Alan Simpson's Blog
Ugly scenes outside parliament have made the place look and feel like the Siege of Troy. But around the country bigger issues already fill the landscape. A ‘climate emergency’ conference in Lancaster drew in some 200-300 local authority and climate groups (along with similar numbers live-streaming their way in). All were anxious to talk about…
Sometimes the starkest warnings come from events that don’t take place. In this case, the warning came from Honda’s decision to turn back a ship destined for the UK.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Whatever happens, Brexit is going to dominate parliamentary politics for at least another year, maybe more.
As an MP I met lots of constituents who had just lost someone close. Bereavement and grief took many forms. Some wanted a shoulder to lean on.
When Tory Minister, Chris Grayling, warns that if MPs block or weaken Brexit it would provoke a surge in neo-Nazi, extremist groups in Britain, he misses the central point. This is exactly what Brexit has already done.
Brazil opts out of hosting the next Climate Conference as President Bolsonaro prepares prepares to ditch the Paris Agreement (Greenpeace) G20 nations are still putting over £100bn of subsidies into fossil fuel industry
“What we have on our hands is a species problem. None of us is exempt… People – communities, castes, races and even countries – carry their tragic histories and their misfortunes around like trophies, or like stock, to be bought and sold on the open market.” (Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, pp 194/5,…
The script isn’t Tarantino. Theresa May is hardly Mrs Blonde. But Britain’s Brexit debate is becoming a painful form of national torture that could have been plucked straight from Reservoir Dogs.
If there are seminal moments in politics, Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at the 2018 Labour Conference will go down as one of then. This was when the planet took centre stage.
It wasn’t the 130 forest fires raging across the USA that got to me, nor the UK’s moorland fires, the torrential storms hitting Belfast with 2 months rain in 2 hours, the lightning strikes that took out …
When I was a child there was a low wall not far from my nan’s house. It was lined with the nobbled ‘knuckles’ of what had once been an iron-railing fence.
It was one of the biggest infrastructure projects in human history. For much of the 1930’s, and at a cost of 3.3bn francs, France built itself a 900-mile network of tunnels, underground bunkers…
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.” (Greek proverb) Britain has 5.5 million men, and 6.5 million women, who are of pensionable age.
It is 4 years since the death of my friend and mentor, Tony Benn. I could argue that he turns up in every article I write, but that’s a poor substitute for the daily conversations into which he poured tea and optimism in equally copious quantities.
It was a message to warm the heart; a daughter thanking the care worker who took the time to dance with her dementia-suffering dad at the end of each home visit.