Leonard Woolf at Monk’s House, Rodmell, East Sussex.

Sussex, with its rolling Downs and seaside towns, may not immediately summon up thoughts of socialism. Yet here, as everywhere, the spectres of women and men who fought for a better day are all around. I think of them in these final days before polling day on 6 May.

Some connections are fleeting (Tony Crosland was born in St Leonards, Edward Carpenter was born in Brighton); others run deeper. …


As the Labour & Co-operative candidate for Sussex police and crime commissioner, I’ve been asked lots of questions about my policies. But as it’s the Bank Holiday Weekend, here’s a Q&A about my favourite things. This is just a bit of fun.

Favourite Movie?

Hard to say Police Academy, Naked Gun, RoboCop, Beverley Hills Cop, Die Hard, perhaps even Hot Fuzz.

Favourite songs?

Police and Thieves by Junior Murvin, Watching the Detectives by Elvis Costello, Caught by the Fuzz by Supergrass,

Favourite television drama?

I always liked The Sweeney, Z-Cars, Juliette Bravo, The Bill, and now — Line of…


A Co-operative agenda for policing

Paul Richards

Neighbourhood policing: the key to preventing crime and disorder

IN MAY THE Co-operative Party is standing hundreds of candidates at every level of governance, including 900 local councillors, and also candidates for the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, Metro Mayors, and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).

I am proud to be the Labour & Co-operative candidate for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner. But what does it mean to have the ‘& Co-operative’ label on the ballot paper, and what difference would people see if there was a Co-operative PCC rather than a Conservative one?

Britain’s philosophical approach to policing has elements which co-operators…


Paul Richards and Peter Kyle MP discuss a new Victims Law

If you’ve been the victim of a crime, you may have had a brilliant level of service from the police and the criminal justice system. You may feel that justice was done, and that you were treated with courtesy and respect. I hope so. But the reality is that for most victims of crime — I prefer the term ‘survivors’ — the experience is terrible, making the experience of crime even worse in the aftermath.

Confidence in the criminal justice system is in sharp decline. In a Victims’ Commissioner survey of victims conducted in April 2020, just 18% of respondents…


Paul Richards

Paul Richards — tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime

Like many people, I have been the victim of crime. It was over a decade ago, but the thought of it never leaves me. One night, as we all slept upstairs, a burglar broke thought the front door, sliced the chain with bolt cutters, and stole our stuff.

Now, on the one hand I am grateful that I blamed the noises I heard at four in the morning on noisy neighbours, and didn’t venture downstairs. I am grateful that no-one was hurt. I am grateful that the police came swiftly, and later arrested the burglar (he lived up…


Remembering Sarah Everard on Clapham Common.

It was obvious to all that women would turn up on Clapham Common yesterday evening to keep vigil for Sarah Everard. The overwhelming sense of rage, frustration, anxiety, rage, grief, did I mention rage? So it was obvious.

It wasn’t just the need to reclaim the streets, to show solidarity, and to mourn a murdered woman. Clapham Common is in the heart of south London. Tens of thousands of women live within a few minutes’ walk. This is no isolated beauty-spot (not that that should matter for women’s safety). Before her abduction, Sarah Everard was seen walking down the South…


Daughters of Night — out now.

Novelist Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s debut Blood and Sugar was an award-winning bestseller set against the evils of the transatlantic slave trade. Her latest — Daughters of Night — is out this week, set amidst the Georgian sex trade. PAUL RICHARDS caught up with her to explore the craft of writing a successful novel, including plots, characters, editing, agents, and when to use the f-word.

What is Daughters of Night all about?

‘It is set in London in 1782, as a loose sequel to Blood and Sugar. It inhabits the same world, but with a different protagonist, Caroline Corsham, and a wholly…


Why Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech packs a mighty punch

Arnie gets his trusty sword out.

The Republican ex-governor of California’s remarks on some issue of domestic politics would usually not trouble the world’s news editors. Unless, that is, the ex-governor is box office, and the issue is the gun-toting insurrection aimed at the heart of American democracy.

Even then, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s intervention over the weekend might have been lost amidst the cacophony of voices denouncing the flames of violence at the Capitol, and the emotionally-stunted arsonist who lit the touch paper. …


The uncomfortable truth behind those festive favourites

I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus but my therapist says I’m nearly better.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

It’s easy to condemn the efforts of all those coke-fuelled, coiffured mid-eighties popstars for their self-righteous, tuneless, foray into geo-politics, so I’m going to. In recent years, the whole Band Aid phenomena has been revisited through the lens of the ‘white saviour’ framework, whereby western white people take the credit for helping/saving/feeding impoverished or enslaved black people, especially on the continent of Africa. It’s why everyone’s heard of William ‘white saviour’ Wilberforce but few have heard of Queen Nanny who successfully led a guerrilla army against the British in Jamaica. Doesn’t fit the narrative, see.


No surprise to bump into Cilla.

When the lovely John Sessions died recently I was reminded of the series he put together with Phil Cornwall and Peter Richardson, about a suburban neighbourhood incongruously populated by celebrities. On Stella Street, one could bump into Marlon Brando, Alec Guinness, Dustin Hoffman or Michael Caine, or least brilliant impersonations of them. Hilarious.

Then I remembered I grew up there. Well, not quite, but I did spend the 1970s and half of the 1980s growing up in Gerrards Cross, in South Buckinghamshire, where it was perfectly usual to see the stars of film and television in Budgens, the Post Office…

Paul Richards

Writer. London and Sussex.

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