Author: James Joughin

James Joughin works in International Development and specialises in agriculture and rural development in East Africa. His novel, In a Sorry State (Banange Press, 2015) is set in Uganda. Born and educated in Scotland, James has lived in Brighton for 10 years. He tweets when absolutely necessary at @JPJoughin

Bring back fun: a manifesto for madness in dire times

James Joughin
XR protesters, dressed in protective clothing, pushing a small boat on large wheels.

With the prospect of a general election as early as next year, what can campaigners do to break the Tories’ grip on power? James Joughin explores progressive alliances, the ‘Portillo moment’ and Martin Bell’s surprise victory in 1997, as well as lessons to be learned from the Situationist International, the Sex Pistols and Extinction Rebellion.

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Storm clouds gather over the English village green

James Joughin

English cricket has been a disaster area in recent years, with the number of wickets lost at an all-time high, and runs scored at an all-time low. It’s a metaphor for the state of English politics, argues James Joughin, as he lists the mis-steps, mistakes and outright lies of Boris Johnson and others. Is it karma, or something deeper?

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Further adventures on the trigging trail: The 2021 Pangdean Bottom Trespass

James Joughin
People protesting by walking on part of the South Downs that is owned by Brighton council but is not accessible to the public

Author James Joughin joins a very polite and orderly ‘mass trespass’ on the South Downs – 300 people walking into a valley at Pangdean Bottom. This is not land owned by a caricature evil landlord but Brighton Council-owned and rented out to tenant farmers. The trespassers’ point was that it was totally unavailable for use by Brighton city residents and taxpayers, even though the footprints of walkers would surely do no more harm than the hooves of cattle.

WHAT SUSSEX MEANS TO US

Deeper currents

James Joughin
Quirky poster for the Small Wonder short story festival at Charleston

For Scottish-born and bred James Joughin, it wasn’t until he’d been living in Brighton for quite a few years that he began to tune into the intriguing “deeper currents” of life in Sussex…

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Schooling in Brighton – a Tale of Three Cities

James Joughin
Frontage of Brighton College

Below the shiny liberal surface of the UK’s second most progressive city there is a sharkpit which you fall into at your peril. James Joughin investigates the stark differences in educational achievement across Brighton and Hove.

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Walking in the Downs – a lockdown odyssey

James Joughin
James Joughin and his dog Ringo on the South Downs, summer 2020

“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”

Cuts in aid: Johnson and Raab open another front in the culture war

James Joughin

Johnson’s government is resisting the warnings of five former prime ministers and implementing major cuts to Britain’s international aid budget. Such significant reductions are grim news for people in the world’s poorest countries just as we are seeing the first year-on-year increase in extreme poverty in two decades.