Roasts, Toasts and Soapboxes

Comment's home of rants: weird, wonderful, weekly. Our two new columns give writers the chance to roast, or toast, a figure or group of their choosing.

Kate Lovell
11th March 2019
Image: Pixabay


Peri Peri Politics

Recent Tory defector, and politician, Heidi Allen, was spotted eating Nando’s chicken without any sides recently. As were her fellow Labour defectors. This is not the worst of it. She has previously appealed, rather passionately and effectively to the masses about matters of compassion, but she contradicts this with her actions.

One glance at her voting record would inform you that she consistently voted against laws promoting equality and human rights. She voted against investigations into the Iraq War, one of the greatest calamities of the twenty-first century. Essentially, she has an abysmal record, so her messages of morality and compassion should be viewed with sharp suspicion.

Are there any positives to the recently formed independent party, made up of ex-Labour and Conservative members? Maybe. I would venture to affirm that they would perhaps be crushed should they participate in any election. Furthermore, they have further sullied their own reputations.

Mohi Choudhury



Fabulous Fundraisers

As  somebody who is terrible at any form of sporty activity, I really commend those who set themselves a challenge (such as running a 5k), and use it to fundraise for charities close to their heart.

Not only do I admire them for having the determination to set themselves a task and follow through with it, but by sharing their JustGiving pages they raise awareness for charities many people may not have heard of.

A lot of people enter races just for fun. Yet these people take  something they love and do it for good.

Caitlin Disken



Vegan Values

Veganism is an easy environmental conscience-reliever. Since animal products emit 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas, yet only provide 18% of our calories, it’s obvious that we should all be eating far less of them.

Nevertheless, while many vegans oppose the carbon emission of livestock, but do they count the carbon cost of ploughing? Globally, between 25 and 40bn tonnes of topsoil are lost every year, mainly through ploughing and intensive cropping. Increasing demands for popular vegan supplements such as quinoa and soy bean, contributes to this problem by using herbicides that destroy natural, soil-feeding bacteria. One farmer, writing for the Guardian, said ‘unless you’re sourcing your vegan products specifically from organic, “no-dig” systems, you are actively participating in the destruction of soil biota […] significantly contributing to climate change.’

While I agree we should end intensive farming, it seems many vegans are just as ignorant as everyone else about their diet’s impact on the environment. Furthermore, even if veganism can save the planet, it’s very easy for us privileged westerners to pick and choose what we eat. Much harder for families living where food is very scarce. The best we can do is invest in rewilding projects that farm more organically and sustainably.

Kate Lovell

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