Section: Politics

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Bringing European music to schools

Ann C Holland

In 1992 we lived and worked in Dorset. A beautiful count where I was Deputy Head of Lytchett Minster School.

Two of my colleagues were language teachers and together, we decided to create a European fortnight of theatre, music and food to celebrate the Union. Most of the staff and students got involved, and we produced several Spanish and French plays, held three concerts and hosted a Brazilian/Portuguese dance group who happened to be visiting Bournemouth.

If not now, then when? – Enough of the excuses

Joel Bates

In the early stages of the pandemic, excuses centred around its unexpected nature. The government was ‘doing its best’. Fast forward to the peak of lockdown one, suddenly making excuses was much harder than it had been. An enormous death toll, failure after failure, it was proving more difficult to defend the government’s actions, or rather, inactions.

It’s a gas, gas, gas

Anna Girolami

Anaesthetists, on the whole, have a chip on their shoulder. We are the single largest hospital specialty in the NHS and, in our own view, we pretty much run the place. Try having surgery without an anaesthetist, or a baby or a critical illness or a chronic pain issue or an intravenous dialysis line or.. I could go on, but you get the point. In essence, we (yes we, I worked as an NHS anaesthetist for ten years) provide the physiological bedrock upon which all other specialties have to stand to perform their work.

Boris’s Culture War

Stephen Wilmot

Since last summer Boris Johnson has established himself as a committed culture warrior. With his union jacks, his imperial nostalgia, his right wing appointments to media bodies and his denunciations of radical protest, he is clearly imposing an authoritarian nationalist agenda on the country. In effect he is recruiting the machinery of the state to shift Britain’s cultural centre of gravity to the right.

A Union disunited?

James Lindsay

Although one seat short of a majority, the SNP performance at the recent Scottish Parliament election should not be underestimated nor its implications for the future of the UK. The hybrid list-constituency electoral system in Scotland was specifically designed to prevent Westminster-style one-party dominance and yet despite that the SNP came so very close.

The Death of Dalian Atkinson

Anna Girolami

Last year in Minneapolis, a black man was killed by a white US police officer. Two weeks ago, officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd in a landmark court case that was reported around the world and hailed by the US president himself as a “giant step forward” against systemic racism […]

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.

Selling a Picasso for peanuts – Allestree Park golf course

Andrew Picken

Allestree Park golf course closed on January 1st 2021. As Derby slides listlessly towards the local elections on Thursday, questions are being raised over decisions taken by the city council about the course. It’s a site that is special to many people in the city, golfers or not, and especially so during Covid-19 when outdoor […]

Dux Mea Lux – the long shadow of Mussolini

Clark Renney

On April 28 76 years ago, a fallen national leader and his mistress were executed by partisans, having been captured the previous day attempting to flee their native Italy for the safety of neutral Switzerland as the Second World War in Europe approached its catastrophic end. The woman’s name was Claretta Petacci; and her lover, […]

It was made by men, and it could have been prevented by men

Clark Renney

An exhibition was held in 1983, in what was then West Germany, marking the ascension to power of the Nazis fifty years earlier; and I remember one of the event’s organisers being interviewed on television. He was asked why the exhibition was being staged, when so many modern Germans would rather leave their dark past […]

Yes, we have no bananas

Richard Hall

American presidents often like to use the first 100 days of their administrations to set the tone of their presidency. As we approach the 100th day of true Brexit (that is, the end of the so-called transition period, even if not all checks on imports are still being done), it seems reasonable to apply the […]

‘Extreme hoarders – Midland’s billionaires edition: part 1’

Joel Bates

In this first of two articles, we focus on four of the West Midland’s wealthiest billionaires. What is a billion? At this point, it is important to put a billion pounds into perspective. I do not want to give the impression that anyone who earns a high figure salary or does well for themselves doesn’t […]

The democracy myth

Cliff Mitchell

Staffordshire in the West Midlands has a population of over 1.1 million,  contains extremes of wealth, inner-city poverty and everything in between and is spread over historical market towns, rolling farmland, and post-industrial cities. Divided into twelve parliamentary constituencies, in the 2019 general election 40% of the Staffordshire electorate voted Conservative and all twelve constituencies […]

Changes to EU citizens’ rights should concern us all

Mark Vaughan

For decades, EU citizens had the right under EU free movement law to live their lives in the UK but now must ask for permission to continue to do so by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. From today, they only have 90 days left until the application deadline of 30 June, after which many […]

What do you mean, Reboot GB?

Liz Crosbie

In 2019, political processes and opposition seemed to have crashed. The idea of rebooting to counter the blue screen of death was born. Talks about a possible intervention began during the autumn of chaos 2019 when the Johnson/Cummings/Bannon/Alt-Right agenda became apparent. After the GE in 2019, things got serious. It was clear that the political […]