The health service belongs to and is free to us all. The very fact of public ownership makes it directly accountable to us, its users. Take the assets into private hands and at a stroke, priorities change, from delivery to dividends. Once control passes to investors, these can decide on pricing, location, frequency, quality and scope of services.
Author: Tom Serpell
Angry retired lefty living in rural Wealden. Lover of family, friends, drawing, most things Spanish and decent government. On Twitter @leftwithnoparty
Most of us belong to tribes, but Boris Johnson has ruthlessly exploited this in the pursuit of power. Could it be his undoing, asks writer Tom Serpell.
Can our society and way of life survive the triple threat of Brexit, Johnson’s government, and climate change? Or are we headed towards a total collapse of civilisation as we know it? Tom Serpell ponders what lies ahead if we don’t take action now…
The results of devolved elections are almost always more proportional than UK general elections, which means that smaller parties are better represented in devolved legislatures and single-party majorities are rare. But the lack of understanding about how local economies work and the lives of the majority of people makes for poor targeting, underfunding of actual needs and both a perception and reality of unfairness.
One of our most prolific contributors, Tom Serpell, takes a break from article writing to give us a succinct breakdown of his relationship with (East) Sussex from the 1950s to present day…
Refugees could make a contribution if this country would only allow more in and let them work. This would relieve desperate people of the dangers of life in camps, on the road or under the control of smugglers. It would enable them to demonstrate their skills and commitment to this country. It would add to the workforce and enrich our culture. This surely constitutes a win-win.
Over the centuries, and particularly in the last hundred years or so, there’s been a decrease in wealthy land-owning aristocrats, an increase in “self-made” rich businesspeople, and therefore a larger number of owners participating in the real estate market. Yet shockingly, around half of England is owned by just 1% of landowners, and they are almost entirely a mixture of corporations, oligarchs and aristocrats. Tom Serpell asks: should anyone actually be entitled to claim ownership of land?
A retired, lifelong left-of-centre activist ponders what constitutes a meaningful legacy, and worries his generation is failing to leave the next with the right kind of wealth…
I love Spain. Spanish Spain. My wife and I must have our Spanish holiday! Despite the efforts of the NHS, it looks likely that we will not be able to enjoy a visit to our favoured haunts this year − again! What to do? The profiteering hospitality of the West Country, much as I love […]
The parallels between 1920s Spain and 2020s Britain are unnerving to say the least. Tom Serpell sounds a warning from history
Britain spends billions on ‘defence’, not because it needs to but because our rulers are still intoxicated by military greatness and by the money to be made. Isn’t it time to move on?
The question of the degree to which market forces should determine remuneration — especially for those in public service – is a thorny one. Do we let the market decide? How can such work be valued? Tom Serpell explores these and other questions thrown into sharp relief by the Covid pandemic.
In cities and villages alike, community life has long depended on key buildings. But how many of these beloved edifices will survive the pandemic?
Political certainties have been jettisoned by a combination of Covid and Brexit. Tories traditionally hold the purse strings tight while Labour demonstrates a greater tendency to spend on public services but today, we’re seeing unprecedented levels of public spending increasing. Tom Serpell explores the implications for political loyalties.
In a democracy every citizen should have the right not only to vote, but also to have someone in parliament who speaks for them, which simply does not happen in First Past the Post races. For Sussex, and the rest of the country, a fair proportional representative voting system seems overdue.
Dolly Parton; Bill Gates; Marcus Rashford, heroes all! Trussell Trust; Sussex Hospices; Help for Heroes, all saints. Or are they? Doing things for others is political activism which is as rewarding for those who do it as for those who may benefit. But much of it should not be happening.
Could the current PM’s desire to centralise government powers be the very factor that stimulates further devolution?
Nationalism has reinfected the world of late. Not patriotic love of country but nationalism, which looks down on other countries, its adherents deaf to evidence, embracing prejudice, exceptionalism and myths.
Conservative party conference 2019
Remember ‘Lock her up!’ and ‘Build the wall’? Surely not a manifesto for government yet the foundation for Trump’s victory four years ago. We live in an age of populism in which messages matter more than manifestos. Even backbench Tories are complaining that their leadership routinely bypasses them, parliament and democracy. Rule by the people, […]
In the centuries since the English Civil War and the Putney Debates it has become customary that democracy is seen and promoted as the most desirable basis for governance, whether at state or local level. Rooted in the concept of human rights, democracy seeks active engagement of all qualifying citizens in selection of policies and […]