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.

Take a walk in Theresa’s shoes

Andy Brown

Imagine that you could put yourself in Theresa May’s shoes for a short while. I realise that this may not be easy for those of you who don’t normally favour designer kitten heels, but stick with me for a while as it is worth the effort. It is a year ago and you are the […]

The not-so-genius evil behind the stamp duty holiday

Andy Brown
building metal house architecture

One thing we have all learned in lockdown is that where you live really matters. Being told to stay at home in a lovely house in the country is not the same as being told to confine yourself in a shared damp flat at the top of a high rise in an inner city. So […]

Trussed up farmers

Andy Brown

You have to hand it to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss. She can voice two contradictory ideas in one speech better than almost anyone else in the Cabinet. Even when speaking to Yorkshire farmers. So the front page of the Yorkshire Post on 28 August reported her giving an absolute re-assurance to farmers and consumers […]

Gavin Williamson has failed his test

Andy Brown
auditorium benches chairs class

Every reasonable person knows that government isn’t easy. Particularly in a pandemic. Making real time decisions when events are unfolding at speed inevitably produces mistakes. Yet the vast majority of the mistakes made in the exam fiasco don’t fall into that category. They were avoidable and there was plenty of time to look properly into […]

Planning for profit

Andy Brown
high angle shot of suburban neighborhood

Planning regulations are hugely complex and difficult to understand. It must be very tempting for a new minister to try and make their mark by simplifying and reforming the system. Particularly if they represent a political party that has received huge donations from building developers. So, it comes as no surprise that Robert Jenrick wants […]

Three emergencies at once

Andy Brown

Many people think that we have a major environmental emergency on our hands called climate change. That is, of course, quite wrong. We have at least three major environmental emergencies going on and none of them is remotely under control. One of the worst of those crises is the proliferation of plastic waste. If, repeat […]

Minister demands local government restructure despite the current crisis

Andy Brown

Every reasonable person understands that government is harder than opposition and making choices between competing priorities in the middle of a crisis can be challenging. Deciding on whether to prioritise the NHS or care services, how to open up the economy whilst keeping people safe and how to cope with the pressure of rushing through […]

Tasty chemicals: is your food safe?

Andy Brown

There aren’t many companies in the world that would pay out ten billion dollars in compensation if there wasn’t a problem. Yet that is how much the giant German drug company Bayer is reported to have agreed in order to settle claims made by users of products containing glyphosate in the USA who believed it […]

Prime minister riddled with certainty (country riddled with doubt)

Andy Brown

Most reasonable people are occasionally riddled with doubt. Questioning what you believe, changing your mind, and never being over certain or over confident are actually very positive behaviours. Particularly if you are trying to make objective decisions about how best to run a country. Boris Johnson seems riddled with certainty. He knows what the ‘good […]

How to dig ourselves out of an enormous economic hole

Andy Brown

Few people are fascinated by the intricacies of quantitative easing. Which is a shame because how it is done is going to have an enormous influence over everyone’s lives for at least the next decade. As I write, the Bank of England has just announced that it will operate another programme of £100bn of it. […]

Tea politics

Andy Brown

At a time when good news is in short supply, I was heartened this week to see Yorkshire Tea tell a customer who made racist remarks that they didn’t want them to buy their product. I was even more heartened when that customer announced that that was fine because they’d just switch to PG tips […]