“I say to fellow immigrants ‘put in to this country. Do not take out. Put in.’” Khaled Wakkaa has been living in Exeter since March 2017, when he arrived from war-torn Syria and years in refugee camps in Lebanon, with his wife Dalal and young daughter Lemar (now joined by a little sister born in […]
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
£50 note burning under Union flag
“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”― George Orwell There have been rumours circulating for some time now that Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail and still editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail Group, will be confirmed as the new chair of Ofcom. He is […]
It has been unedifying, to say the least, to see people piling on to Brexit reality stories to shout “told you so!” to the victims of the Brexit scam. This story, as it happens , is about a business owner who saw through the lies from the start. A pragmatist, he resigned himself to the […]
West Country Bylines is delighted to invite you to a special Q&A event following the release of Robert Golden’s powerful and elegiac film – This Good Earth. The film’s director, Robert Golden will be joined by Professor Timothy Lang, Professor of Food Policy, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London and Simon Holland, farmer […]
Aww! Bless June Mummery for spotting that leaving the EU meant no more attendance of the meetings, but really! Poor LibDem Caroline Voaden, who like the other non Brexit-cultist MEPs, including Conservative Dr Charles Tannock, Labour’s Clare Moody and the Green’s Molly Scott Cato, tried frantically to explain what Brexit would do to fishing. We […]
You might want to watch this. This is the contempt in which this government holds you. The very same contempt it shows the hauliers, the NHS, the small businesses, the entrepreneurs who have been excluded, the exporters, the farmers…you name it. Watch this and see how you are treated. Is a one word answer to […]
“We managed to get a shipment through to Europe which took SIX days instead of ONE. Rejected because it’s no longer fresh. We’ve paid the carriage to send it out and we have to pay to ship it back. We have to bin the cheese. We have to refund the customer. We also LOSE the […]
As MP for Totnes, your constituency includes the fishing town of Brixham, where some of the most valuable catches of shellfish are landed and exported to the EU. The fishermen there must be as angry about the Brexit deal as those up the coast in West Bay. Or the guys in Scotland, who are going […]
More than 3 million people have been excluded from any sort of financial aid in the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have been driven to take their own lives. Some have survived attempts. Here is one story out of many. I have just spent an hour on the phone to one of the many, many victims of […]
There’s no way around it, I am afraid. Brexit ‘succeeded’ because it was based on a toxic combo of eye-watering lies and staggering ignorance – most of which is still on display in the government right now. Hamsandwichgate is a classic example of (wilful) ignorance. We left the EU. We are now a third country. […]
Both in the USA and the UK, citizens are being asked to set aside their horror and outrage at domestic events – the Trump putsch there, the Covid-19 death toll and post-Brexit chaos here – and ‘come together’ for the sake of the country. How dare the perpetrators ask this of us? I was prompted […]
Would you like to express a view on one of our articles? Add to the information? Give us a different perspective? Then, please, do email us! Tell us who you are and where you come from and if you have a particular expertise in the relevant field add that, too. We may publish your letter […]
I had begun an article on the confirmation of more hopeful signs for democracy in the USA coming from the run-off elections in Georgia…and not because Democrats won, but because the long hard effort to secure voter engagement right across the electorate had paid off. I will return to the subject, because there are important […]
Johnson. You have failed us. You are failing us. Through your incompetence and love for the last minute U-turn, you will have caused unnecessary deaths. People from across the political divide and from the medical professions have been trying their damnedest to help you to get it right, but you’ve played politics and the virus […]
‘The Party claimed, of course, to have liberated the proles from bondage [ … ] The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.’ George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell might have added that the Party also ensured that you only saw and heard the […]
Most dogged defenders of our food & farming standards: Devon MPs Ben Bradshaw, Luke Pollard and Dorset MP Simon Hoare stand amongst those who braved the government to demand standards be enshrined in law and not on the table in any future trade deals. (Devon MP Neil Parish almost made it into this select group, […]
Humanitarian of the Year: Marcus Rashford. As an example of altruism, generosity of spirit, determination, focus and just plain being right, Rashford has become an icon of hope for the persistence of compassion and kindness in our communities. He tackled and outplayed Johnson at every (U) turn and scored powerful political goals. Visit his website […]
Johnson hates scrutiny. Hates being checked up on. Hates being called to account. That is what is behind his strategy, employed throughout his life, of making sure everything goes to the wire, bulldozing opposition and forcing acquiescence while sneaking through changes that would never be approved in any normal circumstance. From the day he just […]
It is impossible to shake off the sense that decent people, on both sides of the pond, are being brazenly trolled by their corrupt and mendacious leaders. “Look what I can do!” Trump and Johnson seem to say, “and there’s not a darned/damned thing you can do to to stop me.” Trump’s sick execution spree […]
We’re not all about politics, climate change and Covid-19 at West Country Bylines. We try to bring you some deliciously diverse fare. Here’s a selection of articles you may have missed. Please enjoy and share!
Part 2 of our selection of pieces for you to dip into over the ‘holidays’. Enjoy! Share!
A box set of articles you may have missed and we think you might enjoy binge reading by the fire.
In case you missed them, here’s a selection of our articles on politicians whose words and deeds needed and continue to need calling out. Enjoy!
One crisis at a time: extend transition, save lives. An open letter to West Country Conservative MPs
Dear Conservative MPs, I think we can all agree that we are in the middle of a major crisis and, yes, we know parliament is no longer sitting, but you still have ways of exerting your power and influence. Your constituents need you to park party politics and concentrate on the practicalities of the situation […]
Self-professed man of faith gave an interesting demonstration of Christian charity yesterday when he took a pot shot at UNICEF. The government he represents appears to be in denial about the record levels of child poverty, but does not take kindly to being forced to confront the truth by the likes of Marcus Rashford and, […]
You might recall this piece we put out a couple of months ago on fake news and manipulation via social media – the dark arts of disinformation. Many of us hoped, no doubt, that the Post-Truth era might be coming to a close with the defeat of Trump. That was a naive hope. In fact, […]
How dare you try to scam us with your Australia deal baloney! How dare you try to rebrand no deal to conjure up sunshine, cricket and barbies when you know full well that ‘Australia’ means scorched earth for the UK? This comment – unverifiable but wholly believable given the man’s track record of offensive gaffes […]
Yesterday I did a stupid thing. Let me rephrase. Yesterday I did a really stupid thing. I had gathered up some big bags of clothes to go to one of the few charity shops able to take donations, grabbed gloves and a warm scarf and a furry hat and waltzed off out of the house, […]
Great news, but what’s the betting the Conservative super majority means that all the Lords’ good work will be thrown out, just as food safety, level playing field for farmers and measures to stop government breaking international law were also rejected? Keep writing to your MP. Ask them to vote to keep the Lords’ amendments. […]