Author: John Cole

John has had two careers – firstly teaching economics and secondly as a district councillor on Bradford Council. A liberal since 6th form, he has twice been a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats. John is a keen internationalist and writer of letters - over the years he has sent in nearly two hundred to the Yorkshire Post. He enjoys singing, playing bridge and gardening.

Whose job is it to speak truth to power?

John Cole
speak truth to power

John Cole address what it means to “speak truth to power” within the media, and encourages the BBC to hold the government and its ministers to account more often. The BBC, which has now been filled with Conservative appointees, failed to write stories about the covid contracts the government gave out.

Provoke the ‘woke’ to fire up the culture wars

John Cole
culture wars

John Cole draws attention to the impact the new police and crime bill will impact civil liberties; the Sewell report, which concluded that the UK was not insititutionally racist, will have grave consequences and the pushback from the ‘woke’ may ignite the culture wars which Johnson can use to make harsher rules.


Crisis in UK social care funding

John Cole
Social care

On the day that he became prime minster, Boris Johnson declared, “We will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared”. Eighteen months later nothing has been seen of this ‘clear plan’, with no mention of social care financing in the recent budget.

Let’s do away with food banks

John Cole

John Cole questions why we have foodbanks in such a prosperous society, and how austerity led to divisions in this country. “Austerity has a lot to answer for and we may note that the two leading protagonists were David Cameron and George Osborne (both dismissed by a third Conservative MP Nadine Dorries as ‘two arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk’).”

Book Review: How to Be A Liberal, by Ian Dunt

John Cole

John Cole reviews Ian Dunt’s book, How To Be a Liberal. The book stretches back as far as Aristotle to draw a history of liberalism over millennia, examines the personal lives of many of the early liberals, and offers advice for all readers to help create a better world.

No prizes for giving up: the case for a rebirth of liberalism

John Cole

John Cole reviews Timothy Garton Ash’s recent article entitled “The future of liberalism”. If we seek to make the UK and the world more liberal, we are, however, batting against hostile bowling on a difficult wicket in fading light. Victory would gain for all a magnificent trophy. And there are no prizes for giving up.

A brief history of ministerial responsibility

John Cole

In the 26 years since publication of Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life, standards have progressively fallen – with a near-vertical plunge since Johnson became prime minister. Johnson, Cummings, Gove and the rest of the government fail the test on each of the seven principles: integrity, objectivity, accountability, honesty, openness, selflessness and leadership.


Britain’s downgraded credit rating: a straw in the wind?

John Cole

Ali was out for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales with her Uncle John. She was looking forward to picking John’s brains, because he was head of economics at a school in West Yorkshire and she’d recently started an A level in economics. “John” began Ali, “What do you make of Moody’s downgrading the UK […]

Secret Whitehall ministry uncovered

John Cole

Top investigative journalist Ivan Inckling has blown the cover of a government department that up to this point was unknown outside the top Civil Service and government ministers. This is the Ministry of False Economy (mission statement “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish”). This department is quietly mothballed if Labour is in power, but then swings into […]


Is there just a hint of Apartheid in Shipley?

John Cole

Editor’s note: the original version of this article stated that Philip Davies MP helped his colleague Christopher Chope filibuster the upskirting bill. This was incorrect and Davies in fact supported the bill. We apologise for any upset this might have caused and have amended the article to reflect his record more closely. In my life […]

Rescuing the economy – the Keynesian way

John Cole
gold round coins

Just about everyone is aware of the huge increases in government spending in the last seven months, as the government bankrolls the economy in a world where many workers have been furloughed or made redundant. Not only has government expenditure increased, but the 20 percent reduction in economic activity means that tax receipts have fallen […]

What happens when ‘the chaps’ are no longer ‘good’?

John Cole

Radio 4 has a most amusing comedy programme: ‘The Unbelievable Truth’. In this, four panellists take it in turns each to spin an amusing yarn that is all lies – except for five truths hidden in the tissue of falsehood. Boris Johnson is clearly a fan of programme and has managed to turn prime minister’s […]