Wokelore - The Johnson Culture Wars & Other Stories

By Hardeep Matharu

Thirty essays by contributors to the Byline Times that uncover the truths nobody else wants to tell

Politics | Campaigns
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Publication date: Winter 2022

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You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

Wokelore is a thought-provoking collection of articles, essays and stories you won’t find anywhere else in the mainstream media. From the new independent and fearless newspaper, Byline Times, it will transport you from 1970s Europe to Putin’s Russia, from the days of empire in Kenya to Brexit Britain, shedding light on Trump’s America and exposing the UK’s disastrous handling of COVID-19. It will cover race, identity, disinformation, populism, journalism in crisis, threats to our democracy and more – each piece offering a fresh take and new ideas.

The impressive list of featured writers include Bonnie Greer, John Cleese, Peter Jukes, Musa Okwonga, Hardeep Matharu, Alexei Sayle, Caroline Orr, Otto English, Nafeez Ahmed, Shahmir Sanni, Salena Godden and Stephen Colegrave.

This is the first book project from Byline Times, a national daily news site and newspaper that was launched in March 2019, to expose ‘what the papers don’t say’. Not afraid to tell you the truth, Byline Times follows the story wherever it goes – whether that’s on disaster capitalism and the hedge fund backing of politicians, Russian interference abroad, Islamophobia at home or Brexit-driven nationalism that threatens to break up the UK. Byline Times doesn’t want to tell you what to think, but show you what’s happening.

If you believe journalism should be part of the solution not the problem, this book is for you. By pledging for it, you are pledging for truth – and supporting a media revolution that is desperately needed.

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  • Hardeep Matharu avatar

    Hardeep Matharu

    Hardeep Matharu is a journalist and Editor of Byline Times. She has worked as a news reporter, feature writer and editor for local newspapers and the national press. After graduating in law at Cambridge University, Hardeep started work as a reporter at the Epsom Guardian. Her work there won her the ‘Feature Writer of the Year’ Award from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. She went on to work at the Independent and has been published in Mental Health Today, Reaction, and on openDemocracy.com, Politics.co.uk and TheJustice Gap.com. Bringing her experience of the dying artform of local newspapers to the Byline newsroom Hardeep’s work has focused on Brexit and identity, nationalism, race, criminal justice and threats to democracy.


    Byline Times was launched into the world as a monthly national newspaper and daily news site on 29 March 2019 (the day when Brexit was meant to first happen). From the beginning it was determined not to be like other newspapers. It didn’t want to follow the crowd or say what others said. It never looked for a Press Baron sugar daddy: instead it asked thousands of friends to support it and subscribe to its monthly paper. Now it has up to 1.5 million people a month reading articles on its daily news site and many thousands of subscribers. It has attracted brilliant writers including Bonnie Greer and Musa Okwanga; journalists such as Nafeez Ahmed and Caroline Orr and some pretty funny people, like John Cleese, Kirsty Brand and Alexie Sayle. The Byline Times relishes being outside the system and is fearless in pursuing a story wherever it goes.

  • 1/ LEAKED HOME OFFICE CALL REVEALS GOVERNMENT WANTS ECONOMY TO ‘CONTINUE RUNNING’ AS ‘WE WILL ALL GET’ COVID-19

    Nafeez Ahmed reports on Home Office private advice suggesting a ‘zombie herd immunity’ policy risking hundreds of deaths.

    Leaked recordings of a Home Office conference call on Tuesday, exclusively obtained by Byline Times, reveal that the Government has all but given up in its fight against the Coronavirus and is intent on simply finding “a method of managing it within the population”.

    The recordings show Home Office Deputy Science Advisor Rupert Shute stating repeatedly that the Government believes “we will all get” COVID-19 eventually. The call further implied that the Government now considers hundreds of thousands of deaths unavoidable over a long-term period consisting of multiple peaks of the disease.

    While urging the importance of reducing the burden on the NHS by staying at home, Shute downplayed the risk of people contracting the virus at work.

    He said: “It’s perfectly okay to carry on around your business. And it’s vitally important that you do as there’s a whole bunch of supply chains and the economy that needs to continue running… So carrying on with your normal work is not putting you in harms way anymore so than staying at home or going out shopping. So I keep coming back to this point that we are all going to get this at some point. And it’s about making sure that we have a really strong NHS there to support us when we do get sick.”

    The policy being communicated by the Home Office privately among Government staffers is at odds with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement at a press conference three weeks ago that the next 12 weeks could “turn the tide of this disease”.

    Read more...
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  • Alan Thomas
    Alan Thomas asked:

    How many pages are there in the book?

    Stephen Colegrave
    Stephen Colegrave replied:

    Hi Alan We expect the book to have about 300 pages.

    Shauneen Magorrian
    Shauneen Magorrian asked:

    Hello there, is this a collection of articles from the Byline Times or previously unpublished essays? Many thanks!

    Stephen Colegrave
    Stephen Colegrave replied:

    It will be selected articles published in Byline Times over the last year Thanks