Brexit is far from sorted. Now Britain has left the EU, the government is embarking a radical programme which will remove protections for employees and threaten the future of the NHS.
The tragedy of the hard Brexit pursued by the UK is that so many Europe-focused businesses have become instantly unviable, whether they’re selling Scottish langoustines to France, Welsh lamb to Germany or language services to the Netherlands. The Brexit impacts that are being disingenuously described as teething troubles are actually structural.
You’d think, wouldn’t you, that the most dangerous lie would be a sneaky one, one that is reasonably close to the truth? One that kind of grows on the truth − on the fertile fabric of what we already know to be true. But no, it seems that a Big Lie is more potent because in order to believe it you have to disbelieve everything else.
In December 2020, Boris Johnson announced the closure of the Erasmus project, which has enabled 9 million young people to experience studying or working in another European country, citing expense as one of the main reasons. This is short-sighted and mean-spirited.
The dreaded second wave of coronavirus needn’t be like the first. One of the most astounding features of human character is the ability to learn, quickly, if needed. Ten months since the UK’s first confirmed coronavirus case is plenty of time to have learnt what does and doesnt work in managing a pandemic.
The BBC is under threat as never before, as right-wing organisations and MPs work to lower its status in the eyes of the nation, while people in the younger age groups are switching off. Solutions for this problem exist – but who has the courage to implement them?
Next week MPs will decide whether or not to back crucial Lords’ amendments to the government’s Trade Bill. If these amendments are not passed, the health service will be treated like any business – its profitable parts privatised and its data (our data) sold to the highest bidder.
It’s January and the doorbell hasn’t worked for most of the previous year. We’ve kinda got used to it by now. I think my wife still believes I’m going to fix it, but it would be fair to say I’ve taken a relaxed approach to its repair. As I have to a number of other DIY issues.
In cities and villages alike, community life has long depended on key buildings. But how many of these beloved edifices will survive the pandemic?
The current government is overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, and, crucially, almost exclusively from upper class backgrounds. This lack of diversity at the highest level means a lack of perspectives, a lack of life experiences and a glaring lack of understanding of the different challenges and needs of the people government is supposed to serve.
Nine months after contracting COVID-19, Sophie Wilson has still not recovered from the disease and is enduring a range of physical and mental symptoms on a daily basis. She describes the debilitating impact that Long COVID is having on her health and her life.
Gaslighting is a way of control that enables bullying through manipulating the truth to make the victim doubt themselves. It makes you doubt your version of the truth. What happens when a whole nation is being bullied and gaslit? What happens when the population is living without trust in the truth?
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.
Vivienne Griffiths turns the spotlight on the government’s decisions on re-opening schools. She exposes a predictable pattern of delays, U-turns and threats of legal action that jeopardise teachers’ and students’ safety, and cause anxiety and uncertainty among parents.
The deal with the EU may give some certainty to businesses and hauliers, but it also means a mountain of red tape. Ginny Smith assesses the threat border bureaucracy poses to our local ports like Newhaven.
While citizen journalists in the UK work to combat mainstream media bias, other countries arrest and torture the brave voices who speak truth to power. Susie Courtault examines the treatment of two women journalists, in China and Saudi Arabia, and fears for the future of human rights protection in the UK.
Juliet Lodge summarises reactions on Twitter to the last-minute Brexit deal agreed between the UK and the EU. With Boris Johnson’s early promise of frictionless trade abandoned, and parliament given just one day to debate the deal, what does the future hold for Britain’s relationship with its largest trading partner?
It is time for the government to be called to account for its failure to follow proper contracting and employment procedures.
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.
On Saturday 12 December, shoppers in Lewes responded to the problem of food poverty by donating an astonishing 7,002 items of food and household products, up from the 5,661 items collected at Halloween. Organised by Mark Perryman, the 12-hour effort included entertainment from many of the town’s gifted performers.
Rod Watson traces the origins of inns and taverns from the Middle Ages through to the present time: coaching inns, gin joints, the Victorian pubs, the licensing laws and their subsequent liberalisation, the smoking ban and its profound effect on the trade – and the new gangster on the block, Master Covid.
Is a day out at the shops gone forever? The fate of our high streets and the retail brands that drew us to them, is in the balance. Mo Kanjilal explores whether new and innovative brands, and a radical rethink about what to do with existing retail space, can bring our dying town centres back to life.
In this extract from a webinar on 10 December Lord Hannay of Chiswick discusses two key issues in the Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK: the concept of ‘sovereignty’ and the question of fisheries.
To highlight lack of action to address the climate emergency, Extinction Rebellion activist Venetia Carter is fasting for seven days. She passionately believes that the catastrophe of climate breakdown isn’t a problem that can be solved by the people of the future; it is the responsibility of all of us – the people of the present – here and now.
The EU is right not to trust the British government. False promises and outright lies about a trade deal have been dripped into the British public’s and EU’s ears by Brexiteers since 2016. Many of these promises have been quietly dropped in the intervening years, as the reality proved more difficult and ministers’ big claims have come to nothing.
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.
The arts sector more than pays its way – and deserves the extra support it has received during the pandemic, whichever way you look at it.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ is little more than a series of re-heated commitments and under-funded promises.
Peter Geoghegan, investigations editor for Open Democracy, has played a key role in exposing some of the fault lines in our present democracy. In this interview with Ginny Smith he explains what has influenced him, and what motivates him to shine light into the dark corners of UK politics.
Prompted by Boris Johnson’s refusal to sack Priti Patel despite a formal investigation finding evidence of bullying, Vivienne Griffiths recalls her experience of workplace bullying in higher education. Over a five-year period she experienced ongoing bullying from a senior colleague at her university, with significant impact on her professional and personal life.