Category: Society

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Why the European Court of Human Rights HAD to intervene

Daniel Sohege

When you hear government spokespersons banging on about how dare a “European Court” rule against it, this is why it had to. The UK government, by its own admission, has no means of monitoring conditions for the asylum seekers it sends to Rwanda. Yet, despite the highly selective glossy tourist pics being put out by […]

Children’s services should protect children not profit

WeOwnIt

Our children’s services are there to protect and care for vulnerable children in our communities, providing a lifeline for those in difficult situations. But doesn’t it seem wrong that private companies are able to run these services and prioritise profit over the children they are meant to protect? The government recently dropped its unpopular plans to reduce council responsibilities […]

Death trap

Tom Scott

To set a death trap, careful preparation Will be repaid. You need first to make sure That no alternative accommodation Is on hand for the undeserving poor. This won’t be hard – with council homes sold off, Sit back and let the market do its work. The gratitude of landlords at their trough Will be […]

Miss Snuffy is right about social mobility!

Mick Fletcher

To my surprise, I find myself agreeing with Katharine Birbalsingh, who tweets under the slightly eccentric name of “Miss Snuffy”. Birbalsingh is regularly referred to in the less serious type of newspaper as “Britain’s strictest headmistress” and her views go down well with the Conservative rank and file. I suspect that it is her strong […]

Compassion must win out against the drip feed of propaganda

Richard Haviland

Recent years have led many of us to question what we once felt about this country. But one thing I do believe is that most people, whether here or elsewhere, feel instinctive compassion for those in need when they are not being subjected to a drip feed of propaganda. But the drip feed of propaganda […]

Children in care: big business for international investors

Martin Barrow

Editor: This is the first in a series of articles about the privatisation/monetisation of a number of aspects of social and health care. For every pound that was once spent directly on providing a service and those being cared for by that service, a chunk will now go to shareholders. With a profit motive driving […]

Who is it fine to torture and drown?

Daniel Sohege

Okay, let’s have the debate shall we? Let’s have the debate about who you would look in the eyes and say it is fine for them to be tortured or drown in the channel. Let’s have the debate about whose kids you think should be denied a parent. Let’s not pretend it is a “left/right” […]

America the Beautiful

Tom Scott

O beautiful for RemingtonFor Smith & Wesson, ColtFor rapid-fire assault weaponFor barrel, stock and bolt America! America!God gave thy guns to theeTo spill the blood that spreads its floodFrom sea to shining sea! O beautiful for massacreSo swiftly carried outBy terrorist or teenagerBy godless or devout America! America!God gave thy guns to theeTo spill the […]

Tory pride and prejudice against the EU – it’s not new

Jon Danzig

On 25 February 2014, the European Parliament voted on an EU fund to provide food aid to those suffering extreme poverty in the EU.  The EU offered up to £22 million to help subsidise Britain’s food banks, but the money was blocked by the UK government. Thirteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK. […]

Oh good! A new bank! Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, I saw this chap on TV the other day. Odd cove, but apparently one of us, albeit with a strange haircut and not quite the right accent. Lee something or other. Anyway, he said that we can feed ourselves for 30 pence per meal, if we can be bothered to cook […]

The cost of living and the price of ideology

Tom Scott

New data from The Food Foundation shows 7.3 million adults went without food in April. Of these, 2.4 million had not eaten for a whole day at least once in the past month. Yet there is no shortage of food in the UK, or of money. This is not a ‘cost of living crisis’ but […]

Ukraine diary – volume II

Gordon Dingwall
Humanitarian aid identifier on side of vehicle

Wednesday 27 April Graham and Bear arrived at the border early this morning, after they’d driven though the night. After a little rest in the house we are staying in, the load they had brought with them brought was shared out amongst us medics at the border and a contact in the international battalion of […]

Parish’s career perishes but other pests persist

Editor-in-chief

Dear West Country Voices, When the ‘porn in the Commons’ story hit, I felt there was something odd about it. Even with as low opinion as I have of most of our Tory MPs, I couldn’t quite believe someone was sitting on those leather benches wantonly browsing PornHub. It felt far more likely that it […]

