Author: Charlie McCarthy

Charlie is a writer who lives in North Yorkshire. Originally from Glasgow, he has lived in the North of England for most of his life. Before becoming a writer, Charlie was a science teacher. His areas of interest include politics, the environment and education.

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Education, test results and politics

Charlie McCarthy
PISA

Charlie McCarthy looks at how British children compare to children abroad in the education system; improvement in English and Maths is taken as a green light by the government for their policies. But the OECD study is being challenged and reporting for PISA ought to be more transparent.

Are A-levels past their sell by date?

Charlie McCarthy
A-Levels

Charlie McCarthy considers the alternative to A-Levels. A more practical, applied and vocational course called ‘T-Levels’ are growing increasingly popular. But how much do people know about them and are they valued as highly as A-Levels?

Unpaid rent: the UK’s fastest growing debt problem

Charlie McCarthy
rental crisis

Charlie McCarthy explains the emerging problem of unpaid rent and the UK’s debt crisis. Social housing in Britain has suffered over the past decades. The pandemic itself, despite the ban on evictions, has also meant young renters have been worst-impacted with high rents and poorly maintained properties.

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Sturgeon, Salmond and women in politics – it’s still a jungle out there

Charlie McCarthy

This whole episode is a sad day for Scottish politics and for Alex Salmond personally. The SNP has energised the Scottish electorate in a way that other parties would give their eye teeth for. They have inspired a nation and given hope of a better future to more than just those living in Scotland. Now to stand on the brink of having the most popular national politician, who happens to be a woman, brought down by her former mentor and colleague, is a potential setback on many levels.

Reopening schools: view from year 11

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks at the reality of opening schools, with personal testimony from a teenager affected and professional evidence from the scientific community, to show just how how difficult both home schooling and reopening schools are.

Are we really ready to reopen schools?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy explains Boris Johnson’s anticipated ‘big bang’ method of allowing children to return to school. He lays out the concerns from scientists and some school staff that he is rushing the process, perhaps risking an increase of the R number.

COP26 - UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

Green grant chaos

Charlie McCarthy

The government’s scheme to provide green grants to home owners and landlords has got off to a shaky start. With 65 percent of homeowners applying in the first 2 months alone, the scheme has already run out of money. To make matters worse, contractors who will carry out the improvement work are reluctant to sign […]

The challenge posed by covid anti-vaxxers

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy talks to a few people who say they would decline the covid vaccine, and explores their reasons, looking at how the government will need to address the anti-vaxxer propaganda for the sake of the country.

Life in the UK test – do you make the grade?

Charlie McCarthy

Would you pass the test to become a UK citizen? A research team from Essex University’s department for psychology gave the test to 270 residents, most of whom were British citizens. It found that 66.4 percent failed their home country’s citizenship exam. The average score was 15/24.

COP26 - UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

New solar power global opportunity for the UK

Charlie McCarthy

Researchers at Oxford University department of physics have developed a new world-beating solar panel using the semiconductor perovskite. Perovskite is a semiconductor that can transport electric charge when light strikes the material. Oxford PV, an Oxford University spin-off, has spent more than a decade working on improving the efficiency of solar technology.

COP26 - UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

Global warming: we have no time to lose

Charlie McCarthy

“The human family is standing on the beach watching a tsunami approaching. The big issue is … can we do anything to stop it?” Charlie McCarthy reviews what the evidence is saying on global warming and why we need to listen to the experts and be led by the science.

The SNP calls it right: “the emperor has no clothes”

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy writes on the SNP’s opposition to the government’s damaging Brexit deal: “The alignment of international events and incompetence of Westminster leadership is a conjunction of forces that the nationalists in Scotland could only ever have dreamt of”.

DeepMind and the future of medicine in the UK

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks into the decision to award an important new project to London-based Google-owned AI company DeepMind. The project is a significant one for the future of medicine, and may have consequences for a potential UK-US trade deal.

Arrest of Liverpool mayor: corruption, or something else?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks at the news of Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson’s arrest. Anderson has been a prominent critic of the government, continuing in Liverpool’s long tradition of being a centre of resistance. McCarthy looks at the complicated dynamics of corruption in the city, and what Anderson’s potential resignation might mean.

Johnson and Sunak vs the international brigade

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy looks at the internal politics of the Conservative party surrounding the foreign aid budget, which the chancellor has cut in the Spending Review. The cut will have consequences, McCarthy writes, for Britain’s standing abroad, and for our own prosperity as a country.

Devolution dilemma in North Yorkshire

Charlie McCarthy

The government’s plan for new unitary authorities is causing division in North Yorkshire, where no agreement has yet been reached on how this will look. Various proposals have been submitted, with NYCC and York City Council agreeing on one structure, while the shire councils mostly agree on another.

The impact of demographic change on the US election

Charlie McCarthy

As America enters the week of the most important presidential election in living memory, it is poignant to consider the changing face of that great nation and, how this may play out in the election itself. America is not as white as it used to be and this could affect the outcome. In general, non-white […]

Farming protest planned for Northallerton tomorrow

Charlie McCarthy

For generations, sheep and cattle farmers have shaped the upland Yorkshire landscape we all cherish. Now many traditional farmers, so vital to the fabric of our rural communities, are at risk of being put out of business. Uplands farmers – particularly sheep and beef cattle farmers in the Yorkshire Dales and on the North York […]