Section: UK

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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.

NEW WRITER

How lessons learned from COVID can help us combat the climate crisis

Paul Hannam

As we begin to take stock of the enormity of this seismic shock to the global system, we should acknowledge that there is a much greater disruption on the horizon. Our Earth is in critical condition. And the lessons we’ve all learned over the past year dealing with COVID will be invaluable in combatting the looming climate crisis.

NEW WRITER

Selling to Europe from Sussex

Helen Gibbons

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.

NEW WRITER

If you’re going to lie, make it a BIG one

Hannah Chapman

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.

Losing Erasmus: a tragic and costly mistake

Vivienne Griffiths

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 second round of Corona is here, and I’m ready for it

Himmi Kari

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.

A Beleaguered British Corporation: the BBC under fire

Ginny Smith

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?

Only days left to protect our NHS from trade deal threats

Rick Dillon

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.

The DIY dunce and the doorbell

Bruce Smeath

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.