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 […]
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 […]
From fish’n’chips to calamares In my childhood days, my experience of fish was usually limited to a somewhat greasy lump of batter, with a trace of white matter within it, presumably cod, accompanied by equally greasy, soggy chips. They were served in newspaper, liberally sprinkled with salt and vinegar. Perhaps my palate-memory is rather jaded […]
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 […]
This short but powerful thread from former Conservative MP, Justice minister and part time GP Dr Philip Lee warrants sharing far and wide. “This is a bad #Brexit deal done by bad people in a bad way. It doesn’t have the public’s explicit informed consent. It bears little relation to Vote Leave’s promises in 2016. […]
It was bright when we drew up outside the Eastway Clinic at Sunday lunchtime. Since I don’t drive and the buses are infrequent, I’d allowed us the privilege of getting a taxi. And, on balance, taking a taxi involving greater proximity to one masked driver probably involves no greater risk than sitting on a bus […]
You might be surprised to discover that, according to a clutch of pro-Brexit pundits, it is Remainers who are to blame for the inglorious Brexit we’re about to receive. Odd how a rash of articles spinning this premise suddenly appeared one after another in a very short timeframe. It’s almost as if they’re all in […]
Press release 20 December 2020 Save Our Hospital Services Case for closure of Teignmouth hospital ‘not credible’ says Devon CC Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee A special Spotlight Review meeting took place on 14 December to consider Devon CCG’s recent consultation on closing services at Teignmouth Hospital. Its report to the CCG states: “Members […]
First of all, a big thank you for reading and sharing our articles. We’ve only been going five months, but 360,000 people have paid us a visit and that’s fantastic. We are all doing this for love. Love of truth. Love of justice. Love of our country and of our fellow denizens of this precious […]
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 […]
Across 9 Soften up with a brew of tea that is taken around Ms Flanders (9) 10 Trim eyeshades to see the prize (5) 11 A 50:4 mix for 12,14 (5) 12,14 As D Trump digs in, church leaders are in despair for festive fare (9,7) 13,25d Honest sounding copper is needed for 12,14 (7,4) […]
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!
In case you missed them or ar e hungry for a binge read, here is a selection of articles on environmental issues from our first five months: You can read Part 2 of Tony’s series on Dartmoor here. Part 3 will be published in January.
“El Brexit es la mayor idiotez perpetrada por el Reino Unido” “Brexit is the greatest act of stupidity perpetrated by the United Kingdom” For many years I have followed with interest how some elements of the European press present the UK. Whenever there is a major event, it is fascinating to compare the treatment of […]
In this proud new era of unchallenged sovereignty, no opportunity is missed to make clear that ‘Britain is best’. Even when the UK drugs regulator licenced a Covid-19 vaccine created in Germany by a Turkish couple, for a US drug company to manufacture in Belgium, a government minister explained that this proved British scientists were […]
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 […]
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 […]
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The opening of A Tale of Two Cities came to mind when I was asked to write about the effect these very difficult past ten months have had specifically on ‘the Church’ in rural areas. If I were not too old to start […]
“In search of Cinderella” came out of a conversation between Deb Richardson, producer at Somerset Film, and me. It was late July/early August when theatres across the UK were announcing there would be no pantomime this year. This was an intolerable proposition for a county like ours, with its numerous local societies producing an annual […]
The shameful gap between the soaring rhetoric of policy announcements and the sordid reality of what is implemented has become one of the defining features of this government. The headline examples are of course the ‘oven ready deal’ that took 12 months to get anywhere near the oven, and the ‘world beating’ track and trace […]
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, […]
Since I was a child I have always had a love of oak trees. In the war years my anxious mother would send my brother and me into the garden to play. It was a nice sizeable garden with a good chicken run to interest us. There at the end of the garden stood a […]
There follows a press release from Dorset CPRE – the countryside charity, formerly known as the Campaign for the protection of Rural England. We’re dumping our single use masks and despoiling our countryside. Three in four people report rise in PPE litter since coronavirus – CPRE poll reveals The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light […]
When Covid-19 and the lockdown first hit, there was a magical outpouring of willingness to help, support people in communities, think greener and kinder. We relished the fresher air, the new things we discovered on our daily walk or run, we appreciated nurses, carers, binmen, transport workers, supermarket staff. As the year draws to a […]