Category: Europe

A gap year in Franco’s Spain

Claire Hill

Spain under Franco in the 1970s was full of inequalities. Claire Hill spent her gap year in 1971 teaching in Madrid, where she saw at first hand the poverty of ordinary people and met many young people who opposed Franco’s rule – as well as some who supported him.

Festival of Europe comes to the Brighton Fringe

Tamsin Shasha

The Festival of Europe is coming to Brighton on Sunday 29 May, with an afternoon of debate, poetry and music. Local MP Caroline Lucas will chair a discussion about democracy under fire, and the event features live music by the Undead Musicians Club.

EUROPE DAY

Celebrating Europe and keeping hope alive

Ginny Smith

A rally and concert on the Sunday ahead of May 9, Europe Day, organised in London by Thank EU for the Music and the European Movement, offered the first opportunity for over two years to break out the flags and banners and join others in celebrating Europe and the 70 years of peace achieved since the founding of the Common Market.

Britain’s new energy security strategy offers nothing for struggling consumers

Dorothy Smith

Instead of focusing investment in energy efficiency, the UK’s new energy security strategy favours slower, more expensive sources such as nuclear power and offshore wind, and neglects cheaper renewable alternatives such as onshore wind and solar power. The chance to address high consumer costs and the UK’s dependence on energy imports has been missed.

NEW WRITER

Tango: a dance from Europe’s heart

Pez Pearson

The tango may have originated in Argentina and Uruguay, but its roots came from European immigrants, especially the Slavic cultures of eastern Europe. Pez Pearson describes the multi-cultural traditions of this social dance and how it returned to its roots in Europe, including Ukraine, where people still dance in the lull between bombing.

NEW WRITER

Message to Starmer: think again about rejoining the EU

Colin Gordon

Pro-European campaigners have written to Sir Keir Starmer to urge him to moderate his hardline view and think again about rejoining the EU. In the light of recent polls and evidence that Brexit is not going well, Grassroots for Europe supporters are asking Starmer to consider the possible benefits to Labour of a more moderate standpoint.

The French Presidential election: final round

Dorothy Smith

France stands at a political crossroads, with first-round voting in the Presidential election resulting in a run-off between the centrist President Macron and right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen. Dorothy Smith analyses the policies of the two candidates and the crucial role that voters for left-wing Melenchon will play in the final round.

Marching with Ukraine: ‘Today we tell Putin he will fail’

Tamsin Shasha

Thousands gathered in the capital in a sea of blue and yellow. Tamsin Shasha describes the recent Stand With Ukraine march in London: “Our hearts soar. We are proud to be here. We are proud to challenge this government’s despicable response to the refugee crisis and their insistence on bureaucratic visas.”

Lacking humanity – Whitehall’s response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis

Vivienne Griffiths
Sign reading "No visas delivered in Calais", seen on the main information noticeboard at Calais youth hostel where Ukraine refugees are sleeping.

Two weeks into Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, millions are fleeing the country in the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since the second world war. EU countries are welcoming the refugees with open arms, offering automatic protection for up to three years without the need to apply for asylum. But what of the UK – is our government doing enough to help?

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Sussex has its very own link to Europe. Let’s cherish it.

Tom Serpell

Newhaven is important in Sussex history and could be in its future. Brexit may be unhelpful but does not prevent travel. Tom Serpell and his wife cherish their local route to France to remind themselves of life beyond these shores and continue to enjoy another culture every bit as civilised and interesting as our own.

BREXIT VOTE FIVE YEARS ON

So, after all the promises: is Brexit really done?

Dorothy Smith

In the light of all the propaganda, no doubt some people were persuaded by the slogan’Get Brexit done’, to change their vote at the last general election, imagining that, after Brexit, things would change for the better.  On the day the UK officially left the EU, 31 January 2020, Britain’s exit was presented by Boris […]

Playing For England: Football and national identity

Mo Kanjilal
Image showing the England football team kneeling on the pitch with Priti Patel arriving in a tank and Boris Johnson streaking topless

The wonderful fact is that this team really does represent what it is to be English today. They represent Englishness and belonging. They inspire those of us from immigrant backgrounds to embrace being English and to be proud to support the team. Sport does have a way of doing that. And it is especially needed for a country that has been so divided in recent years.

Tracks of a Trickster – who does Boris Johnson think he is?

Rev Susie Courtault
A satirical photo tableau depicting Boris Johnson and new bride Carrie Symonds in the rose garden with body bags piled high

Because adultery and abortion are considered sinful in the Catholic Church, a large number of Christians (who take their faith very seriously) are appalled that a serial adulterer, and someone well known to have abandoned his children, could get away with taking the sacraments in Westminster Cathedral. Yet reinventing himself is part of his raison d’être. I suspect he has no particular attachment to being able to take the sacraments and went along with the whole process because he had no strong opinions either way — and that is exactly what a trickster would do.