Sue Gray, the civil servant charged with investigating lockdown-breaching parties at 10 Downing Street, will not produce the silver bullet critics of Boris Johnson are hoping for.
Rewilding is all the rage yet there remain key fatal flaws in the model. First is the fragmented nature of rewilding in the UK. Second, it remains largely the domain of a handful of privileged people. Could greater democratic oversight help repair fragmentation?
Over the past few weeks a number of scandals have rocked Westminster and Boris Johnson’s position as prime minister. Vivienne Griffiths examines the fallout of the ongoing furore and its impact on the Conservative government and its leader.
Boris Johnson’s government is mired in allegations of sleaze and corruption, and despite the PM’s protests, it doesn’t look as if they are going to go away any time soon.
Most of us belong to tribes, but Boris Johnson has ruthlessly exploited this in the pursuit of power. Could it be his undoing, asks writer Tom Serpell.
The award-winning film-maker David Puttnam speaks of his fears for the future of our democracy and points to a warning from history: the rise of Nazi Germany.
Can our society and way of life survive the triple threat of Brexit, Johnson’s government, and climate change? Or are we headed towards a total collapse of civilisation as we know it? Tom Serpell ponders what lies ahead if we don’t take action now…
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?
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…
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…
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.
How can opposition parties take back control from the increasingly right-wing Conservatives? The choice is between divisive tribal nationalism and an opposition of shared values and cooperation.
While some expressed moral outrage, most people were more upset by the hypocrisy shown by the Health Secretary in brazenly breaking the social distancing guidelines that he himself had set, especially when so many who have lost loved ones to Covid had stuck to the rules…. It was only the unrelenting outcry from MPs, the public, and the media, that finally forced Hancock’s hand into “doing the decent thing” and resigning.
Over the centuries, and particularly in the last hundred years or so, there’s been a decrease in wealthy land-owning aristocrats, an increase in “self-made” rich businesspeople, and therefore a larger number of owners participating in the real estate market. Yet shockingly, around half of England is owned by just 1% of landowners, and they are almost entirely a mixture of corporations, oligarchs and aristocrats. Tom Serpell asks: should anyone actually be entitled to claim ownership of land?
A retired, lifelong left-of-centre activist ponders what constitutes a meaningful legacy, and worries his generation is failing to leave the next with the right kind of wealth…
AC Grayling, philosopher, author, eminent academic, journalist, social media activist…and champion for Remain is profiled by Ginny Smith in Sussex Bylines’ popular Defenders of Democracy series.
Banning face coverings in our new, post-Covid world of legally enforceable face mask mandates sounds implausibly ironic. But that’s exactly what has happened in Switzerland.
Local elections are happening across the UK on 6 May 2021. Their results affect us all. So why do the vast majority of voters not bother to cast their ballot?
The parallels between 1920s Spain and 2020s Britain are unnerving to say the least. Tom Serpell sounds a warning from history
This week’s Bylines Network podcast comes from Sussex: Mo Kanjilal and Stephanie Prior in conversation about the importance of encouraging representation at a local level.
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.
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.
Sanna Marin has led her country through the same crisis all world leaders have faced this past year, the COVID-19 pandemic. And while she does not get as many headlines as Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand, her record is impressive.
Following the military coup in Myanmar on 1 February, a growing civil disobedience movement has emerged, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to daily protest marches. Young people have been instrumental in mobilising opposition and ensuring global coverage of the demonstrations.
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.
As Kamala Harris took the oath to become vice-president of the USA, she became the first woman and the first person of colour in this role. People are inspired by her, what she represents and the role model she is. But is she being held to different standards because she is the first?
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.
Susie Courtault explores the role of religion in US politics, examining the differences between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. While Trump cynically used Christianity to court the right-wing evangelical base, Biden at his inauguration pledged to restore the soul of America in a truly unifying speech, imbued with heart and soul, and love cloaked in patriotism.
Has democracy ever been as threatened as it is now by populist strong men, serial liars, alternative truths and the eye watering wealth, power and baleful influence of big business?
With its history of democracy discovered, developed, lost and reclaimed, Greece reminds us of what we owe the past, how we conduct ourselves in the present, and how long it takes for great ideas to come to fruition.
After 10 years of tireless campaigning Stacey Abrams and her Fair Fight Action Team succeeded in flipping the state of Georgia to the Democrats for the first time in 20 years. Mo Kanjilal explores their work for voter empowerment and the lessons it holds for the UK.