Category: Society

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Politics ain’t for wusses and Trusses…

Ian Shaw

Third time lucky. Or is it fourth? Who cares. Doubtless, King Charles will have had another ‘dear, oh dear’ up his well-pulled sleeve. Vividly staking his pro-Brexit bent and trumpeting the exit, sans non-withdrawal agreement, in the spring of 2019, was Sunak’s blueprint. Unswervingly, he went on to claim ‘proximity to a market’ as harmful. […]

A budget that says the quiet part out loud

Mark E Thomas

The Conservative Party have now been in power in the UK for 12 years. Over that time huge economic and social problems have emerged. It is clear that the UK needs a change in direction. And this is what Truss and Kwarteng promised. They have now shown very clearly how they intend to tackle these […]

You’ve no mandate for this! Letter to Sheryll Murray

Carl Garner

Dear Sheryll Murray,  I see that Kwasi Kwarteng, the least competent chancellor in living memory, has gone against all sensible economic advice and announced fiscal policies that almost instantly tanked the pound.  Please tell me your thoughts on a tax cut for the highest earners, whilst the absolute majority of your constituents will get almost […]

Johnson the worst prime minister? He will be eclipsed by Truss

Mark E Thomas

Johnson has a strong claim to be the worst UK PM so far in terms of “… wages, economy, COVID, poverty, … preserving democracy, etc, …” But before the history books are written, he will be eclipsed by Truss, argues Mark E Thomas. It is true that Truss has inherited (and played an active part […]

Queen Elizabeth II 1926 – 2022

Editor-in-chief

The team at West Country Voices wish to commemorate the passing of Her Majesty the Queen and the ending of the second Elizabethan era. Most of us have lived our entire lives with Elizabeth II as our monarch. She has been a rare constant in a rapidly changing world and the embodiment of public service […]

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 […]

Now is the summer of our discontent!

Mike Zollo

“Your government?! What a joke that is!” That was the sniggering reaction earlier this afternoon, albeit not in so many words, from our Danish neighbours in the Spanish village where we are spending a few weeks. OK, so it’s human nature to find it easier to recognise other people’s problems than to acknowledge our own, […]

‘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 […]

Tory promised land of milk and honey: the reality

Richard Murphy

The Tory leadership election is offering the party faithful an image of a land about to flow with milk and honey, so good are the prospects arising from the so far unspecified benefits of Brexit. The reality is about as far from that is it can be. In reality, this morning we have news of […]

The Tory leadership election and fascist creep

Tom Scott

Politicians whose only response to desperate times is to resort to fantastical mythologising, scapegoating of imaginary enemies and suppression of protest should be seen as truly dangerous, argues Tom Scott. In June, the eminent historian of Nazism, Timothy Snyder, was interviewed by Ukraine’s Euromaidan Press. Professor Snyder, who has also written extensively about the threat […]

The Truss growth plan: more money for the rich

Mark E Thomas

Truss has launched her so-called ‘plan for growth.’ This article shows that the likely impact of that plan is to redistribute wealth upwards at an increasing rate, impoverishing most of the UK population. The post-war period 1945-1980 was known as the Golden Age of Capitalism; the period from 1980-2015 was the age of Market Capitalism. […]

The real risk is that the economy could fail this winter

Richard Murphy

How many people lived in fear in the summer of 1914, dreading what might happen? Come to that, what about 1939? People must have known that they were living on a precipice then, just as we are now. A disaster is about to happen, but there seems to be denial all around. The disaster that […]

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 […]