Section: Sussex

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Letters to the editor

Sussex Bylines
An old-fashioned letterbox

I am not impressed by the government saying there will be a Covid-19 inquiry but now is not the time. They seem to expect praise for saying that but it is crazy to think they ignore the findings of the Allparty Group that shows what a scandalous mess the government has made.

PODCAST

Pride podcast special with Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Sussex Bylines
Brighton Pride August 2019

In this week’s Bylines Network podcast, Chris Davis in Brighton and co-host Connor Lamb in Newcastle (North-East Bylines) have a lively and revealing discussion about what Pride means to them and share their personal experiences of growing up queer. They also interview the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who is only the second British MP to be open about living with HIV. Their conversation proves fascinating, covering everything from the history of Pride to its subsequent commercialisation, and the empty virtue signalling or “Pride-washing” that some corporations are now guilty of. And they don’t shy away from asking perhaps the most contentious question of them all: which Brighton Pride headliner was better – Kylie or Britney?

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Sussex Bylenses: Spotlight on new young photographer

David Holden
Photo of the Brighton beach by Ben Muir aged 12

Sussex Bylenses is pleased to showcase the work of 12-year-old Ben Muir, a young photographer from Steyning. Photo editor David Holden writes: “Ben’s composition and eye for detail demonstrate a natural talent usually only achieved after some years of practice.”

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Sussex Bylenses: photo theme of the month

David Holden
Silhouette of a tree against a dramatic sunset

June is the month of the equinox and longest days of the year. A perfect time to get out and about to enjoy the best morning light and spectacular sunsets. So whatever your camera, it’s got to be worth a try?

THIS LAND IS OUR LAND – how can land be treated as personal property?

Tom Serpell
Private property sign on a barbed wire fence in the UK countryside

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?

NEW WRITER

Bum note – does Johnson’s government hate choral singing?

Ruth McDermott
Photo of a Heathfield Choral Society concert from before Covid

Many activities that prolong exposure to heavy breathing have been given the go ahead for indoor activity, such as working out at the gym, laughing with mates down the pub or chatting over a meal at a local restaurant, not to mention thousands of fans gathering at a football stadium to watch a game, no doubt doing what fans will – hugging, celebrating, chanting and singing! So why has the Government banned all amateur choirs from rehearsing indoors?

What legacy do you want to leave?

Tom Serpell
An adoring grandfather holds up his infant grandchild, who is smiling back

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…

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Podcast: Our Future, Our Voices

Sussex Bylines
Close-up of a microphone.

This week’s Bylines Network podcast features three young hosts, who are all also involved in various regional Bylines: Kerry Pearson in Grantham, Jules Greenbank in Bristol, and new host Chris Davis in Brighton.

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Brighton Fringe: performers raring to go

Alivia Arief
Mural in Brighton, titled 'Brighton Fringe'

Many actors, directors, producers and technicians have suffered at the hands of Covid-19 and the impact that the virus has had on the economy, but also owing to live performances being banned during lockdowns.

OUR FUTURE, OUR VOICES

Talking rubbish? – What really happens to your recycling

Chris Davis
Plastic trays and tubs for recycling

Of all the plastic routinely placed in recycle bins across East Sussex, less than 30% is actually recycled. The rest is incinerated, along with most of the non-recyclable rubbish, and – perhaps surprisingly – it is the incinerator company that decides what is recycled and what is burnt. Changes to the current equipment could allow more types of plastic to be recycled but it would cost upwards of £1million. What cost our environment?

Our Future, Our Voices

Sussex Bylines

The team of citizen journalists at Sussex Bylines are proud to announce the launch of Our Future, Our Voices, a platform for young people, where they can speak of their own experiences first-hand. A space where they can explore their creativity – their skills in photography, poetry, art, podcasts and articles that look at life through their unique and special lens. Throughout this week we are publishing articles by young writers. Subjects range from life at university during lockdown to the Swiss vote to ban the burqa, from the impact of social media on mental health to the environmental impact of incinerating our rubbish.

EUROPE DAY

What does Europe mean to you?

Sussex Bylines
EU flag, with one start missing.

Sunday 9 May, is Europe Day: an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe and the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’. Here we feature some personal testimonies from Sussex people who feel strongly connected to Europe and the EU.

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Preston Park garden manager, Andy Jeavons, and his gardening volunteers

Vivienne Griffiths

When the Brighton Rockery came up as a project in 2000, Andy Jeavons, Preston Park garden manager, jumped at the chance. It was a daunting prospect, as at that stage the garden had not been touched for years and was “completely overgrown”. After the hurricane in 1987, “it went to rack and ruin”, as there was a lot of damage in all the Brighton parks and the Rockery was not a priority.

Storks versus bulldozers: saving Sussex wildlife areas

Elizabeth Riminton-Drury
A pair of storks in their nest on a tree at Knepp estate.

Developers are planning to build 3,500 houses on a greenfield site right next to the major rewilding project at the Knepp Estate, blocking a vital wildlife corridor, increasing carbon emissions, and leaving Knepp as a wildlife island in a sea of housing. Campaigners are urging the government to step in and stop it.

Building the community of the future

Paul Hannam
Graphic

We have until 2030 to reduce our carbon emissions, or face devastating climate collapse with disastrous consequences for humanity as a whole. It is not just up to governments to make policy, or businesses to develop new technology. This alone is not going to save us. We need to change our individual lifestyles, and the best way to achieve this is by working together.

A spoke in the wheel

Ginny Smith
Bicycle chained on seafront railing.

Action group ‘Bespoke’ has been campaigning for safe cycling routes in Eastbourne for many years but every time a breakthrough is close, somehow all its efforts run into the sand. Every other Sussex seaside town has a cycle lane along the front. Eastbourne is the exception, and it is almost certainly because – unlike nearby Brighton – it is not a unitary authority.

NEW WRITER

Engels in Eastbourne – radical history tour

Carol Mills
Memorial plaque to Friedrich Engels, with red paint sprayed all over it.

Eastbourne campaigners, in 50-year battle to reinstate Engels plaque removed in 1976 after being vandalised by the National Front, launch a new walk to uncover Eastbourne’s radical past: Engels and the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

Spain in Sussex

Tom Serpell
View of the Sussex Downs, on top of the Seven Sisters.

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 […]

See, Support, Report: a safe, effective way to react to racism

Rick Dillon

Structural racism is endemic in our society, but it can be challenged. Sussex Bylines shines a light on the nature of unconscious bias, the racial inequalities highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic and hears from Shamser Chohan, creative director of the social enterprise Communities Inc.

LONGER READ

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.

YOUNG WRITER

Being black and British: the identity crisis I did not ask for

Paige Furlonge-Walker
Black British

Watching the Meghan Markle interview triggered difficult emotions for Paige Furlonge Walker, a young black British woman. The interview felt to Paige like an attack on all black people and all non-white folk. Paige felt angry, with nowhere to direct the momentum it gave her. This article is her doing something about it.