Category: Corruption

Page of 2

Orwell and Johnson: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, Further to your article “Lying and Liars are killing our democracy“, here are two pertinent quotes: George Orwell: “The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear […]

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 […]

What can be done about tax havens? Part 1: the abuse of tax havens by multinational corporations

Richard Murphy

In the first four videos in this series on tax havens I have explored how they work, what they abuse, and why that abuse should worry anyone who is concerned for fair markets, the rule of law and democracy, all of which tax havens (or secrecy jurisdictions as I prefer to call them) actively seek to undermine.   This then leads to the obvious question, which […]

The great co-ordination

Graham Hurley

Gleichschaltung is one of history’s most sinister euphemisms. The word is German and it means ‘co-ordination’. Hitler and other architects of the Third Reich used it to build a totalitarian state that purged Germany of all opposition. From 1933 onwards, das Volk, the people, were urged to march in perfect formation towards a future that […]

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 […]

How the Devil did he do it? A Catholic marriage of convenience

Chris Tehan

Is Boris Johnson a Catholic? A few weeks ago, West Country Bylines published a couple of excellent articles by Sadie Parker, focused on the matter of Boris Johnson apparently being a Catholic. The fact is that he does not correspond in any way to what I would consider a Catholic; he has merely adopted this […]

Dominic Cummings: is my enemy’s enemy my friend?

Sadie Parker

It’s the classic logic riddle: You are at a fork in a road on the border of two lands. Two guides stand guard at the fork; one always tells the truth, the other always lies. They know that one way leads to a land of comfort and safety, the other to danger and death. You […]

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 […]

Levelling up? Freedom Day? The dark reality behind sloganeering populism

Phil Syrpis

The debate about ‘levelling up’ prompts this summary of the Johnson government. The Johnson government excels at ‘sloganeering populism’: ‘Get Brexit Done’, ‘Global Britain’, ‘Freedom Day’… and now ‘Levelling up’. The rhetoric projects energy and is meant to show a governmentt devoted to ‘the people’s priorities’. Behind the rhetoric, one might hope for some substance, […]

The cruellest cut

Danny Chambers

When even Theresa May, the person responsible for the Windrush scandal and the UK’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy, thinks your foreign policy agenda is inhumane, it should give you pause for thought. “Fewer girls will be educated, more girls and boys will become slaves, more children will go hungry and more of the poorest people […]

Kleptocrats’ playbook: the seven ‘D’s

Robin Alexander
man holding stolen gem

You may have seen a recent article and video by the brilliant journalist Jon Danzig, titled: Boris Johnson is asked: “Did you sack Matt Hancock?” He replies: “Here’s a story about a bus.” It features the inadequate attempt by Chris Bryant MP, in a select committee hearing chaired by the insidious Bernard Jenkin MP, to […]

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 […]

7 ways the Prime Minister has humiliated the UK in 7 days

Sadie Parker
Johnson talking about Westminster bubble

I’m supposed to be on a Twitter break this summer; but every weekend I check to see what the big stories are and I am constantly surprised by how relentless the sheer incompetence, gob-smacking corruption and cavalier wrongdoing of our government is. ‘Flooding the zone’ (with bullsh*t) is a well-known Trumpian tactic to wear down […]

The corruption and cronyism box set: volume 1

Editor-in-chief
wads of £20 notes

It’s hard keep up with the new material generated daily by this government, so we thought we’d take a breather in the form of a review of some of the articles we have put out on the subjects of corruption and cronyism in the past year. Check out the dates…it’s depressing to realise that we […]

Serco in Cornwall – a lesson unlearned

Tom Scott

People in Cornwall learned about Serco the hard way more than ten years ago. Yet a company with a record of serial failure and dishonesty has just won another massive government test and trace contract. Some 15 years ago, the Scott household had its worst ever family Christmas here in Cornwall. On the day that […]

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 […]

The Little Black Book of Data and Democracy: WCB author event

Editor-in-chief
Data and Democracy

Join us on 13 July at 18:30 when we will be discussing ‘The Little Black Book of Data and Democracy’ with its author, Kyle Taylor. The event is free and whilst it would be best if you had read the short book before, it’s not a prerequisite. You’ll almost certainly want to read it afterwards! […]

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 […]

Is Cornwall seeing a return to rotten boroughs?

Tom Scott

The local elections in Cornwall have seen the Conservatives take control of the council with the votes of fewer than 15% of registered voters. In the 18th and early 19th century, Cornwall was notorious for having more so-called ‘rotten boroughs’ than anywhere else in England. The historian Lewis Namier described Cornish politics in the 1760s: […]

Forget the wallpaper. Follow the money.

Robert Saunders

This article is reproduced by kind permission of Robert Saunders and was first published in his blog: The Gladstone Diaries. Forget the wallpaper. Forget John Lewis. Forget the curtains and the chintzy sofas. This isn’t a story about the Prime Minister’s divorce, or his love life, or his questionable taste in furniture. It’s not about […]

Nine investigations into misconduct: is Johnson on his last political life?

Sadie Parker
Boris Johnson and 9 cats

Former President Donald Trump once boasted, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Impunity makes for arrogance and a blindness to reality, which eventually brings bad leaders down. Johnson appears to have reached Trump-like levels of hubris, with the blindsiding, deflection and outright lies in […]

Who is John Penrose, Johnson’s anti-corruption champion and WHERE is he?

Anthea Simmons

John Penrose ought, by rights, to be the busiest man in Westminster. The Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare is, after all, Johnson’s anti-corruption champion. One might reasonably expect him to be all over the media, given the great slew of corruption scandals leaking or erupting from government not to mention a season ticket to the courts […]