Help me shine a light on grubby goings on in Barnsley council chamber

I wrote last week on this blog about the leadership of Barnsley council attempting to stifle scrutiny and accountability in the chamber of the council by altering standing orders.  I explained that last year a councillor was elected in Penistone West (Cllr Hannah Kitching) which made the ruling group and opposition uncomfortable.  For the first… Read More »

Barnsley council don’t like scrutiny or democracy

The local government association states that one of the key roles residents expect their councillors to fulfil is to “represent their views at council meetings”.  So what do you do when you are the leader of a council with an overwhelming majority and a councillor has been elected who starts doing just this – asking… Read More »

Don’t Fall into the Binary Trap of Brexit

Almost 3 years ago the UK held a referendum on their membership of the European Union.  By a margin of 52% to 48% the UK voted to leave the EU.  At that point our country split and all of a sudden instead of politics and society being a spectrum of opinion, it became a binary… Read More »

Education Spending – Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Last week I tweeted a video of an interchange between Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield and Prime Minister Theresa May near the end of Prime Minister’s Questions.  You can view the interchange here. In it Mrs May parrots one of the oft parroted ‘statistics’ the government often quote when challenged about education spending about record… Read More »

Free money – an idea whose time has come

Last year I wrote a post for my website promoting the concept of Universal Basic Income.  This came after listening to ex-Green party leader Natalie Bennett talking about it as part of the Skeptics at the Pub programme in Barnsley. I’m currently reading a very interesting book Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman which makes… Read More »

More Jess Phillips and Less Alan Mak please

Ten years ago today the MP ‘expenses scandal’ hit the headlines when the Daily Telegraph began publishing details of some of the bizarre (duck houses, moat clearing) and illegal (mortgage fraud) claims made by MPs on expenses.  In the 10 years since this, our opinions of politicians and politics seems to have sunk to an… Read More »

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Yesterday saw the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and I’d like to wish any observers of Ramadan best wishes for the month to come. At this point there will be a certain type of person sighing and saying there goes another do-gooder liberal apologist for Islam. The point of this post… Read More »