Section: UK

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 […]

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 […]

The nurses’ strike: letter to Conservative politicians

Editor-in-chief

I watched agog as Nadim Zahawi went on the media rounds to brief – predictably- against our brave nurses and their strike action. With zero sense of self-awareness, he tried to paint their reasonable request to be paid what they are worth as “unfair” and “unpatriotic”, even at one point claiming it was “playing into […]

The UK: Britaly or the sick man of Europe? What our neighbours think of us

Mike Zollo

Sick UK What a headline … “Reino Unido, atrapado en su propio laberinto político y económico” (the United Kingdom, trapped in its own political and economic labyrinth). Enough to make you feel proud to be British? Or to acknowledge that our friends and neighbours pity us for what is happening to the UK? This was […]

‘Keep the rubbish courses for the Brits’

Mick Fletcher

We have become resigned to the fact that many of the policies pursued by the present administration are inhumane, whether they relate to desperate people seeking asylum or poor children denied free school meals. We have also become accustomed to administrative incompetence – there is no need to think further than the Truss-Kwarteng budget for […]

The difference in democracy:

Jon Danzig

𝗘𝗨 𝗠𝗘𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗦 𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘; 𝗨𝗞 𝗠𝗘𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗦 𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗡𝗢𝗧 So, the Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland’s government is not allowed to have an advisory-only referendum on whether its citizens want to leave the United Kingdom. Permission must be given first by the ‘ruling’ government based in England, the court stipulated. Funny thing, really. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jeremy Hunt’s maxing out the credit card nonsense

Richard Murphy

Jeremy Hunt is saying we cannot max out the national credit card this morning. This is total nonsense. There is no national credit card. Instead it’s the job of government to make the money we use. And since it can always make that money, it can never max out on credit. Hunt wants you to […]

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 […]

Brexit forgets history

Jon Danzig

Thirty-three years ago today, on 9 November 1989, the people of Berlin – east and west – joined together to dismantle the wall that had cruelly separated their city for almost three decades. It was a momentous event that led to the downfall of the Soviet communist regime, followed eventually by applications to join the European Union by […]

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 […]

Remembrance and Ukraine

Eric Gates

This will be the first Remembrance Sunday that we have commemorated since 1945 while two major European nations have been at war. Yes, there have been the tragic civil wars in former Yugoslavia, but this is the first time that one European nation has driven its tanks across the border of another, uninvited. It is […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

They come for asylum; we went to plunder and colonise

Jon Danzig

Home Secretary, Suella Braverman MP, calls asylum seekers travelling here in small boats across the English Channel an “invasion.” One of her predecessors, Priti Patel MP, called them ‘illegal immigrants’. They are mostly desperate, destitute, often stateless men, women and children fleeing from war, torture, oppression, sex-trafficking and persecution. And the conditions when they arrive on these shores […]