Author: Andy Brown

Andy is a Green Party councillor and is leader of the Green group on Craven District Council. He has stood for parliament three times in Skipton and Ripon. He began his career as a college lecturer before becoming head of Hillsborough College in Sheffield and then director of young people’s learning for Yorkshire. He is a beekeeper, writes regularly on nature for the Yorkshire Post, and has had a lifelong interest in economics.

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A taxing inheritance

Andy Brown
British tax and inheritance

One of the great joys of reading Jane Austin novels is the skill with which she deals with the tension between young people wanting romantic love and a society in which an inheritance was necessary if you were going to comfortably enjoy life with your chosen partner. Her characters suffer from the indignities of being […]

Lies, liars and the prime minister

Andy Brown
Prime Minister Liar

Andy Brown points out that Boris Johnson is a good liar; he has lied about Northern Ireland, Brexit, and now his private life, and it has come to the point where his inability to tell the truth renders him incapable of running the country.

Russian lessons and Putin’s playbook

Andy Brown
Putin's playbook

In Russia and the UK, nationalism, authoritarianism and extraction economics is a dangerous combination. It’s therefore vitally important that we resist every step on the dangerous journey away from an open society. Before it’s too late.

The environmental dangers of mining the ocean depths

Andy Brown
mining ocean

Andy Brown reveals the dangers of mining the ocean. Environmental damage in the sea is difficult to clean, and oil and gas extraction is a threat to sea wildlife. If we want to pass on a healthy ocean to younger generations, change must happen.


Human-induced crises: the beginning not the end?

Andy Brown

Andy Brown explains how changes in human life, such as removing large areas of forests, has put us closer to wildlife and therefore pandemics and natural disasters. Human-induced climate crises must be taken seriously by politicians around the world.

Defence spending and the nuclear option

Andy Brown
Defence spending nuclear

Andy Brown asks why the government is so keen to look to expanding its nuclear arsenal, while it cuts its aid budget and army size. The nuclear option has not helped us in recent conflicts, building strong alliances and looking to the warfare of the future is the answer.

Cheap tricks from our wealthy chancellor

Andy Brown

Andy Brown breaks down the problems with the Chancellor, looking at its impact on care, education, waste management, and the government’s use of back room deals, cheap tricks, and pork barrel politics.

Budget blues from the Blues

Andy Brown

this budget is good at sounding good. As for genuine new thinking and policies that seriously face up to the challenges of an economy in crisis, then that has been much harder to detect. This is a chancellor who told us that getting out of the European Union would help business and provide a boost to the British economy. As the slow burn damage of that decision starts to kick in, we’re entitled to have our doubts. Is Sunak’s judgment really to be trusted?


Is Sir Keir Starmer really “worthy but dull”?

Andy Brown

Andy Brown, Green Party councillor on Craven District Council, reviews the recent speech from Sir Keir Starmer and regrets the lack of leadership on issues like Brexit and how to bring progressive parties together to achieve their aims.

Drax power station: it’s not easy being green

Andy Brown

Drax has now decided to move away from its proposals for small gas-fired stations and recognises that these would indeed be incompatible with Britain’s climate change targets. Instead they are putting their faith in wood burning and carbon capture.

Reorganise the deckchairs North Yorkshire, there’s an iceberg ahead

Andy Brown

It is now official. All the local councils across the whole of North Yorkshire will be abolished without any of the electors being consulted at the ballot box about whether that is what they want. In other words the big issue has been decided for you but if you insist on trying to put forward your opinion you will be reluctantly allowed to say something about which of the two bad choices you might prefer, by answering some highly loaded questions.

A pandemic in waiting: when will we act to prevent the next one?

Andy Brown

The conclusion should be obvious. We need a heavy rethink about how we treat wildlife and how we obtain our food. Not just because this is the morally right thing to do, but because our current consumption models are putting lives at risk. Sooner or later there will be another pandemic. Sooner is more likely than later. Once again it will spread easily across the planet via mass plane travel.

