Section: UK

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Ways I listen to music

Bruce Smeath

“Leave Spotify on and go live your life for a couple of hours. Then come back and see what Spotify has selected for you. 90% won’t do much for you but that other 10% … that could be life-changing.”

NEW WRITER

Eco anxiety is real: but here are six steps you can take this week to tackle the climate crisis

Anna Ford

Eco anxiety is real and defined as “a chronic fear of environmental doom”. But how can we as individuals really make a difference? Group action has achieved positive change already and it can again. This article highlights six practical steps you can take this week to tackle the climate crisis, including switching your bank to a more ethical provider, changing your energy supplier to one which uses 100% renewable energy, and pledging to rewild your garden.

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.

Violence against women must end

Rev Susie Courtault & Vivienne Griffiths
A lit tea light, shining a light on male violence against women.

Susie Courtault and Vivienne Griffiths interviewed five women aged between 12 and 72 about their experiences of male violence and abuse. They conclude that boys need to be educated to process their emotions and to understand that sexual harassment and violence are never acceptable.

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.

Cronyism and contracts continue – but nurses lose out

Vivienne Griffiths
Cartoon of chancellor Rishi Sunak offering a small bag of money to a nurse. Speech bubble saying "It's all there is", while in the background large sacks of money are visible, labelled 'Test Track Trace', 'HS2', 'NI tunnel'. 'Consultants', 'PPE contracts' and 'Levelling up'.

While nurses are offered a 1 per cent pay rise, multi-million pound Covid-related contracts have been awarded to “friends” of the government, often secretly and without going out to tender. Viv Griffiths reveals the cost of some of this cronyism and how it is being successfully challenged in the courts and even by the UK’s medicine agency (MHRA).

NEW WRITER

The mysterious case of the burnt banknote

Michael Green
Image of a burning £50 note; a Union flag in the background.

Conservative orthodoxy tells us that balancing the books of the public economy is both good business and good for business. The last ten years suggest that this is partially or wholly untrue. But why is this model so broken? Michael Green gets his hands dirty digging into the economy’s oily bits.

Going back to where you came from: Britishness and belonging

Mo Kanjilal

Meghan Markle talking about British society stirred up a lot of feelings for Mo Kanjilal and many other people of colour. The fragility of your legitimacy in being British if you are not white is always there. It might not be on the surface all the time, but it is always there, and you don’t know when it’s going to come to the fore.

DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY

Defenders of Democracy: Terry Reintke MEP

Ginny Smith

Terry Reintke attributes her growing awareness of inequality and the injustices in the world to the fact that she grew up as a German. Living with the knowledge that my grandparents and great-grandparents had a duty as citizens in a democracy to speak up for the rule of law, for minorities, and they didn’t really do that. That knowledge brings a level of responsibility and it is why politics and democracy have always played an important part in my own thinking.

Don’t just tell the bees, warn them!

Ginny Foster

In January, when bees are huddled together for warmth in their hives, the government decided to allow farmers to use Thiamethoxam, a neonicotinoid, to treat sugar beet seeds as 2020 had been a bad year for the beet. The government must be made to see that neonicotinoids must never be used as they will always be a threat to bees, to nature, and to its much-vaunted green revolution.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge

Sussex Bylines

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we feature this selection of articles published in Sussex Bylines in the run-up to 8 March, along with other pieces about women who have fought for political representation, challenged prejudice, refused to remain invisible, and who have been proud to hold the banner of women’s rights high.

NEW WRITER

EU nationals – second-class citizens in post-Brexit Britain

Cllr Marianna Ebel

Thousands of EU citizens were disenfranchised in the 2019 European elections – and yet the High Court has ruled that they have no redress against the government. And to avoid becoming an ‘undocumented migrant’ they are forced to apply for EU Settled Status. Cllr Marianna Ebel explains the issues.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Maternity matters – Pregnant then Screwed

Rev Susie Courtault

As International Women’s Day approaches, Susie Courtault regrets the loss of EU anti-discrimination protection of women’s maternity rights as she discusses the recently lost Pregnant then Screwed court case and argues why they should have won.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

My remarkable aunts

Vivienne Griffiths

As International Women’s Day approaches on 8 March, Vivienne Griffiths remembers two of her aunts: Florence Rourke and Kay Williams. Both were remarkable women, in very different ways, and both had a profound influence on Vivienne’s life.

YOUNG WRITER

Clapping for captains

Harriet Willmoth

Captain Sir Tom Moore, 99, raised over £32 million for the NHS by walking around his garden. But he should not have had to do this. When he died, at the age of 100, Boris Johnson asked us to clap for him. Sir Tom’s marvellous effort was hijacked by the government to distract attention from the deaths of more than 120,000 people.

NEW WRITER

Off with her head!

Manek Dubash

For years, the Queen has been meddling in what laws are passed in this country – just one more example of a corrupt system weighted in favour of the wealthy.

UPDATED

UK border control: another world-beating record?

Vivienne Griffiths & Sara Johnson

Since 18 January, all travellers to the UK from overseas must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test and quarantine for up to 10 days on arrival. Travel corridors have also been closed and the government is set to announce mandatory quarantine hotels. But why has it taken so long to introduce such measures?

NEW WRITER

The government needs to think and spend big on children’s mental health

Cllr Elaine Hills

Mental health stigma persists and continues throughout people’s lives. If children are to cope with the scarring of the past year and the extra mental demands of living in a post-Covid society, we must talk about mental health more so they find it as easy as talking about their physical health, and embed that approach into society.

Shifting values and value in a time of Covid

Tom Serpell

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.