Author: Tom Scott

Tom Scott is a freelance writer and editor based in Falmouth, Cornwall, and a lecturer at Falmouth University. He takes a particular interest in political disinformation and in 2019 authored 'Facing Down Facebook: Reclaiming Democracy in the Age of (Anti) Social Media', a report for the European Parliament with policy recommendations on reforming the social media landscape. Tom was the Green Party's candidate for Truro and Falmouth at the 2019 general election.

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Nigel Farage and a very murky forest

Tom Scott

Nigel Farage has joined forces with a Dutch fund manager found to have misled the public to promote “carbon offsetting” through forestry. The conspiracy theorist behind Cornwall’s weirdest hotel is also involved. So how exactly does this motley crew intend to save the world? Eyebrows were raised yesterday when a company calling itself Dutch Green […]

G stands for greenwash?

Tom Scott

As Cornwall prepares to host the G7 summit, destruction of the natural environment by the Carbis Bay Hotel is not a good look. Environmental campaigners in Cornwall have been expressing horror at the decision by the Carbis Bay Hotel – where G7 leaders will be convening in June – to destroy a swathe of coastal […]

‘Woke wars’: let’s hear it for the National Trust’s long history of radicalism

Tom Scott

When the National Trust was founded, it wasn’t just ‘woke’ – it was revolutionary. Yesterday, the National Trust published an interactive online map that shows how climate change threatens the countryside, coastline and historic houses in its care – including many sites in the South West. Extreme heat and humidity, coastal erosion, landslides, floods and […]

Tackling the climate emergency starts on your doorstep

Tom Scott

Tackling the climate emergency starts on your doorstep Helston Climate Action Group has brought together people of all ages and backgrounds to find imaginative – and fun – ways to cut carbon emissions. And it’s also been bringing real mental health benefits to local people during the pandemic.  Last week, Katharine Lewis, one of the […]

Cornwall Greens say no to ‘sport fishing’ endangered bluefin tuna

Tom Scott

Cornwall Green Party condemns an “irresponsible” proposal to promote sport fishing of bluefin tuna off Cornish coast Cornwall Green Party has condemned the proposal by Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives, to promote “sport fishing” of bluefin tuna as a way of boosting tourist spending in Cornwall. Speaking for Cornwall Green Party, marine conservationist Samuel […]

Steve Baker: from St Austell to Austrian School

Tom Scott

A leading figure in the so-called Covid Recovery Group, Baker is a disaster capitalist with an impressive string of disasters to his name. In recent months, a group of hard-right, ‘lockdown-sceptic’ Conservative MPs has been lobbying vigorously for an early exit to lockdown. And one of the loudest voices in the so-called ‘Covid Recovery Group’ […]

Nature on fire in Cornwall

Tom Scott

A fire, started deliberately, has destroyed more than 20 hectares of Rosenannon Downs Nature Reserve in Cornwall On Tuesday night, a fire broke out at Rosenannon Downs Nature Reserve, near Wadebridge in Cornwall. Despite efforts by firefighters from neighbouring towns, it was fanned by strong winds and went on to burn over several hours. The […]

Cornwall: climate emergency or business as usual?

Tom Scott

In 2019, Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency – but you wouldn’t guess it from some recent developments. Cornwall Council’s declaration of a climate emergency in January 2019 was accompanied by similar declarations by numerous Cornish town and parish councils, and was warmly welcomed by environmental campaigners. It seemed local councillors had finally grasped the […]

Trump and ‘Britain Trump’

Tom Scott

The US president’s descent into lunacy and fascistic violence holds a lesson for the UK. It was not so hard to predict that Donald Trump’s rage at having lost the US election would lead inexorably to violence, and I was one of several to do so a few weeks ago. The story is not over […]

The disinformation pandemic

Tom Scott

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Dr Matthew Lee, a young medic working at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, tweeted a video of the scene that confronted him when he stepped out of the hospital after completing a late shift in A&E. As he described it: “Hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge […]

The Potemkin hospitals

Tom Scott

With desperate frontline NHS staff warning that the health service is in immediate danger of being overwhelmed by surging Covid-19 admissions, it appears that the government’s much vaunted Nightingale hospitals were built largely for PR purposes – yet another example of government by vacuous gesture. The news that the government’s flagship Nightingale hospital at London’s […]

While hedge funds shorted stocks by night…

Tom Scott

A timely reworking from Tom Scott of ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night’ for the secular, Brexiter age. While hedge funds shorted stocks by nightAnd bet against the pound,A WhatsApp from BoJo came down,And glory shone around. “Fear not,” said he, for mighty dreadHad seized their troubled mind;“Glad tidings of No Deal I bringTo […]

Brexit blame bingo!

