Author: Anthea Simmons

Anthea Simmons is an award-winning children's author, editor and activist. She grew up in Cornwall and Devon before spending twenty plus years in the City in institutional asset management.​ Her areas of interest include diversity and inclusion, the environment and electoral reform. She is editor-in-chief for West Country Voices

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Action stations!

Anthea Simmons

At last, fourteen years of brutal underfunding, politically-motivated austerity, cronyism and corruption can be brought to an end on 4 July, when we can all exercise our democratic right and vote in the general election. With so many Conservative MPs standing down and dissatisfaction with Sunak growing in the Tory ranks, let alone in the […]

The doctor won’t see you now

Anthea Simmons

“It’s a scandal worse than the Post Office Horizon debacle,” says the retired consultant radiologist who contacted me, urging West Country Voices to look into the use of Physician Associates in the NHS. Plenty of us think we know what’s going on in the NHS. We’ve seen the charts detailing the systematic underfunding. We’ve read […]

Shame I never got to interview the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan, when she was in Totnes. She’d have loved answering my questions…

Anthea Simmons

Fellow citizen-journalist editor, Peter Shearn of Totnes Pulse, contacted me to see if I would like to interview the secretary of state for education, Gillian Keegan. Apparently she had elected to kill two birds with one stone and give a ‘puff’ to the government’s free childcare for two-year-olds, and (presumably) to the re-election chances of […]

Copyright ‘predators’. What do we do?

Anthea Simmons

Look. I absolutely get copyright. As a children’s author with a sixth title out in July, I want my copyright protected. PDF versions of my books and pirated audio versions crop up from time to time and my publisher, part of Penguin/Random House, quickly gets them taken down. These breaches are not innocent. People are […]

Time to get fair about farming! UPDATE

Anthea Simmons

Update: Riverford’s petition will be debated in parliament Jan 22 with potentially important ramifications for farmers across the UK. We’ll be listening in. Devon-based Riverford (of veg box fame) have launched a new #GetFairAboutFarming campaign, calling for British supermarkets to sign up to the principles of Riverford’s Fair to Farmers charter: Pay what you agreed […]

Two pints of wine and a packet of crisps… #ComeOnKevin, tell us all about this fabulous Brexit bonus!

Anthea Simmons

Article contains strong language, reflecting the author’s frustration! The government is casting around in desperation for some kind of ‘Brexit benefit’. Today, it came up with this little gem: Fortunately, our favourite wine importer and industry commentator, Daniel Lambert, was ready to explain what this actually means for the wine trade. No punches were pulled… […]

‘If volunteers went on strike, half the country would collapse’ – The Crafty Fox Cafe’n’Hub on the Foxhole Road

Anthea Simmons

I ran into Robbie while campaigning for the South Devon Primary. Robbie’s controlled anger and frustration with the current state of affairs was mirrored in a democracy meter filling up with the stickers that represented people’s view of the current government – not positive. At all. A resident of this rather run-down estate, she explained […]

The Polish election – a fabulous ad for proportional representation

Anthea Simmons

Proportional representation delivers the right kind of Donald! “Poland won! Democracy won! We removed them from power! […] This is the end of bad times.” Donald Tusk, 15 Oct 2023 When we put out Tomasz Oryński’s piece setting out the significance of Sunday’s vote outcome for his country, we shared his anxiety about a further […]

Calling Devon residents! Your help needed to tell Devon County Council to sort its banking arrangements!

Anthea Simmons

Local community organisation, Exeter Community Alliance, is highlighting Devon County Council’s (DCC) current climate-messaging inconsistency. On the one hand, DCC’s own website tells local concerned citizens to be ethical and green in their choice of bank saying: “Finding banks with a strong ethical investment policy is an amazing way to make sure that your money […]

‘Critical risk to life’: concrete AND the Conservatives

Anthea Simmons

So here we are again. In the middle of yet another ‘how long have they known and why did they do nothing about it’ saga. The RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) scandal demonstrates the same callous disregard for the lives outside the circles of the privileged few as did the care home tragedy during Covid. […]

The 60/50 campaign: a reader responds

Anthea Simmons

Madam, While Dr Richard Lawson is right to call for a voluntary movement to cut speeds on our roads, the 50/60 Campaign, might I ask why there isn’t a campaign to get government to cut UK speed limits as this is without a doubt one of the simplest actions that could be taken both to […]

Yet more Tory gaslighting! Don’t fall for these latest examples

Anthea Simmons

We’re just waiting for the Conservatives to take credit for the Lionesses’ epic win, to be honest, but in the meantime, here are the latest shocker whoppers being trotted out to con the public. The fall in the rate of inflation is all down to government policies and the refusal to pay public sector workers […]

‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…’

Anthea Simmons

This country is in a bad way, thanks to 13 years of Tory austerity. The metrics of our decline are unarguable: from NHS waiting lists to child poverty, from the cost-of-living crisis to the creaking criminal justice system, from record numbers of foodbanks to polluted beaches and ecologically-dead rivers… And Brexit has been an unmitigated […]

This is not normal

Anthea Simmons

Every day in Toryland seems crazier and more disturbing then the last, doesn’t it? We are in the middle of a climate emergency and a cost-of-living crisis. The energy companies are making outrageous profits from ordinary people. The Tories have shrugged off landmark defeats in two by-elections as nothing, while Labour ties itself in knots […]

Thank you, Alexander Darwall – you have mobilised a movement!

Anthea Simmons

We are currently living under a regime which is happily removing rights willy-nilly and, in most cases, appearing to get away with it. It seems that most people are quite relaxed about the fact that a child born in England (specifically) today has fewer rights than one born 13 years ago. That should bother all […]

Cruel, corrupt and in contempt – it’s all about ‘c’ words for these Conservatives

Anthea Simmons

They really don’t care, do they, these Conservatives? They don’t care how they’re seen by the public. They don’t care if they break the law. They don’t care about the optics of selecting accused/under-investigation rapists retaining the whip. They don’t care about trashing the economy/the environment/the NHS/people’s lives or the UK’s reputation. Instead, they appear […]