The implications of Grenfell for homeownership: the right to buy, or the right to lie?

Andy Brown

People who have done all things that Conservatives traditionally value, have been put in an impossible position by a series of government decisions. Most of these people have worked hard, saved their money and after years of struggle finally got to the point in life where they can afford to buy a small place at the bottom of the property market. Only to find that their bills for insurance and for repairs have gone through the roof and the value of their home has collapsed.

UK border control: inaction, confusion and threats

Andy Brown

Finally, in the last few weeks the government has got round to deciding that it really should do something about trying to control borders properly and has announced a system of enforced quarantine at hotels close to airports. Only to quietly decide that this only applied to a small number of countries where there is a dangerous outbreak.

The idiocy of vaccine nationalism

Andy Brown

Andy Brown argues that “a government that has delivered the highest death rates globally, and helped to give the world the English variant of covid, is not in a great position to lecture the rest of the world on its superiority”.

The ideological problem of our national debt

Andy Brown

The prime minister with the least interest in economics of any frontline politician since the war is going to have to try and lead an economic recovery plan for the UK. The prime minister who gave us Brexit is going to have to help to develop an international approach to solving an international problem.

Wishful thinking: the government’s strategy on defeating Covid-19

Andy Brown

During the Second World War, one of the messages that was regularly repeated was that: “Careless talk costs lives”. In the war against covid that should read, “Wishful thinking costs lives.” As I write, the United Kingdom has the third highest death toll per head from Covid-19 in the entire world. In recent weeks the […]

Medical professionals concerned as government vaccine strategy gambles with lives

Andy Brown

It takes some arrogance to believe that you know more about how to deploy a vaccine than the manufacturers of it. It also takes supreme self-belief for the leaders of one country to insist on following their own untested theory when the rest of the world seems to think it is a good idea to read the instructions on the vial and follow the science.

Bees and neonicotinoids: rapid action on the environment

Andy Brown

Instead of encouraging and properly subsidising farmers to move away from industrial production techniques that are ceasing to work, the government has chosen to stick with a failed strategy. It is now encouraging farmers to use the next generation of powerful insecticides and to keep on overdosing fields with chemicals fertilisers that wash off into streams and rivers.

Forget back to normal – 2021 needs a new society

Andy Brown

Andy Brown looks at how the pandemic has already reshaped society, and what we can do to make these changes into beneficial ones. As people move out to the country, and the government steps in to prop up markets, maybe we need to be more imaginative about how we utilise this change for good.

Reasons to be cheerful in 2021

Andy Brown

Way back in the summer of 1979 there was mass unemployment that was heading up towards three million, and the strident divisive politics of Margaret Thatcher were just about to be inflicted on the nation. Instead of staring at the negative, Ian Dury got together with his band the Blockheads and released one of the […]

Be careful what you wish for: the reality of Brexit

Andy Brown

Andy Brown looks at some of what we now know we will lose from leaving the EU on the terms negotiated by the government. “The best that can be said is that the UK dodged the bullet of no deal with one week to spare. As the Conservative Michael Heseltine said, the prisoner has escaped death row only to face a life sentence.”


Peak stupidity and peak oil use

Andy Brown

Andy Brown looks at how humanity’s collective stupidity has peaked at the same time as its oil consumption. “The idea that the world needs to be managed with greater environmental sensitivity has much more traction with the young than the concept that we need to look backward and try to recreate a golden age that never existed.”

The end of the affair: will Britain now fall out of love with Johnson?

Andy Brown

Andy Brown asks, is Boris Johnson on the way out? The PM’s irresponsible behaviour over the past year has led to an erosion of trust, which may well be irreparable. Now, having put parliament in an impossible situation, and taken the country to the brink of no deal – in order to negotiate a very bad deal – will he lose his job as prime minister?