Author: Anthea Simmons

Anthea Simmons is an award-winning children's author, editor and activist. She grew up in Cornwall and Devon before spending twenty plus years in the City in institutional asset management.​ Her areas of interest include diversity and inclusion, the environment and electoral reform. She is editor-in-chief for West Country Bylines

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Marcus Fysh talking codswallop. Part 2

Anthea Simmons

MP for Yeovil Marcus Fysh is on fire at the moment. He’s become an expert epidemiologist and virologist in the space of a few days and now he is acting like a business development exec for private healthcare insurance companies. At first it seemed as though he and Newton Abbot MP Anne Marie Morris were […]

Marcus Fysh talking (potentially dangerous) codswallop. Part 1

Anthea Simmons

MP for Yeovil Marcus Fysh has miraculously become a medic – and an epidemiologist and virologist to boot. Perhaps he’s piloting a new government strategy aimed at filling the shortages in experienced staff across a whole range of sectors whereby an individual has only to express a nodding acquaintance with a subject or a function […]

Lying and liars are killing our democracy: help to make it stop

Anthea Simmons

Make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence “The Government should introduce legislation to make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence. This would mean that all MPs, including Ministers, would face a serious penalty for knowingly making false statements in the House of Commons, as is the case in a […]

The Brexit-exacerbated blood bottle shortage: why your doctor may not be able to offer you the blood test you need. UPDATED

Anthea Simmons

About a fortnight ago we saw medics and commentators expressing concerns over shortages of blood bottles. Research indicated that this was a worldwide phenomenon created by the massive hike in demand as a consequence of the pandemic. Now it appears that Brexit is exacerbating an already difficult situation with supply chains interrupted by border issues […]

Send Botham Down Under? That’s just plain batty!

Anthea Simmons
Chappell and Botham cartoon

Liz Truss, the cheese obsessive who counts rollover trade deals as the sign of the dawn of a new era for ‘global Britain’ and crows about flogging a few stiltons to the famously-lactose intolerant Japanese has hit diplomacy for six with her gleeful appointment of Brexit-fanatic Botham as trade envoy to Australia. Ennobled for his […]

“You cannot coordinate an international response from a beach” Why we must challenge this government’s behaviour

Anthea Simmons

The quote is from Sir Keir Starmer in today’s debate. The Afghanistan crisis, quite aside being an unimaginable tragedy for the Afghan people, has thrown up very serious questions about the competence, integrity, honesty, trustworthiness and statesmanship of this government. We have to keep calling these abject failures out because they are failings that are […]

It could all have been so very, very different

Anthea Simmons

For the purpose of this article, let us accept that the Conservatives are in power and were in power when some of the events referred to occurred. Readers may say “But what if it had been Corbyn or Starmer?”. Please set that alternative scenario to one side. I am looking at what was genuinely a […]

Construction costs exacerbated by Brexit

Anthea Simmons

Our eye was caught by this thread on Twitter which we are reproducing with the author’s kind permission. It prompted some further research into costs and an interview with a carpenter with a business in renovation and conversion projects in Devon. More from him below. Conversation with the dads at my son’s footie training yesterday […]

Horticulture: blighted by Brexit

Anthea Simmons

You may have already seen the story that Plants Galore in Newton Abbot, Plymouth and Exeter will be giving away £100,000 worth of stock because of Brexit.  WCB had also been sent a press release from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) about a recent visit by Brexit-backing MP for South East Cornwall, Sheryll Murray, to […]

The guff Johnson writes to his fanbase: a litany of lies and vacuities

Anthea Simmons

It’s bad enough lying to your enemies and the uninformed or indifferent, but lying to your friends and supporters is a whole new level of degeneracy. Reading Johnson’s latest email to the party faithful illustrates once again the man’s facility for falsehood. “Two years ago today, when I became Prime Minister, we got straight to […]

The Police freeze out Patel

Anthea Simmons

The Police Federation of England and Wales have announced that they no longer have confidence in Home Secretary Priti Patel. Patel-watchers will be wondering which of her many egregious acts, opinions or policies brought the Police, at long last, to the realisation that she is not deserving of anyone’s confidence. Was it because they suddenly […]

Meet our Prime Monster

Anthea Simmons
caricature of Boris Johnson with text "Because the dead can't vote

If there is anyone out there who still believes that lovable rogue Boris Johnson has done his best, poor man, in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis, we suggest they read this. .@BorisJohnson: “It’s only over-80s who’ll die.” 🏴‍☠️ Tomorrow’s @DailyMirror. Reminder of @BorisJohnson‘s record with care homes. 🏴‍☠️ @BorisJohnson 🧐 🏴‍☠️ Originally tweeted […]

Devon has a message for Johnson and Javid: get your hands off our NHS!

Anthea Simmons

The government’s health and social care bill passed its second reading with barely a murmur from the mainstream media, much less any proper public scrutiny. Amongst a number of proposals which open up the NHS to private health providers is the carving up of the NHS into 42 ‘integrated care systems’ (ICSs). One of these […]

Package pile-up as 70 postal workers self-isolate in central Devon

Anthea Simmons

The image above shows the growing backlog of undelivered parcels at Ashburton Post Office and library as a consequence of covid-related staff shortages, with 70 of the 100 sorting office and delivery staff self-isolating following Covid-19 notification ‘pings’. Deliveries in a number of areas in Teignbridge and the South Hams are similarly affected. Ashburton Post […]

The fish rots from the head

Anthea Simmons

First of all, I must apologise for yet another article about football. I don’t even like it that much. I certainly don’t know anything about the actual game from a technical point of view. But, like it or not, football has come to be something of a focal point for our nation’s values and outlook […]

A dangerous masquerade

Anthea Simmons
Johnson outside No. 10 on a giant St George flag

If England win tonight, you just know that Johnson will muscle (!) in to claim credit. I have a vision of him, having been woken up by a sharp poke in the ribs by Carrie, shambling towards the dais, hellbent on snatching the trophy from Kane’s hands. The worst foul you’ll ever see at Wembley. […]

We are in grave danger of being boiled frogs

Anthea Simmons
Frog n a bucket

I’m going to repeat the boiled frog analogy (in which no frogs will be harmed…unlike us and our democracy). The unfortunate creature (metaphorically-speaking) is in a pan of cold water which is slowly, slowly being heated up. The frog adjusts his tolerance levels as the water changes from a pleasant coolness to a mildly uncomfortable […]

The slogan: a dangerous tool in the wrong hands

Anthea Simmons

“You jabber, we jab; you dither, we deliver; you vacillate, we vaccinate” . This was Johnson’s most recent well-rehearsed and grotesquely, offensively superficial response to a question about rape convictions in prime minister’s questions (but no answers…) on 23 June. The tactic has worked well for Johnson whom John Bercow recently described as having “a […]

Forget this government’s twisted idea of the ‘people’s priorities’: here are some we can unite behind

Anthea Simmons

In Amersham and Chesham, many who traditionally voted Conservative abandoned the party which has abandoned them and whose leadership, priorities and methods they view with increasing distaste. Instead, they voted for the party most likely to remove the Conservatives from a seat they had held since the constituency’s creation in 1974. In this instance, it […]

Truss is no support for cheese

Anthea Simmons

Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they will inherit Liz Truss’s vision of the earth. Trade secretary Liz Truss is famous for her obsession with cheese. Unfortunately this zeal does not translate into recognition of the damage done to the UK’s cheese businesses by Brexit. Instead, it manifests itself in maniacal enthusiasm for miniscule trade deals […]