Tom Scott

Get ready to play Brexit Blame Bingo! As millions of British families face a Covid Christmas capped with what looks set to be disastrous end to the Brexit transition period, we’ve devised a fun game for all the family – whether together or apart. All you need is a TV tuned to any news channel […]

Masks in supermarkets: am I a man or a mouse?

Tom Scott
Man shopping in supermarket wearing a mask

A couple of days ago I was doing some Christmas shopping at a local supermarket near my home in Cornwall. As I scoured the shelves for stollen (a favourite festive treat in our household), I couldn’t help noticing that quite a few of the other customers were not making any attempt to socially distance, and […]

John le Carré – prescient chronicler of a nation betrayed

Tom Scott

Obituaries describing John le Carré as a “Cold War spy novelist” are selling him short. More than any other contemporary writer, he had a finger on the dark pulse of our times. It’s not often that the death of a novelist can be described as a national event, but the passing of David Cornwell, better […]

Rule Britannia! Britannia waives the rules!

Tom Scott

With Daily Mail and Daily Express headlines screaming SEND IN THE GUNBOATS, it seemed to Tom Scott that Rule Britannia needed rewriting to reflect Brexit Britain’s proud new status as a banana republic (without the bananas). Rule Britannia! Rule, Britannia! Britannia waives the rules!Keep on voting for the crooks, you utter fools. While Brexit conmen […]

Pilgrim’s shame – the price of cheap meat

Tom Scott

While argument rages over whether Cornwall should have been assigned to Tier 1 of the government’s social distancing regime, little attention has been paid to the US company operating the meat-packing plant in Cornwall which has been at the centre of a major outbreak of Covid-19. Tom Scott lifts the lid on its grim record […]

Priti vicious behaviour

Tom Scott

Priti Patel’s contempt for ethical standards is what put her in her job – it was never going to give Boris Johnson reason to sack her. When Dominic Cummings announced he would be leaving Downing Street, some excited commentators speculated that this might signal a fresh new phase in Boris Johnson’s government. “Will the departure […]

Nigel Farage – an opportunist pathogen

Tom Scott

Nigel Farage’s ‘new’ Reform Party is doing exactly what the far-right has always done: exploiting misery, chaos and toxic conspiracy theories. In 1919, with the world reeling from the impacts of the recently ended Great War and a devastating flu pandemic, Benito Mussolini was contemplating his future. As Denis Mack Smith writes in his History […]

The worst and the best of Cornwall

Tom Scott

The news that every one of Cornwall’s six Conservative MPs had voted against extending help to hungry children came as little surprise to anyone who had studied the parliamentary voting history of Scott Mann (North Cornwall), Derek Thomas (St Ives), Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay), Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall), Cherilyn Mackrory (Truro and […]

QAnon in Cornwall

Tom Scott

A hotel in Tintagel has been flying the QAnon flag. What on earth is going on at the Camelot Castle? Some of the strangest TripAdvisor reviews ever written are of a hotel dramatically sited on a rugged headland at Tintagel on Cornwall’s north coast, the Camelot Castle Hotel. Among the oddest of these are from […]

Who will protect our democracy from industrialised disinformation?

Tom Scott

Several recent events have raised urgent questions about the threat to our democracy from unscrupulous digital operatives. Disturbingly, these questions remain largely unanswered by a report this week from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Last week, Channel Four reported on a data leak from Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign that revealed how ‘Team Trump’ had worked […]

The abominable hulks

Tom Scott

Priti Patel’s plan to use decommissioned ships as “processing centres” for asylum-seekers recalls one of the darkest chapters of British history. On Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that home secretary Priti Patel had asked officials to explore the construction of a “processing centre” for asylum seekers on Ascension Island, a volcanic outcrop in the South […]

Levelling up to new heights of corruption

Tom Scott

Few towns in the South West will receive funding from the government’s Towns Fund – and now we know why. In September 2019, local government secretary Robert Jenrick published a list of 101 places that would receive help to develop bids for funding from the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. There was suspicion at the […]

Don’t say it couldn’t happen here – it’s happening under our noses

Tom Scott

Events on both sides of the Atlantic this week have heightened fears that the US and the UK are sliding towards autocracy under their right-wing populist leaders. In the US, Trump has hinted heavily that he will not accept an election result that goes against him, prompting an alarmed Pentagon to insist that the US […]

Ancestral voices, prophesying doom

Tom Scott

Why do nations sometimes lurch into spectacular acts of self-destruction? A strange fervour that seized the Xhosa people of South Africa in the 1850s may shed some light on Brexit, writes Tom Scott. The history of southern Africa is not short on plunder, cruelty and betrayal. But as a student of it some years ago, […]

Box set: Tom Scott

Tom Scott

Message from the Editor-in-Chief: We’ve only been going five weeks, but we’ve already built up what we think is a pretty strong back catalogue of articles with a long read-by date. We thought you might like to catch up on a few grouped by author. We kick off with the articles from Tom Scott, the […]