Boring History: Return to Boris Island

In which Chris Sams looks to the slightly more recent past, to a time when our current Prime Minister threatened our towns with an aeroplane station..

As we start a new year and a new government, it is time to look at what we can expect and what a Johnson-led government will mean for the people of Medway.

Obviously this is out of my area as a historian and I’ll leave a lot of the suggestions and speculation to political commentators – something I gave up a long time ago!

History often repeats itself and as a student of the subject you can see things repeating themselves time and time again through the centuries and even decades. World War follows World War (Austrian war of succession to War of Independence to Napoleonic, to World War One to World War Two..), pandemic diseases, economic recession and growth.. I’m often looking at what’s going on and drawing parallels with what has happened before.

Now, with Boris Johnson firmly in power with a good majority, he’ll looking to increase business for Britain in a post-Brexit society. How long will it be before we see the reappearance of his big projects such as the bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland, or more pointedly for the Medway towns – Boris Island?

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iFAQ: So, farewell then, MEPs

With the UK now officially Brexited, and a golden new age of milk and honey upon, we decided to ponder the poor souls suffering most in this process: that’s right, our beloved MEPs. As such, we wrote to each of our region’s MEPs to ask them if they had any parting words for the voters of Medway as they exit their roles.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

Do you have any final words for the voters of Medway as the UK departs the EU?

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Point of no return

In which former Medway councillor Anne-Claire Howard tells us what leaving the European Union today means to her..

On the 31st of January, I won’t be “celebrating”. There will be no “freedom regained”, no “joy at overthrowing the shackles of Brussels”. Instead there will be sadness and mourning that something unique and promising has been lost. Not just to me (because it hasn’t entirely for me) but for the young generation, for those who didn’t want to leave, for those who will – in time – come to regret leaving.

Since the early morning of the 24th June 2016, I’ve been slowly working my way through the stages of grief. Well no, let’s be honest, I started with denial, then anger, then depression, and anger again. And I honestly think that I will never reach acceptance.

So what does “Brexit” mean for me? Where do I – a French woman who chose for love to live and work in the UK – go from here? How am I impacted? How is my family impacted by a decision in which we had no say since I was not allowed to vote (and neither were hundreds of thousands of Brits who live abroad)?

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iFAQ: The first positive of Brexit

With the UK set to depart the EU this Friday, and in the spirit of not coming across as remoaner snowflakes, we decided to ask each Medway political party about the sunlit uplands on the Brexit horizon.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

With the UK now scheduled to leave the EU on January 31, what will be first major positive to come out of our departure?

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Challenging community campaigns

In which Stuart Bourne ponders exactly what it takes for a community campaign to be successful..

You see them all the time. Posters in your neighbour’s window, headlines in the local paper, and group requests all over social media. You may also have been involved in one. Local community campaigns have been around since politics began, but just how effective are they?

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Ode to a diverse media

In which Laura Garcia, co-founder of PressPad, talks about how our journalism suffers if it doesn’t represent the community it covers.

Let me take you back to November 2014 – to a time 3 Prime Ministers ago, before we’d ever heard of the word “Backstop” and when Luis Suarez decided his best football strategy during the World Cup was to bite the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini. David Cameron was Prime Minister, and the new kids on the political block were Nigel Farage and his merry band of UKIPers who were feeling pretty great after a couple of successful local elections.  

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Food bank, glorious food bank

In which Vicki Sigston looks at the increased service that food banks in Medway are needing to provide..

Single Food parcel, Single, Food, Food Parcel Contents

Hello and Happy New Year.

If you can cast your minds back all the way to the last decade you may have a faint recollection of quite a lot happening in the world of UK politics as we approached Christmas. All culminating in a general election where the Conservatives pushed aside all other parties to win a comfortable majority in the Commons.

As you may have guessed from previous posts I have written for this esteemed website the Conservatives, particularly our local councillors, are not my favourite people. I am often appalled by their seeming lack of care for anyone but the most well off in society and struggle to understand where their popularity comes from in my hometowns of Medway, where we have ever increasing levels of poverty.

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iFAQ: What next for Labour?

Following a pretty terrible General Election result for Labour, the party is now in the process of selecting a new leader. We decided to reach out to Medway councillors from all parties to ask them where they think it went wrong for Labour, and who should take control going forwards.

As usual, we told all of them that we would publish their responses unedited. You can find them below in the order they were received.

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