, […]

Stop demonising asylum seekers and fix the broken system instead

Daniel Sohege

We are in a cost of living crisis. People are struggling to juggle heating their homes and feeding themselves and their children. It is utterly ridiculous to think that headlines like “asylum seekers are living in luxury hotels” won’t cut through. The simple fact of the matter is that, for the most part, the hotels […]

Why doesn’t our government care about people? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, I think I distantly remember a time when governments cared for their people, nurtured them, assisted them, spent our money neutralising the corrosive causes of poverty and criminality. I get the sense that the ‘nouvelle vague‘ of the ultra-right wing is using us like lab rats in an experiment. Shrink the […]

Benefits on Trial: the calculated cruelty of the DWP

Neil Carpenter

Benefits on Trial is based on my work in Cornwall since 2012 as a volunteer advocate with adults who have a learning disability. In recent years, that work has increasingly concerned benefits cases: helping people with their applications for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); accompanying them to assessments; requesting reconsideration […]

Angry and hungry for change. Hangry!

Chris Tehan

There is much to be angry about in the UK in 2022… but the last few months have been exceptional. Unfortunately, so much Tory turmoil has absorbed our capacity for anger, distracting our attention from the real underlying issues which should be the focus of our outrage and provoke the question: “What has this bloody […]

The barrister strike is about protecting YOUR rights

Editor-in-chief

The below is reproduced from a thread of tweets found here, published by a practising barrister. We are reproducing this here to share and raise awareness on this issue. Barristers who work in our criminal courts have voted for an all out strike on 5 September. This is historic, and necessary. A barrister explains why […]

‘It could never happen here’: the normalisation of the unthinkable

Richard Haviland

For many years, Alastair Stewart was an ever-present on ITV news. He always had a likeable demeanour, a pleasant voice, and a professionalism that made sure he never betrayed his political allegiances. He was everything a news presenter should be. But at last week’s Tory leadership hustings in Manchester, we saw a different Stewart. Freed […]

Women’s football: what will the legacy really be? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, Even if we aren’t remotely interested in sport, I think we can all rejoice unequivocally at the success of the England women’s football team in the European championships; it’s an achievement to be celebrated. I’m sure I’m not alone in being delighted at their win if only because they have done […]

Education in crisis, and it can only get worse

Mick Fletcher

In any sane context the car crash that is Conservative education policy would be enough to bring down a government by itself.  The schools bill before Parliament has been so savaged in the House of Lords that ministers have stripped out 18 of the key clauses, leaving it bereft of its original purpose, yet doing […]

The lifting of the ‘colour bar’

Jon Danzig

Invited to come to Britain in the 1950s, when the country was massively short of workers (sound familiar?), Asquith Xavier left Dominica where he had been a police officer and in the army. For ten years, he worked as a porter at Marylebone station in London. Then, in the spring of 1966, the 46-year-old decided […]

Stop Rwanda flights! Twitterstorm and demo/live share 12 July!

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, As a matter of urgency I write to remind you of the court case challenging the Government’s policy on forced deportation to Rwanda of asylum seekers and refugees to the UK. There is a live protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London TOMORROW (July 12) with a LIVE share […]