Section: UK

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Blood on her hands

Ross McNally

Under Home Secretary Priti Patel, what was once the policy of fringe British National Party crackpots is now at the heart of government. Her response to the deaths of 27 refugees at sea is playing politics with people’s lives.

Daddy’s Girl finally faces the music

Rick Dillon

Ghislaine Maxwell, who will appear in court in New York from Monday (29 Nov) accused of procuring underage girls for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is no stranger to controversy. Rick Dillon recalls the influence of her father, the crooked newspaper publisher Robert Maxwell. Jeffrey Epstein was not the first monster in Ghislaine Maxwell’s life. […]

You say you don’t want the Government to privatise the NHS?

Tom Serpell
“N4S” by secretlondon123 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

UPDATE ON COP26

On the streets at COP26, I catch up with a ‘Sussex legend’

Anna Scott

DAY 3 in Glasgow  After my day in the Green Zone, I decided that I would spend a day on the streets. The sun was out and the autumn leaves looked so  golden and beautiful it seemed criminal to be inside. I began the day with a special Sussex Bylines assignment. In late August, one […]

So much misinformation around Covid… but what does the science say?

Louise Serpell

Social media has started to undermine the importance of scientific evidence, with people instead reporting hearsay and personal anecdotes as “proof” of whatever opinion or belief they are Tweeting or blogging about. But this is not evidence… Professor of Biochemistry Louise Serpell examines the dangers of scientific misinformation and advises on ways we can all learn to separate scientific fact from fiction…

Who will police the police?

Allegra Chapman
Downing Street police guards seen through the railings

Since Sarah Everard was murdered in March by a serving police officer, 81 women have been killed in the UK at the hands of men. How are women supposed to feel safe on our streets if the very people whose primary job is to protect us are instead disregarding, mocking or killing us? Can women trust the police? And perhaps more importantly, should we?

Labour conference buried gem: Land laws reform to stop the “free-for-all”

Rick Dillon
Labour Party Shadow Secretary for Housing Lucy Powell speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Sept 2021

Forget Starmer’s speech, McDonald’s resignation and Rayner’s expletives, says Sussex Bylines writer Rick Dillon, who attended much of the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this week. Far more important were the under-reported land laws reform proposals, some put forward by the Hastings & Rye local party and passed enthusiastically by delegates, that would stop the developers’ planning free-for-all and could finally fix our nation’s housing crisis…

TOXIC SHOCK

For the birds: Brexit’s latest shock, a toxic threat to our water system

Ginny Smith & Rick Dillon
a yellowhammer bird in a tree

The safety of our water systems is now threatened due to the shortage of HGV drivers who deliver the chemicals needed to decontaminate wastewater. This is therefore a problem stemming directly from the consequences of Brexit – and one which, among many others, was predicted in the government’s own Operation Yellowhammer report, which laid out disaster contingency plans in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which has now become reality.

The unkindest cut – real life stories

Sussex Bylines
Woman looking at the "Keep the lifeline" petition on her smart phone

We invited Sussex Bylines readers to share their personal experiences of how the government’s planned Universal Credit cut will affect them. We have already received some courageous responses that make for sobering – and in some cases, heartbreaking – reading…

UPDATED

The unkindest cut of all

Ginny Smith
Tories Foodbank Soup cans mural in London by artist Georgie

Despite dire predictions and warnings, Johnson’s government seems determined to cut the £20 a week “uplift” payments for Universal Credit recipients. Yet as critics of the move point out, this cut is not only cruel and ill-timed, but doesn’t even make economic sense…

Is devolution the UK’s best route to fairer voting and true democracy?

Tom Serpell
Tiny polling station for pixies in a colourful children's playground

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.

Afghan refugees desperately need our help…

Vivienne Griffiths
A line of child refugees in Kabul, Afghanistan

Government bungling together with Priti Patel’s inhumane Borders Bill and disastrous Home Office response have only served to hinder humanitarian efforts, both with the evacuation in Afghanistan and assisting asylum seekers here in the UK. Traumatised Afghan refugees who have barely escaped with their lives deserve kindness, compassion and support, not more hostility. Writer Vivienne Griffiths examines the horrifying events of recent days and offers practical advice for anyone iwanting to help refugees locally…

UPDATE ON COP26

Giving voice to climate activists – and the coat arrives!

Ginny Smith
Barbara Teal wearing the Coat of Hopes before any patches have been added, leading a group in song on Newhaven Beach

From Sussex to Scotland: Coat of Hopes just embarked on an inclusive, inspiring, and uniquely creative 500-mile, 60-day pilgrimage to the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. And at its centre is a community-made patchwork coat that is transformed as it travels…