Available in audio at the following link: https://anchor.fm/joanna-booth/episodes/A-Timeline-Of-The-Plague-Year-euuu0r
On March 23, 2020, the day that lockdown was announced, I was so nervous paying for my shopping at the supermarket that I forgot my PIN. There was a queue behind me, no masks, no separations from the till, just uncertainty. I had to leave everything at the counter and rush off.
It’s strange to think back now and realise that we knew so little; there was guesswork over symptoms, no tests or PPE available or even whether the disease was airborne or how it spread.
In the Guardian article ‘Which activities…
Even before the “anti-woke” GB News channel began its first broadcast, the campaign group Stop Funding Hate had started a boycott. As the first shows began to air, the outrage started to grow on Twitter and the calls for boycotting advertisers increased. Viewers could now identify and contact those corporations who were giving their money to the news channel.
Four days on later, and GB News have hit back with a boycott of their own. They are urging their viewers to boycott the companies boycotting them. These include the Open University, Specsavers, Grolsch, Ikea, and Kopparburg.
It’s been a year since Colston’s Floating Harbour splash made ripples around the world. The mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, saw his popularity rise astronomically with media outside Bristol. A documentary called Statue Wars featuring him about Colston’s toppling is premiering on 10 June 2021.
A man yelling ‘Read the standing orders, read them and understand them’ may have been a the most laughable meme in local politics this winter but it’s the most relevant part about how to scrutinise the next administration.
First, you need to know the rules.
In Bristol, there are various rules and evidence that (should) constrain and guide behaviour. Some of the main ones can be found in the following locations:
It’s important to check every week or month where the council are spending our money. …
In this hazy twilight between the old administration and the new one, we have a chance to look at what’s important in the council without worrying about what colour suit the politicians will be wearing.
There are two important questions in a democracy:
I say that these are important questions in a democracy because the implication of ‘rule by the people’ assumes that each person has an equal chance of being heard and of being treated equally.
When these two principles fail, we ask why, how, and to whose benefit?
In order to ask these questions, we…
You may think that I’m being snide in thanking the current Labour mayor but I’m really not. Marvin Rees, seemingly the very antithesis of Jeremy Corbyn who played a great part in getting him elected, has probably helped us awaken more as residents than the man who turned the other cheek.
Many say about Corbyn that he was too nice. If he had been more ruthless and got rid of the right-wing faction of Labour and the traitors on the inside then we would have had a chance at something in 2019. We could have had a chance of change.
During a pre-election interview with the Nicky Blackmarket Show, Marvin Rees explained how protestors who had recently come out to the streets to protest the policing bill, were privileged activists.
He said, “When you had the smashing up of the town centre, I said there were some ‘privileged activists’ down there. The guy from 24/7, the editor down there, said it like I’d said a swear word.”
Martin Booth, editor of Bristol24/7, did indeed ask the question at the mayoral hustings on 29 April 2021. …
The mayor is campaigning on a platform of “no cost to the taxpayer” for the YTL arena in Filton. However, this claim does not reflect reality.
Bristol taxpayers have already paid millions for YTL’s arena. We will continue to pay millions for years to come.
Let me list all the associated costs that I know of so far. They are not exhaustive and the £216.5m I have established is not the final cost.
The mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, showed clear disdain for political processes at the full council budget meeting on 24 February and instead praised his ‘city partners’ for getting together to fund a one-off laptop distribution without argument.
In an astounding attack on democracy, the mayor said: “I see a flurry of additional meetings being called at the moment — two extraordinary full council meetings, four call-ins, extra HR committees — which I fear is more about using the internal processes to clog things up and make noise that may or may not win a headline than it is about…
Land and port owners, who donated heavily to the Tories, will reap the major benefits of #freeports. They’ll benefit from a host of measures such as:
For residents, freeports will instead bring harmful effects.
For the economy, there will be negligible impact. “Research by Sussex Uni’s UK Trade Policy Observatory suggests that Government plans to build a network of freeports to books post-Brexit Britain will have…
Freelance journalist and book editor.