Section: UK

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What does ‘Equalities’ mean to you?

Gale Waller

We all have skills and talents though mine may not be the same as yours. For example, as a teacher my daughter has a reputation for excellent classroom management. I had the same reputation when I taught. She lip reads because of her hearing loss; I have excellent hearing, compensation for sight loss. Young people at the back of a class have no chance of private conversations in our classrooms!

How should we remember?

Richard Hall

Memorials are a feature of the landscape. They reflect moments in time in a variety of forms. They commemorate, celebrate, inspire and educate. They enhance their surroundings. They can have more sinister purposes too, such as intimidation and the reinforcement of personality cults.

No place to be – my country has ‘ceased to exist’

Stephen Wilmot

David Howard from Kingsbury, England, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons The protracted conflict over Brexit has reached its endgame, and it’s clear that, whatever the final shape of it, Brexit is done.   Boris Johnson has been instrumental in the outcome, but Brexit does not now depend on his political survival.  The Tory party […]

A certain idea of Britain

Philip Thornborow

Julian Jackson’s 2018 biography of Charles de Gaulle is entitled A Certain Idea of France. I am sure it would horrify many in this country to be compared with the General, but don’t we share a similar national mythology? We are currently in a season of remembrance. On 1 November Christians traditionally remember all the […]

Who doesn’t want a Brexit deal?

CG Forrester

There is only one deal which can be called an actual deal. It’s the one being negotiated intensively this week with Michel Barnier and David Frost, the negotiators for the European Union (EU) and the UK respectively. It’s probably fair to say that both of these actors want the deal, although until recently the mandate […]

Cabinet cronies and the PPE fiasco

Faye Forde

In a functioning democracy the average person isn’t thinking about government procurement policies. If we do give it thought, we might expect that the government awards contracts under a fair and transparent system that prevents corruption and ensures a good deal with taxpayer money. In such a democracy, we are not glued to our phones […]

Halloween or Reformation Day?

Carolyn Thornborow

Pumpkins are appearing in the shops and some may have arrived on a doorstep near you.  Yes, it is Halloween, although whether trick or treat will be as popular this year is debatable. Halloween (more formally known as the Eve of All Souls Day) is celebrated on the same day as Reformation Day but in […]

The Culling of the Forests (an extract)

Shirley Martin

This is an extract from a longer epic poem, which we hope to see in a full length publication soon. It covers events over the past four and some years Britons! – an hour is coming an hour you’ve never seen before to the solid ground of institution an axe is now laid at your […]

Kent: what lorry parks tell us about Brexit

Edward Cartwright

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of bad news for those in Kent on how Brexit will affect the county: queues at the border, permits for lorries to enter, hastily built lorry parks and rows of Portaloos. Predictable though this may all have been, Kent voted to leave the European Union (EU) during the 2016 […]

A lawyer with courage: an interview with Lady Hale

Carolyn Thornborow

Do you recall what you were doing when the UK supreme court announced its decision on Boris Johnson’s attempt to prorogue parliament last year? His ‘do or die’ strategy to ensure the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union was meeting resistance in Westminster and he thought prorogation was a possible way past this. There was […]

Boris Johnson ‘at war’

CG Forrester

There has rarely been a time in our history when good leadership has mattered more, yet Boris Johnson seems to be ‘at war’. His current battles are with the European Union (EU), Scotland, Greater Manchester (recently), the House of Lords, the judges, the church, farmers, many of his own backbenchers and indeed anyone else who […]

Covid-19: nothing new under the sun

Philip Thornborow

The current government’s response to Covid-19 implies that pandemics are new and unexpected but that we will survive through ‘world beating’ innovation. The government of Elizabeth I prepared for any future outbreaks of Plague in 1578 by issuing ‘Orders thought meet by Her Majesty and Her Privy Council to be executed … in such … places as are … infected with the Plague’.

A shipwreck, a theft and a little-known whisky

Raul Richero

The accidental introduction of whisky to Uruguay following a shipwreck in the 18th Century shows how an accident can lead to opportunity and the establishment of a taste for whisky. HMS Agamemnon was a Royal Navy ship of the line with an armament of 64 guns. She was 160 feet long, 44 feet in the […]

Brexit is ruining their future

Stewart Tolley

Unless you have been living in a cave with no access to any news for the last few years, you will be aware that Britain has left the European Union (EU). Although it is difficult to find any Brexit bonuses at all, one that has been absent from the claims of even the most ardent […]

Neat, plausible and wrong – a Brexit audit

Richard Hall

On becoming Conservative leader and prime minister in July 2016 Theresa May boldly stated “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.” Twelve weeks before the UK cuts all links with the European Union (EU), it’s time to audit that statement. On 26 June 2016 it became clear that the politicians […]

Unsung hero of the NHS

David Childs

There are many unsung heroes of our National Health Service, both British and otherwise, who devote or have devoted their lives to medicine and saving lives. Do we take them for granted, especially those who come from overseas? After all that clapping with our neighbours, have we forgotten? East Midlands Bylines would like to hear […]

Can we ever agree on Brexit?

George Smid

The UK has left the EU, although the real changes are not until 1 January 2021. Has leaving brought the British people together? The politicians, public bodies and private pollsters are still trying to figure out the public sentiment about Brexit. Do we all see the bright future ahead as the prime minister does? At […]

White feathers for cowardly MPs

Anna Girolami & Garry Lawrence

Earlier this year, The Guardian and the Daily Mirror broke the story of how Dominic Cummings, eminence grise to Boris Johnson, flouted lockdown laws to suit himself. For one former Tory voter, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Garry Lawrence had been watching the degradation of public offices and the government’s slide […]

HS2: Is your train delayed indefinitely?

David Rae

The construction of Britain’s second high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and the North is as divisive as Brexit.  Supporters of HS2 view it as progressive investment in rapid, efficient, high-capacity safe travel. Others condemn its escalating costs, environmental impact and now its redundancy with pandemic-emptied trains. The ‘Eastern Leg’ of HS2 […]

#No2NoDeal Rally attracts big names

Hania Orszulik

The ‘Remain’ voices at the #No2NoDeal Action Day virtual rally on 8 October said they have not been silenced and they would not stop fighting for EU and UK values. The rally last week was the European Movement’s second virtual rally on this theme. The event featured speakers from across the political spectrum, including the Conservative party, […]

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