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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The truth matters, Mr Mangnall. Surely you realise that now?

Anthea Simmons

If the events of the past few days have shown us anything, it is that, in the end, truth really must and will prevail. Big whoppers, small fibs – doesn’t really matter. A lie is a lie is a lie and spinning it as a half truth won’t wash. Let’s just consider the circled text […]

“Don’t sell our farmers out to the mighty dollar.” North Devon relief milker and team vicar urges MPs to support Amendment 16b

Anthea Simmons

We ran this article last week on Torridge Council’s decision to express its anger at the government’s decision to vote against protecting food and animal welfare standards in the Agriculture Bill. One of the passionate supporters of the motion proposed by sheep farmer and councillor, Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin, was the local Rural Dean and team vicar, […]

Saxby wriggles. Mercer, Foster and Streeter keep digging.

Anthea Simmons

On 23 October, we published an article on North Devon MP Selaine Saxby’s insensitive but revealing comment on the free school meals issue. You can read the article here. Ms Saxby has attempted to defray the criticism of her (speedily deleted) Facebook post elicited thus: Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m never very […]

Tin-eared, tone-deaf – Selaine Saxby gets it very, very wrong

Anthea Simmons

No-one should have to tolerate abuse in the workplace and bullying is wholly unacceptable. An MP is a public servant with a duty of care to his or her constituents. Having taken on a public role, MPs must expect to attract opprobrium if they act in ways which their constituents do not like. They should […]

EU citizens in the UK need your help. Today.

Anthea Simmons

Update: Amendments defeated, but the Bill goes back to the Lords. There is still hope. Keep up the pressure. The Immigration Bill comes back to the House of Commons from the House of Lords this afternoon, Monday 19 October. The Lords’ amendments include an important safety measure for the three million-plus EU citizens living in […]

Nature and environment boxed set

Anthea Simmons

We are lucky enough to have some excellent writers covering environmental issues. We thought you might appreciate having this selection to dip into, in case you missed any of the articles first time round. Maybe you would like to add a piece of your own? Do you work in conservation? Are you a wildlife fan? […]

Art Matters : Ashburton Arts

Anthea Simmons

Whatever Rishi Sunak did or didn’t say or did or didn’t mean  in his interview with ITV, the debate over the value of the arts and of artists in our society and economy has been front and centre recently. And rightly so. The UK’s creative industries are estimated to contribute around £13 million to the […]

Do-gooders are in the majority, Patel. Get used to it.

Anthea Simmons

Here’s the thing, Priti Patel. You bang on about the activist lawyers and the do-gooders all you like, but you’re forgetting something. Most people are actually decent. Most people prefer being kind to being cruel. Most people do not want to live on a diet of hatred and fear. And most people, when faced with […]

Dark day for the rule of law.

Anthea Simmons

The Conservative government has, this evening, voted AGAINST an amendment that “requires ministers to respect the rule of law and uphold the independence of the courts”. In what warped world could that be good news for any citizen of the UK? Johnson’s Internal Market Bill which could lead to the UK breaking international law passed […]

Making capital out of Coronavirus – the Moonshot scam

Anthea Simmons

There’s money in misery. There’s cash to be made in a crisis. You can monetise just about anything these days, after all. The growth of the social media giants should have taught us that. This government is turning out to be world-beating at funnelling your tax and mine into the pockets of mates, donors and […]

Sir Thomas More speaks for Sir Geoffrey Cox

Anthea Simmons

Boris Johnson may think he has managed to sweet talk abstaining and objecting MPs into backing his heinous Internal Market Bill, but some, it seems, remain resistant to his blandishments and see the issue for what it is: an attempt to legitimise/democritise (make the MPs carry the can) the breaking of international law. Sir Geoffrey […]

A Conservative MP who chose not to undermine the rule of law.

Anthea Simmons

South West Devon’s MP, Sir Gary Streeter, along with his neighbour in Torridge and West Devon Sir Geoffrey Cox, witheld their support for the Internal Market Bill. Sir Gary articulated his reasons for so doing in clear and unequivocal terms. We have his permission to share them here. His fellow Conservative MPs would do well […]

Testing fiasco in Devon: a mother writes to Johnson

Anthea Simmons

As this economical-with-the-truth government continues to claim that testing is working fine, the facts on the ground tell a completely different story. Here is a message for our Prime Minister from a Devon mum with young kids, caught up in the testing chaos. Dear Prime Minister, This is what your handling of the pandemic is […]

Double down – MP accuses constituent of “lacking democracy”

Anthea Simmons

Nice picture of Steve Double MP for St Austell and Newquay showing his ‘support’ for food and farming businesses in the UK. Shame he didn’t vote for fellow Conservative Neil Parish’s amendment to enshrine our food and animal welfare standards in law, but hey! That’s not what we are writing about here. West Country Bylines […]

A ‘good outcome’? The lies just keep coming.

Anthea Simmons

A message from the Editor-in-Chief:It’s not clear whether the Johnson government is playing games or kite-flying with this outrageous idea that it is considering whether to renege on the Withdrawal Agreement by bringing in legislation which will override international treaties*. These are people who like to try to inure us to future outrages by trialling […]

New photo competition (and an apology for last time!)

Anthea Simmons

Doh. It was a good idea, but we set an an impossible subject. You were all too kind (ironically, given the subject was ‘kindness’!) to point this out, but zero entries said it all. Sorry. Let’s try again. The theme this time is ‘sky’. After all, we need something to look up to right now, […]

Gaslit nation

Anthea Simmons

I finally watched George Cukor’s classic film noir, ‘Gaslight’. It’s a masterly piece of cinema and, in any other circumstances, I would have watched it with the simple pleasure that comes from immersion in a well-written, well-acted film. It was chilling, as it was intended to be, but I found my sense of unease growing, […]

Make, borrow, mend…and copy? A community project in Paignton

Anthea Simmons

For many people in the West Country, real life is a long way from the rural or coastal idyll portrayed by the tourism industry or the media.  The percentage of children living in poverty has been climbing across the region and high unemployment, low-paid work and a cycle of deprivation are often hallmarks of many […]

Planning for the future: an open letter from Kernow Matters to Us

Anthea Simmons

Editor’s comment: this open letter is published to amplify local voices. It has not been edited. To: Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing Communities & Local Government Rt Hon George Eustice MP  Steve Double MP Cornwall’s Representative to the Council of Europe Scott Mann MP Sherryl Murray MP Derek Thomas MP […]

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