Author: Simon Ferrigno

Midlands farming sold out: ‘it’s crass and it’s wrong’

Simon Ferrigno

Stanley has farmed 700 acres of land with his parents for the past 12 years in the region. The farm is a mixed arable and beef and mainly tenanted farm on which the family have native longhorn cattle, a breed that was classed as rare until recently. Stanley clearly loves his cattle, and talks with passion about the many dozens of native sheep and cattle breeds that hover near extinction. He fears a Free trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia, said to offer Australia zero tariffs and quotas, will tip these breeds over the edge alongside most of the people who rear them.

Climate denial taints Tory green credentials in Warwickshire County Council race

Simon Ferrigno

Tory-run Warwickshire County Council flaunts its green credentials. It even declared a climate emergency in 2019. However, a press release from a group of local organisations including Stratford Climate Action and local branches of Extinction Rebellion, Stratford Youth Strike 4 Climate and Warwickshire Climate Alliance, has drawn our attention to the climate sceptic position of Councillor Peter Butlin.

A loss of opportunity

Simon Ferrigno

European Movement’s new report, ‘Stories of Brexit 2021‘, on the impact of Brexit in different fields makes grim reading. Amongst the wreckage, we caught up with teacher Anna Grainger from Warwickshire about the loss of eTwinning to learn more about this little known area of the Erasmus+ programme, and what losing it means for children. […]

Adapting to life as a business in a third country: Aztec Oils

Simon Ferrigno

The post-Brexit transition period continues to hurt businesses across our region, with many losing orders and/or moving operations elsewhere to reduce the friction, costing our region future jobs and growth. In this new interview, we talk to Mark Lord of Aztec Oils, a specialist lubricant oil company based in Bolsover, Derbyshire, founded in 1995. It […]

Will environmental progress go into reverse?

Simon Ferrigno

A number of years ago, I shared a stage with designer Katharine Hamnett and journalist Miranda Sawyer, talking about cotton, the environment and greener alternatives. This was made possible by financing from the European Union’s DG Development, the type of funding that no British donor then did. Our job? Raising awareness among consumers and businesses […]

The conversation men should have with each other

Simon Ferrigno

When I was 16, I witnessed a sexual assault. At school, of all places. This was in the 1980s, early on. I knew this was wrong but I had no idea how to deal with it. There were several of us around, mostly male. Most of us were probably as uncomfortable as I was. A slightly older boy grabbed a young woman who was passing by, touched her, pushed her. Laughing. Said she was asking for it.

The Prehistory of Brexit

Simon Ferrigno

Humans all come from the same stock, the same place, the same gene pool. We so-called modern humans (Homo Sapiens[1]) all have common ancestors, all the way back in the mists of time, coming from the Great Rift Valley of Africa. All except a few – in their own opinion, that is. They believe they […]

Workers’ rights

Simon Ferrigno

In 1998 the European Union’s Working Time Directive (WTD) was brought into UK law. Among other things, the directive sets limits on maximum weekly working time, creates a right to paid annual leave and provides for daily and weekly rest breaks. Now that Brexit is ‘done’, the government can choose whether to retain the conditions […]

Post-Brexit trade: a barren soil for seeds

Simon Ferrigno

Seeds of Italy is the UK importer of seeds from Franchi, the oldest family-run seed company in the world. They preserve old varieties renowned for taste; the company also deals with fine Italian foods and cosmetics. As for many other companies, the end of the Brexit transition period is causing no end of problems and […]

Covid-19: the long road to an arts recovery

Simon Ferrigno

“our website is filling up with digital and online activities”. Some of this is work designed to be digital and interactive, and some might be made for Zoom. There is experimentation and some work that is more traditional, audio only work and also film.

Leicester, Xinjiang

Simon Ferrigno

forgotten lands on the frontiers of textiles As the US implements a partial ban on cotton from the Xinjiang region of China because of concerns over forced labour and even genocide, recent scandals about low wages and insecure employment in Leicester’s textiles sector seem to have dropped off the radar. But both are symptomatic of […]