Section: Politics

Is Rishi Sunak trying to lose the general election?

Sadie Parker

Nobody who was serious about winning the general election and forming the next government could possibly campaign like Rishi Sunak and the Tories have done in these first few days of the general election… could they? It was called on Wednesday, May 22, 2024: the day the government launched its resilience initiative and told us […]

Your go-to reminder of 14 years of Conservative ‘achievements’. Part 2: environment, housing, public services plus scandals, resignations and suspensions

Iratus Ursus Major

A continuation of the list of horrors perpetrated on this country by the Conservatives. Environment Human effluent flowing merrily through our waterways. Failure to regulate and curb energy price rises, leading to massive provider profits and pressure on consumers. Multiple failures to meet climate targets and backtracking on environmental commitments. The loss of EU funding […]

Are we in for the dirtiest general election campaign so far?

Mark E Thomas

On May 22, 2024, Sunak finally announced the date of the next General Election: July 4. As the polls show, he has quite a challenge to win – or even to prevent Labour from securing an outright majority. But the Conservative Party is traditionally one of the world’s most effective election-winning machines, and it would be complacent not to assume […]

Your go-to reminder of 14 years of Conservative ‘achievements’. Part 1: economy, healthcare and education

Iratus Ursus Major

As we brace ourselves for the barrage of self-congratulatory rhetoric from our government and the unelected Prime Moistiness about the “achievements” over the past 14 years since they seized power in May 2010, let’s pre-emptively dissect their record. Behold! The comprehensive list of their so-called “achievements” that we’ve been subjected to while they’ve ostensibly “been […]

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 […]

Defence dilemma: finding a role will be harder than finding the money

Eric Gates

Welcome to the 25 per cent increase in defence spending, announced by the Prime Minister, for whom the penny has just dropped that we live in dangerous times. First of all, let us make some (possibly rash) assumptions. Let us assume that the percentage increase will not be cancelled by a reduction in GDP, which […]

Operation Save Little Dog

Mark E Thomas

When it was clear Johnson was on the way out, his allies launched Operation Save Big Dog. This article explores what we might call Operation Save Little Dog – the equivalent for Sunak, in the wake of the worse-than-expected results in the Council elections. The factions on the right are now quite complex: there are the extreme-right backers of the […]

Sick note Britain: really, Prime Minister?

Emma Monk

In mid-April 2024, the Prime Minister got himself a juicy front cover on the Daily Express: PM tells sick Note Britain: Get a grip and get a job. He then put out a thread on X (formerly Twitter) claiming “We now spend £69bn on benefits for people of working age with a disability or health […]

Can we restore faith in local politics this week? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, We are drawing close to the first local election since Dorset Council became a unitary authority in 2019, which the Financial Times (FT) recently dubbed as: “… the most keenly watched ‘blue wall’ battle in a crucial set of local elections on May 2.” Under the headline “Dorset Tories tell Sunak’s MPs to […]

What the extreme-right may be planning

Mark E Thomas

The wealthy market fundamentalists who fund the right-wing think tanks have different objectives from the UK population as a whole. These think tanks propose such policies as abolishing the NHS, allowing slums with substandard housing to ‘solve’ the housing crisis, slashing benefits to pensioners in order to reduce taxes and letting the climate crisis go unchecked. The UK population as […]

Repainting a house that’s on fire: an open letter to Rishi Sunak

Iratus Ursus Major

Mr Rishi Sunak, Good afternoon. As I brace myself for my own experiences with the NHS later this afternoon, I couldn’t help but mull over the implications of your latest proposal regarding mental health and fit notes. This latest proposal of yours seems to have spectacularly missed the mark, which to be fair, is how […]

Hands up if this government makes YOU proud to be British!

Anthea Bareham

The Lords issued Parliament with a list of amendments to the Rwanda bill. The government rejected every one and the bill was put to the vote on 16 April. It passed. These were the amendments: An amendment to make sure the legislation has “due regard” for international law. Rejected. An amendment that states it is […]

Wragg: it should be about the blackmail. Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor Much of the publicity about William Wragg and his indiscretion (notwithstanding the Conservative party’s best endeavours to suppress it) has tended to focus on the perils of modern social media. Surely, the blindingly obvious point is that the issue is blackmail, and blackmail is as old as time. As a former civil servant, […]

Mel J Stride MP – Misleader of the House

Trevor Price

Meet Mel J Stride, the ‘Right Honourable’ MP with a controversial association with the loan charge scandal. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been the Member of Parliament for Central Devon since 2010. What is the Loan Charge? Sixty-seven thousand people are being pursued by HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs: the tax office) under a piece of legislation – the Loan Charge […]

Campaigning chicanery: Simon Jupp goes lower. Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, ‘Disgusted’ doesn’t come close. Although even now I am still sometimes surprised by how badly these Tories behave, I am genuinely shocked at what Simon Jupp is up to. Jupp, the Conservative elected as East Devon’s MP in 2019, is attempting to deceive voters by purloining – for his own purposes – the […]

How can we return to the heart of Europe?

Editor-in-chief

On Saturday 23 March 2024, Cornwall for Europe hosted Molly Scott Cato, a former Member of the European Parliament, at a meeting at Truro School. Over 50 local members of Cornwall for Europe heard Molly Scott Cato’s talk entitled The Journey Home: how can we return to the heart of Europe? Molly Scott Cato is […]

Jeremy Hunt: out of touch, tone deaf and not in the same universe

Iratus Ursus Major

When I wrote my original missive to you [see below], I was already rather irate at your, to put it mildly, “out of touch” comments. To find that you have now reiterated them has left me, I will be honest, positively incandescent with fury. In a rather staggering encore to your previous declarations, you’ve taken […]

A democratic revolt from below is bubbling up

Neal Lawson

No-one outside of a diminishing band of party bureaucrats believes our political and democratic system is working. Of course, the charade continues; of PMQ’s, of who’s up and who’s down, of polls and predictions. But this, in the phrase of Colin Crouch, is a post-democracy, a democracy in name only in which the game is played […]

Ugly language, ugly outcomes – this government is a danger to us all

Richard Haviland

When I look back over the last eight years, one image dominates: September 2019, and Paula Sherriff ‘s pleas to Johnson to tone down his language – language being quoted back to her colleagues in death threats – is dismissed as ‘humbug’ It wasn’t the day the ugliness started – heaven knows there’d been enough […]

‘He who pays the piper…’ – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, So the biggest donor to the Conservative Party in the last year (whatever happened to the Russians?) seems to be getting away with the most blatant racist comments and views, pathetically defended by those who have received what we now know to be 15 million quid from him. I wonder why he gave it?  Surely […]

How fishing was gutted by Brexit

Emma Monk

Having recently ‘celebrated’ the anniversary of Brexit, it seemed like a good time to look at how various British industries and sectors of society have fared four years on from leaving the European Union (EU). This will be done over a series of articles, the first focusing on the Brexit poster child – The Fishing […]

The budget we SHOULD have had…

Mark E Thomas

Getting the Budget right is a critically important part of governing well. If the Budget is well-formulated, it gives space to address the real issues; if it is not, then whatever promises politicians make, they will not be able to keep. Frequently, Budget analysis in the media does not look at it this way and […]