Dear Dad

My earliest memory in life is the utter fear of being lifted over a wall and dangled over a railway line. The sound of your laughter as you raised me up and down and then, with a sudden jolt, dropped and caught me all in a split second. Despite being unable to even speak, I vividly recall looking down, comprehending the danger but feeling completely powerless, totally at the mercy of someone who would usually be my chief protector — you.

I was a good boy growing up. On the odd occasions I stepped out of line, you…

It took just an hour for the news that MPs had approved Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal to slip from the top of major news sites’ headline stories. It’s a sign of the times we’re in, dominated by the chaotic response to a global pandemic and a far cry from the nigh-on 24/7 rolling coverage of the upheaval that characterised Theresa May’s attempts to rally her rebellious party behind her as she fought to forge a way forward. …

It has always struck me that the UK (with side-eye fixed on England) suffers from a self-confidence that exceeds its stature and a lack of self-awareness rivalling even the most deluded X Factor contestant. Nothing exemplifies this as transparently as the Brexit calamity of the last four years.

Britain likes nothing more than to sing its own praises, from the exaggerated references to the ‘mother of all Parliaments’ to the much-repeated mantra that the UK is ‘the most successful family of nations in the world’. …

Seldom does one ‘story’ unite opinion across a spectrum of political outlooks, backgrounds and pre-existing allegiances. The still-unfolding horror story of Dominic Cummings’ trip(s) to Durham and Barnard Castle, in violation of the very coronavirus lockdown rules he helped to create, is one such event.

I could list the Prime Minister’s chief advisor’s litany of transgressions and explain in detail precisely how they contradict everything the general public was instructed to do during the most stringent period of the coronavirus lockdown. But why bother; we all know the facts. And facts no longer matter in post-truth Britain. …

Nemanja Matic is a midfielder for Manchester United. He’s also Serbian and has deep-rooted traumatic memories of his home village being bombed by NATO forces as part of the wider offensive against what was left of Yugoslavia in 1999. He’s also currently front-page news, not for his sporting prowess or the usual antics for which footballers so often occupy column inches. Instead, he has been forced to explain his decision not to wear a poppy on his football strip for a weekend match against Bournemouth.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. As quickly as Halloween comes and goes, ‘poppy…

Lee Williscroft-Ferris

Lee is a 41-year-old writer and activist. His interests include LGBT+ issues, politics and current affairs.

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