Section: UK

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Have we witnessed the death of the high street?

Mo Kanjilal

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.

Hungry for action − an environmental protest fast

Venetia Carter

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.

Brexit trade deal on a knife-edge: lies and U-turns have destroyed trust

Vivienne Griffiths

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.

Should people’s kindness excuse government from duty?

Tom Serpell

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.

DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY

Defenders of Democracy: Peter Geoghegan

Ginny Smith

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.

A story of workplace bullying

Vivienne Griffiths

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.

Health workers, not ventilators, are our most precious resource

Himmi Kari

As the UK braces itself for round two of the coronavirus pandemic, the conversation has reverted back to subjects from earlier in the year. Perhaps to reassure the public that the second wave may not be as bad, the media touts the gains in hospital beds (or hospitals for that matter), and the amount of […]

Halls of pestilence – but students not to blame

Harriet Willmoth

University cities are becoming hotbeds of Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, over two million students from all over the UK were encouraged to move into accommodation after six months of being told not to mingle. We are putting ourselves and those around us at risk, only to receive the vast majority of our teaching […]

All at sea over a Brexit deal – and fishermen may be left high and dry

Rick Dillon

The fishermen of Hastings once dreamt of a return to a Britain that charted its own course, freed from having to share its coastal waters and fishing opportunities with French, Spanish and Dutch rivals. It was a powerful message behind Brexit – symbolising ‘our island nation’, which once ruled the waves and now had to […]

Free and equal in dignity and rights … for now

Caroline Brown

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948) They’re invisible, intangible and all too easy to lose down the back of the sofa – but you really do need to hang on to human rights. Britain can look back with justifiable pride at a long […]

DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY

Defenders of Democracy: Gina Miller

Ginny Smith

Meeting Gina Miller, you are struck by her energy, her determination, and her passion for social justice. Although her name first came to public notice at the time of the EU referendum, she has actually been a remarkably successful campaigner over a couple of decades. She was a driving force behind the introduction of the 1996 Special Education Needs Act, and later worked on the report and the draft of the Modern Slavery Act with the Centre for Social Justice.