Section: UK

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Long Covid – what is it and who gets it?

Lilieth Robinson

Long Covid is a debilitating disease affecting those who have had Covid-19. What is it, who gets it and how might it affect society in the long term? Long Covid Coronavirus Disease 19, also known as Covid-19, can cause symptoms that last for weeks or months, even after the infection has cleared. This is called […]

Ask Sir John Hayes where the fruit and veg have gone?

Richard Hall
Sir John Hayes

The first in our series of articles (second here) looking at the looming supply chain crisis in the UK. Sir John Hayes (Conservative MP for South Holland and the Deepings) is a stalwart of the Tory party right wing and an ardent Brexiter. At the beginning of June he wrote a piece for his local […]

Brexit and our British identity

John King
Brexit Britain

“No man is an island”, but Brexit Britain certainly is.  To adapt the words of the poet John Donne, the loss of our European friends has diminished me. I grew up in the shadow of the Second World War, when Britons stood aloof from the rest of the continent, and Germans in particular were regarded […]

The heart of Stoke lies in Lidice

Cliff Mitchell
Stoke on Trent Lidice memorial

Lidice is a small village in the Czech Republic that exists thanks to help from the people of Stoke. In recent years Stoke-on-Trent (Stoke) has become synonymous with the politics of the extreme right, with British National Party (BNP) councillors, and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) targeting its parliamentary and council seats, and the press […]

The death of Dalian Atkinson – manslaughter verdict

Anna Girolami
Dalian Atkinson

In May, Central Bylines reported on the trial of West Mercian police officers, Benjamin Monk and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith for the murder, manslaughter and actual bodily harm of professional footballer Dalian Atkinson in 2016. Atkinson, 48 years old at the time of his death, had played for several clubs, most notably Aston Villa with whom […]

We need to talk about Serco

Anna Girolami

In 2019 Serco was found to have “engaged in quite deliberate fraud against the Ministry of Justice.” It had already repaid £68.5 million to the government in overcharges and was subsequently fined £19.2 million for fraud and false accounting over its electronic tagging service. It also had to pay the Serious Fraud Office’s costs of £3.7 million. It still has the contract.

Leave peat where it belongs – in the ground

MJ Kellman
Peat lands need protection

Peatlands are often seen as the poor relation of the countryside, holding little if any value. Traditionally, the nutrient-poor land was drained for arable farming, forestry, and grazing for livestock. Peat continues to be extracted for gardeners and commercial growers or to be burnt as fuel. And here in Derbyshire, the practice of rotational burning […]

Updating the honours system

Bryan Manley-Green

‘The British honours system is a venerable way of honouring citizens for good work in society. It’s hard to disagree with the nation saying thank you in such a public way to someone who has made a positive difference and has been proven to be a great role model.

Melton Mowbray anti-racist, feebly

Michael Brooker

In 2020, Melton Borough Council came late to the debate of Black Lives Matter. Their hand was eventually forced by the apparently naïve postings of one of their councillors. Simon Lumley. In the midst of the George Floyd protests, Lumley had taken to twitter to post the hashtag, ‘white lives matter’.

Euro 2021 – it’s war (minus the shooting)

Richard Hall

Sport can be about harmless fun and exercise but argues it’s only when it gets competitive that it brings out the worst in people. He concludes “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.

Sunlit uplands? Not quite

J.E.S. Bradshaw

Sheep farming has had a higher profile in the last two years than for decades. Brexit negotiations and HMG’s increasingly frantic attempts to justify its ditching of 40 year-old, highly beneficial trade agreements have brought it to the front. Nothing has highlighted sheep farming more than the public current discussion of the proposed Australia deal. These are a few personal thoughts, from a very small-scale lowland lamb producer in the Midlands.

Review: James O’Brien, How not to be wrong

Jayson Winters

Many will know of James O’Brien from his national 10am to 1pm weekday radio show on LBC. To borrow one of his phrases, “depending on which football shirt you are wearing” you’ll probably either think of him as a champion of progressive politics or a patronising woke lefty.  But look back to when LBC was […]

Raising your voice

Liz Crosbie and Lyn Dade

RebootGB continue to work on their pledges following the last round of council mayoral Scottish, Welsh and one national by election to try and reshape the British political landscape, which seems not only stuck but regressive, and where votes too often don’t count. Liz Crosbie and Lyn Dade of RebootGB explain their aim to get […]

Safety first

Anna Girolami

The government’s upcoming Online Safety Bill has been in the pipeline since 2019 but the murder of Southend MP, Sir David Amess has put it back in the spotlight. Central Bylines takes a look at the bill in more detail. There are many in government who take the issue seriously. Tory MP and erstwhile Chair […]