In tenth place is an interview with Kyiv-based Human rights lawyer Oleksandra Matviichuk. It came just three weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while her city was still under siege from Russian forces. The day Anna Damski spoke to her, PM Boris Johnson had compared “Ukraine’s fight for survival” to Brexit. Oleksandra exposed the statement as completely failing to understand what Ukraine is defending: “Joining the EU,” she says, “is about our choice to build the country of our dreams.”
Coming in, in ninth place is an article examining the decline of public standards. Martin Waller wrote it after Boris Johnson became the first Prime Minister in UK history to be convicted for breaking the law. At the time, it was clear Johnson didn’t believe he should resign over it. But it wasn’t that long ago ministers automatically resigned when far less serious transgressions came to light.
In eighth place is an article examining the source of both the Conservatives and Boris Johnson’s political donations. Cameron Holloway investigated who donated to them, as it tells us to whom they might be beholden, beyond the electorate they are meant to serve.
Seventh in the series is an article on the National Grid’s plans to connect several East Anglian offshore wind-farms to the London grid. The aim, to use a network of power cables carried on pylons across swathes of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, met stiff opposition from MPs, local authorities and campaign groups. In the first of a series of articles, Anna Damski looked the alternative offered up by campaigners: a less invasive possibility which National Grid’s own figures suggest would be cheaper.
Number 6 is an article by new writer Tom Foale, writing a variation on the theme of ‘this isn’t the Brexit I voted for’. He points out that Britain chose to be outside the EU rules and its sovereignty, so why is there such surprise that lying outside the rules leaves us at a disadvantage both economically and geo-politically?
Number 5’s story became national news. East Anglia Bylines writers began to notice huge piles of containers appearing at sites within a 30-mile radius of Felixstowe. Working with the Good Law Project and a Daily Mirror journalist, Peter Thurlow helped uncover a huge government scandal.
This year, the government unveiled its new freeport plans. In fourth place is Professor Richard Murphy’s piece on how this flagship policy could undermine our democratic institutions and would, in effect, create a privatised state.
In at number 3, Professor Paul Bernal gets to the heart of why Elon Musk is having so many issues with his new $44 billion purchase. It is because Musk believed he was buying a tech company, but he’s actually bought a community of users – and that’s where its value lies.
Back in the days when the PartyGate story broke, there was huge pressure on the Metropolitan Police to investigate it. It was subsequently revealed that Johnson and his wife were never interviewed – they were sent a questionnaire. In this runner-up tongue-in-cheek piece, Wil Harvey imagined what those questions might be.
This summer, during the endless leadership hustings, news broke – to most sane people’s horror – that Johnson was planning to ennoble Nadine Dorries. In first place – our most read story this year – is an article by JJ Jackson pointing out that her elevation to ‘the other place’ is far from secure.