Turning the tide of dangerous porn starts at the top

Caroline Voaden

As the Chief Executive of Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services, I am calling for a radical rethink in our approach to pornography after a Devon Conservative MP referred himself to the Standards Committee for allegedly watching porn while sitting in the House of Commons. I’ve heard many politicians say this week that ‘sunlight […]

Mass trespass outside Truro celebrates 90 years of the fight to roam

Tom Scott

Members of Cornwall Green Party went for a walk on Sunday around a greenfield site on the outskirts of Truro that is threatened by destructive housing development. The 18-strong group set out from County Hall, walking along a stretch of the old railway line that forms part of the Newham Trail before branching out across […]

Don your biohazard suits – it’s the week in Tory!

Russ In Cheshire

It’s been a challenge to find anything to write in the latest edition of the Week in Tory. They’ve all been such well-behaved boys and girls. Only kidding: it’s absolute carnage. Don your biohazard suits, top up your breakfast absinthe, and let’s dive in. 1. Under Boris Johnson, 10 Downing Street now holds the record […]

The UK and Russia: two “sick men” in need of a cure

James Chater
Johnson and Putn in close discussion

The UK and Russia are two of the ‘sick men of Europe’ (the others being Hungary and Poland), bookending a continent that has been pursuing peaceful collaboration and exchange for decades – on the whole with positive results in terms of stability and prosperity. Both countries have lost their way, crippled by myths and ‘alternative […]

Winter is here

Tomasz Oryński
Locals standing up to Russian soldiers in Mariupol

Tomasz is our ‘resident’ Polish writer. We preserve his unique voice in this challenging, thought-provoking piece on the reality of Putin’s Russia and the implacability of evil. In the first days of this war I was really hoping it’s true, that this is just a madness of one man, that those poor boys were lied […]

Ukraine diary: reports from Poland and Ukraine. Latest news!

Editor-in-chief
Ukrainian flag

The partner of one of our readers has gone to Poland to help with the effort to rescue refugees from Ukraine. He’s a field/trauma medic with extensive experience having served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had intended to go straight into Ukraine to join extraction efforts, but the attack on the Ukraine military base has […]

Surviving the cost-of-living crisis the Tory way

Tom Scott
a heap of cooked pasta

Let’s have no more whingeing about poverty. Price rises should present no difficulty to anyone prepared to take some tips from the thrifty habits and entrepreneurial flair of Conservative MPs, writes Tom Scott. A tweet by Tory supporter Kevin Edger sneering at a nurse who skips meals in order to afford food for her children […]

Time to waive the visas – and revisit the Nationality and Borders Bill

Tom Scott
Waive the visas campaign image

Insistence on complex visa requirements is in stark contrast to the outpouring of empathy for Ukrainian refugees by people in Britain. A government that promised it would cut ‘red tape’ is now using bureaucracy in the cruellest of ways, writes Tom Scott. When I was growing up in the 1960s, films and TV series set […]

Thanks a million, Eton

Mick Fletcher
Eton by Canaletto

If further proof were needed that ‘levelling up’ is a soundbite rather than a strategy, the proposal for a new cadre of elite sixth forms provides it. Mick Fletcher explains. Trailed as one of the key measures in a programme to address 55 ‘education cold spots’, the aim is apparently “to ensure talented children from […]

“WTF is ‘great’ about millions in dire straits?” Filmmaker David Nicholas Wilkinson gives voice to shared anger

David Nicholas Wilkinson
Tesco food donation sign

The (dis)United Kingdom is the fifth largest country globally in terms of nominal GDP (gross domestic product), according to Wikipedia*. 216 countries are recorded on Wikipedia in terms of their GDP. One of my daughters is in Morocco (rated the 60th ‘richest’ country), and yesterday she and her friend were eating in a mother-and-son’s small […]