Dr Hywel Ceri Jones, who helped found Erasmus, explains why abandoning it was such a mistake in the government’s pursuit of a global Britain. “With its global interests in view, the closest UK involvement in Horizon and Erasmus is an obvious and necessary investment. It makes little economic or policy sense to join one but not the other.”
Poem, by Steve Pottinger
With all the conflicting stories circulating about the various Covid-19 vaccinations, will you, or won’t you, go and get immunised when you get the call? Weighing up the pros and cons isn’t exactly easy.
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.
Buried away in the Conservative Party’s election manifesto in 2019 was a promise to “make intentional trespass a criminal offence”. And now, in the middle of a grossly mismanaged pandemic, when a need for the big outdoors has arguably never been more important, the government is beginning to act on this particular pledge, meaning even less of the UK’s land could be available to us than is currently available.
Oliver Lawrie looks at how our lack of knowledge of other languages will impede us in the post-Brexit world. “Fewer than 3,000 students sat A-level German in 2018. That’s about 5 percent of the number of people who would attend one average football match in the UK.”
Steve and Tim discuss the importance of statues, how they are under threat from woke mobs and antifa, and how Spaffa really is doing his best to help.
News that McDonald’s will be phasing out the use of toxic chemicals in its packaging is to be welcomed. But many food products in UK supermarkets still contain these chemicals. What can we do?
Conservative moves to reduce local government to an implementing agency for central government are undermining local initiative and local community. Liberals passionately believe in local democracy, as the necessary foundation for an open and fair society. Can we stick that on a leaflet and push it through doors this spring?
The 1984 film ‘Threads’ is artistic activism, a campaign for nuclear disarmament and a warning against individualism. As we celebrate a step towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we remember why these measures are necessary.
“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.
During the Second World War, one of the messages that was regularly repeated was that: “Careless talk costs lives”. In the war against covid that should read, “Wishful thinking costs lives.” As I write, the United Kingdom has the third highest death toll per head from Covid-19 in the entire world. In recent weeks the […]
The fact that an adviser, or advisers, at the Department for International Trade has been advising businesses to set up in the EU should come as no surprise. This is the obvious, inevitable and easily foreseeable result of organising our EU trade as if we were Canada.
It’s just over a month since my brother died, and it still sounds weird to write or to say that. He didn’t have covid, he had cancer. But the whole situation of his final illness and funeral were hugely complicated by the pandemic.
Meryl White provides a Prune and Whisky Tart recipe and an invitation to an online Burns’ Night event. Let’s stay safe at home and celebrate Burns’ Night by raising a toast to this famous Scottish bard and maybe try out Fiona’s recipe. Slainte Mhath! Happy Burns Night!
It takes some arrogance to believe that you know more about how to deploy a vaccine than the manufacturers of it. It also takes supreme self-belief for the leaders of one country to insist on following their own untested theory when the rest of the world seems to think it is a good idea to read the instructions on the vial and follow the science.
I don’t suppose Donald Trump was living in Wolverhampton in the 90’s. And I don’t suppose, even if he was there, he went dancing in The Web with his blonde Lego hair.
With tough on crime Trump gone, and Biden’s justice reform on the agenda, might Priti Patel temper her focus on the death penalty? Dr Stella Perrott looks at the similarities between Patel’s and Trump’s views on justice, and how the home secretary may change under Biden.
Without an effective test, trace isolate programme – and with the abject failure to deal with what happens at our borders to stop the international flow of the virus – vaccination is our only way out of this. And that is why any delay to roll out OR compromise of efficacy is concerning.
A covid passport is not the only or even the most important answer to getting back to some form of normality. And as long as the UK’s covid rates remain the worst in the world, we are likely to be blacklisted. Restrictions against travellers from areas where high infection and death rates continue will not be lifted anytime soon.
As Craven District Green councillor, Andy Brown notes that we’re all suffering from the consequences of neglecting our environment. With deregulation in China causing deaths in Yorkshire, we need to treat our globe as a unified whole in our response to climate change, not to ignore it.
Beanna Olding reports on the efforts by the organisers of the 2016 anti-Trump Women’s March to survey global feminists. “the team has constructed a survey to collect data about the cultural and socio-economic obstacles women all over the world are facing today.”
As Alex Toal writes, the people of Yorkshire need economic support more than ever, but their first Chancellor from the region in 45 years ignores their need. Is Rishi Sunak’s stance on Universal Credit a play to the backbenches, that “a vote for Sunak is a vote for fiscal orthodoxy”?
Steve’s friend Tim suspects his plumber may be part of the Big Plumbing corporate machine, controlling his life.
Health inequalities are systemic. The government has not prioritised Covid-19 jabs for all people with intellectual disability. Nor does it prioritise those at home, their family carers, or peripatetic agency carers going into several different homes daily, and often wearing the one set of PPE provided for the day.
Education specialist Dr Pam Jarvis looks at how a strict view of education is letting down children during the pandemic. With civil servants enforcing traditional methods of teaching in this period, Pam reflects that we need a broader view of how to teach.
Jenrick must have solved looming crises in housing, local government debt, and cladding, Alex Toal writes, given his obsession with statues. The minister has been borrowing tactics from one of his predecessors, Eric Pickles, in preventing communities in having a voice about their public space.
Steve Pottinger speaks with people on the ground as British importers struggle with the reality of trade outside of the European Union. “Given the lengthy negotiations which preceded this treaty, it’s hard to imagine much goodwill in the EU if and when it comes to helping dig the UK out of a hole it’s chosen to jump into. The implications of that are profoundly worrying for us all.”
Jane Thomas looks at how scrapping the universal credit uplift of £20 a week would have the biggest impact in the poorest towns in England. “The promise of levelling up is receding not growing – and unless the chancellor changes tack, the opportunities for our poorest will be swept away.”
Sheffield-based Green Party peer Natalie Bennett has seen firsthand the results of disinformation. Now, she argues, we need to start taking it as seriously as the pandemic, and start working on solutions.