Ah, the review of the year! An opportunity to look back and see how far we have come, only in the UK’s case there is more than a whiff of Groundhog Day and zero evidence of any great moment of enlightened self-awareness or contrition from this government.
Take our first highlight from January from Cornwall editor and core political writer, Tom Scott; read by 56,000 people it is as topical and timely now as it was then, given that the amendments on the rights to peaceful protest will be voted on by the Lords in the third week of January 2022.
We’ll be asking you to join in the campaign to overturn the amendments that eat into the very foundations of our democracy:
Next up is a piece on the impact of Brexit on small businesses. In fact, nine of our top twenty articles are about the devastating effects of this epic act of self harm. There is not a single article amongst the hundreds we published extolling Brexit’s virtues since we don’t do fiction.
And how about this for timeliness as Jan 1 sees the imposition of border controls finally kick in:
Simon Spurrell of the Cheshire Cheese Company has become one of the media’s go-to commentators on Brexit. We first covered his story back in January.
The fishers, along with the farmers, were utterly screwed over and betrayed by the Brexiters. We wrote and will continue to write extensively about their plight and about the region’s Conservative MPs who, having drunk deep of the Brexit Kool-Aid, glibly pretend that nothing bad is happening at all.
Lies, corruption and threats to democracy
Brexit’s number one slot was robustly challenged by the lies, threats to democracy and corruption stories with which we were so generously and regularly furnished by Johnson and his cabal. Will 2022 be the year that the mountain of sleaze and mendacity finally collapses the government? We live in hope. There is little more soul-destroying than seeing vice go unpunished. Unfortunately, the combination of media connivance, Met Police wilful blindness and Johnson’s unassailable majority has meant a great deal of anguish for those of us with a sense of justice and a preference for the truth.
Just take a look at the corruption tab on our site! It’s a big section!
But this is the article that EVERYBODY should read, in the EiC’s view. It should have had hundreds of thousands of views. It still could…
We could all do with more Ted Hastings and less Cressida Dick!
Then there was #wallpapergate…
Want to know a little bit about each of the region’s constituency MPs? Take a look at our advent calendar. The research threw up some juicy tidbits and the compendium is a quick way to get a feel for the, ahem, public servants with whom we are blessed…or not! Great memes by our resident meme-creator and core political writer, Sadie Parker.
The climate emergency was front and centre for much of the year, with a concentration of articles in November to coincide with Cop26. We also supported Copnes26, a parallel event held in Totnes and now run a dedicated permanent page on the homescreen focused on the issue:
NHS and Covid-19
Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 also featured heavily alongside a number of articles alerting readers to the threats to the NHS. Both will be big stories again in 2022, sadly. Years of underfunding, cuts to staffing and bed numbers (on top of the pandemic) have left the NHS reeling and intensely vulnerable to the US healthcare companies so beloved of and connected to the current government. We are being manipulated into believing that increased privatisation is the only answer. We must resist. No doubt the brand will be retained, but you can bet your bottom dollar that anything that can be turned into a revenue and profit stream will.
Our resident molecular-geneticist and campaigner Emma Monk’s most recent piece remains right on the money:
We are hot on campaigns and campaigning issues, too:
Lighter, happier articles! We did publish some! You might have missed some of these, as they don’t seem to attract the reader numbers they deserve.
First up is a success story from our Somerset editor, Mick Fletcher!
David Love encouraged us to look up!
Mike Zollo’s three-parter on the joys of e-biking was both instructive and fun:
While Anna Andrews introduced us to the beauties of a garden in Wales:
Professional travel writer, Valery Collins, provided us with several delightful out and about pieces, a favourite being this on Blandford Forum in Dorset:
And then there were cartoons. Hard to choose between these two for brilliance of execution and ghastliness of subject!
Oh dear! This has been hard! A look back through our past editions reveals such a wealth of material that it is invidious to make a selection and I found myself wanting to add more and more. I hope you enjoy browsing through our back catalogue. So many gems to be discovered!
Thank you for reading and sharing! The more people we can reach, the happier the team will be. We just want to get those stories out that the mainstream media cannot or will not cover and tell it like it is.
Happy New Year!