Category: Society

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Somerset cuts and the cost of care: a story of defunding and privatisation that is replicated right across the country

Mick Fletcher

In 2021, I wrote about the dangerous dowry left to the new Somerset unitary authority by the previous Conservative council. The combination of an unwanted reorganisation and a systematic failure to invest in local services had left Somerset especially vulnerable to financial crisis. The warning of trouble ahead was all too correct. In November 2023, […]

BCP’s big SEND dilemma

Adam Sofianos

In a matter of days, the members of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) will make a momentous decision. The result may affect the delivery of services to vulnerable children across the region. And though this will only apply to local council services, it could become a national touchstone. The question is whether to join […]

Love in a hostile environment

Mike Zollo

Make Love, not War! Since time immemorial there have been marriages and relationships between people of different nations. My own knowledge of history is pretty limited, but I suppose one could cite Anthony with Cleopatra, Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon, Mary with Philip II of Spain, Victoria with Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha… and, […]

How to change the world

Jon Danzig

Yes, YOU can change the world. Or more pertinently, WE can change the world. People of all ages, from all ages, have been changing the world since humans arrived on it. There’s no doubt that the standard of living of the average human has considerably changed and improved in the past 100 years, 1000 years, […]

Johnny Mercer’s Question Time defence of the Rwanda refugee exchange plan

Sadie Parker

One of the south-west’s MPs has been in action on BBC Question Time, defending the increasingly expensive refugee exchange scheme officially known as the UK-Rwanda Migration and Development Partnership, or the Rwanda Plan for short. Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View, was given free rein to waffle on about what has become the current […]

‘Defend our Juries’ at Bournemouth Crown Court

Defend Our Juries

On the morning of December 4, 2023, a group of Dorset residents joined about 500 others around the country holding signs outside Bournemouth Crown Court, as part of the growing public campaign Defend Our Juries. Their signs displayed the centuries-old principle of ‘jury equity’, which is the right of all jurors in British courtrooms to […]

What it’s actually like to be me

Joe Hardy

This piece is probably going to be long and heavy because I’m going to detail exactly what it’s actually like to be me and all the things that I am reliant on others for that might not be particularly obvious from just reading my tweets. Here we go. I was born almost three months early […]

The advent of a more sustainable festive season?

Plastic Free Axminster -

Advent calendars are already in the shops. They have been a feature of the festive season for more than 170 years and originated in Germany. Printed versions started to be produced in the early 1900s. 16 million advent calendars are sold in the UK every year, most containing single-use plastic. The actual proportion of chocolate […]

Save Seaton Hospital!

Editor-in-chief

Why this petition matters The petition was started by Seaton resident, Martin Shaw, who explains why it’s needed: The Seaton area community paid half of the cost of building the Hospital in the 1980s. The NHS agreed to own and run it with NHS services for the local community. In 1991, a new wing was […]

Sunak’s strategy with Braverman…not as astute as he might think

Daniel Sohege

All this talk about how “Sunak is waiting for the verdict on the Rwanda policy” before sacking Braverman isn’t quite the politically astute move some seem to think. Here’s my analysis of the pointlessness of the Rwanda policy and why Sunak’s best option is to fire Braverman before the verdict is out.  First off, fairly […]

This should have been more than enough to sack Braverman…

The Highcliffe Guy

The Braverman story is developing by the hour and there is still a (remote) possibility that Sunak will discover a scrap of moral fibre and fire her but, to be honest, she should have gone for the homeless/lifestyle callousness. The Highcliffe Guy explains why. How Propaganda Works:Suella Braverman’s attack on homeless people is possibly her […]

War in Gaza – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, All war is terrible. For me, it’s all the worse when, in the face of human suffering, we stand by silently. As Bob Dylan said long ago, “Pretend that we do not see”. But then in this case, we know only too well that Gaza is under siege, with the debris and casualties […]

LOVE 20 road safety campaign begins in Winton

Cycling Rebellion

Local activists from Cycling Rebellion have launched the LOVE 20 campaign at Winton Banks in Bournemouth, calling for a 20mph speed limit on Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) roads where citizens live, work, shop and play. Heart shaped spoof 20 miles per hour (mph) speed limit signs were displayed along the road, chalk art brought […]

The OTHER boat people…

Mike Zollo

Boat people: glory … or infamy? “Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves!” As a maritime nation, surrounded by sea, it is hardly surprising that boats and ‘boat people’ of one form or another have figured so prominently throughout British history … for better and for worse. We shall use the term ‘boats’ rather than ‘ships’, […]

Taxing private schools: coherent strategy or counterproductive?

Emma Monk

Since Labour announced their plans to either remove the charitable status of private schools, or add VAT to school fees, social media and right-wing outlets have been awash with people claiming it wouldn’t raise any money in reality, or it would cause untold private schools failing and ‘flooding’ the state sector with students. I thought […]

Active travel is the path to follow

Mick Fletcher

On Saturday September 16, a short section of traffic-free path in rural Somerset was officially opened. It was a small thing in itself, just over one mile in length and, at present, with no onward off-road connection at either end. Nevertheless, it illustrates some very important points. The path, and others like it currently being […]