Category: Politics

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Two cheers for democracy – the BCP leadership petition debate

Ian Lawrence

For the background to this story, please read: This summary is written particularly for the 3,081 people, including 2066 locals, who signed our petition of no confidence in the leadership of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. As a Facebook commenter noted: Brian Sutcliffe: This petition run by one resident on a Facebook site obtained 3000 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]