Meryl White’s latest recipe for the Christmas season delves into history, Queen Victoria, and Christmas tradition!
John Grogan, co-chair of One Yorkshire, outlines what we expect to hear in Sir Keir Starmer’s speech in Scotland on Monday. He’s likely to propose a constitutional convention to look at creating a federal UK.
Dr Pam Jarvis summarises the anger within our schools over the government’s chaotic response to the pandemic. Many schools are now shut for Christmas, having just been told they’ll be responsible for delivering testing to schoolchildren in the new year. And this follows months of poor and inconsistent advice.
Lisa Burton writes on the need to confront our worst instincts in tackling racism, particularly in regards to immigration and crime. She gives examples from football coaches to the Church of England and Catholic Church, to show that many still escape the consequences of their actions, while migrants are scapegoated and ostracised.
Sarah Sonne from the Refugee Council, talks about her group’s efforts to champion the basic rights of asylum seekers in the UK. Working to provide food, legal aid, and basic support to those in the most need in the country.
Dr Stella Perrott outlines new changes to the asylum system which make it harder for those fleeing war to come to the country. The new system would look first if there was a “third country” which might accept asylum seekers, essentially gearing the system to send them elsewhere, in a cruel move likely to make lives harder for thousands.
Juliet Lodge looks at how the European Union is moving its docucmentation processes online with e-visas, and the challenges this presents. “So the new e-visa procedures illustrate the importance to successful policy implementation of ascertaining, anticipating and addressing potential concerns at the outset. “
But now old Father Christmas approaches, smiling and ruddy – no he doesn’t have a temperature, and his indiscriminate appetite for milk, whisky, shortbread and chocolate is not indicative of a loss of taste – and it’s time for us to let loose, relax and have a jolly old jamboree. Much like pater allowed us when the nanny stopped weeping.
The Lords environment sub-committee yesterday heard concerns about the increased paperwork, the lack of vets to sign off health certificates, and the impact on foodstuff with likely delays at the ports. Jane Thomas summarises what was said.
Alex Toal looks into the failure of new songs to break into the canon of Christmas songs. Nothing newer than Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” has become a classic, is it because of science, economics, or are modern Christmas songs just bad?
The government spin machine is cranking into gear to sell the UK-EU trade deal to Tory Eurosceptics who are suspicious of anything European, many of who prefer no deal at all. It threatens to be an impossible job.
This petition calls for the introduction of criminal sanctions on MPs who mislead us. It is not acceptable that MPs are able to mislead the public with written or unwritten statements especially when they have influence. Sign it and let parliament debate it. If anything, the end game should be just to make sure that an MP thinks before making a statement.
Jane Thomas looks ahead to Operation Capstone, a dry run for a no deal Brexit, and the problems facing the government. Already companies are bracing for a potential no deal, and Operation Capstone may well reveal significant gaps in the current preparations.
The pivotal role of chief negotiator Lord Frost is coming under scrutiny as the trade talks limp towards the abyss. Johnson is not a details man and there are concerns Frost has not always conveyed a true picture of EU red lines to the PM.
Dame Rachel De Souza has been a controversial character in the education world, since hitting the national press in an argument over whether she had received advance notice of OFSTED inspections. She has also been in the public eye over the behaviour policies, staff management policies and ‘strategic’ exclusions (particularly with respect to special needs) that operated within the schools that she oversaw as chief executive at Inspiration Trust, and for her close links with the Conservative Party.
Juvenal’s latest expose looks at Alexander Stafford, the new MP for Rother Valley. A compliant Conservative backbencher, Stafford has employed the language of culture wars to appeal to his base, while championing environmental reform to the more progressive media.
The last big sticking points between the EU and the UK are ideological and the most problematic as a result. It’s the different outlook between British consumer society and European producer society.
This is a political dilemma striking much deeper than the details of fish, governance or a level playing field, and deeply rooted in the incoherent nature of the referendum mandate. Brexit was spawned by the internal politics of the Conservative Party. Its forthcoming temporary denouement will inevitably be dictated by these same internal politics as well.
Outsiders attempting to gain a cost advantage on the back of workers, consumers or the environment, or getting unfair subsidies, will get short shrift. Former MEP Richard Corbett explains why the EU’s position has remained unchanged throughout the Brexit process. It is the same position is takes with all potential trading partners.
Even before Brexit hits, there is growing chaos being reported with containers of food products destined for UK clients held in Dutch ports due to problems at Felixstowe. Importers are unable to rearrange transport and meanwhile products are stuck.
Pen Hemingway looks at the history of The Retreat, an 18th century Quaker-run asylum in York which pioneered treatment for the mentally ill. Hemingway writes about some of the patients admitted to the hospital, and how they were treated. “The Retreat may well have been a pioneer in terms of its treatment of its patients, but many of us will be grateful of being born in somewhat more enlightened days that allowed us to avoid ending up there.”
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.
Throughout this whole final saga of real Brexit negotiations we have only been able to be sure of one thing: whatever Boris Johnson does, will be in the best interest of Boris Johnson this week. That isn’t remotely the same thing as what is in the best interest of the British people. Either this week or for the next generation. Whichever faction of the Conservative Party gives Johnson the best chance of staying in power has been the true test of what policies he has championed.
In every celebration, it’s customary to eat traditional recipes which have been passed down the generations. Hanukkah follows the same pattern with an amazing feast of foods to celebrate the Jewish ‘Festival of Lights’. Hanukkah is the Hebrew and Arabic word that means ‘dedication’ and it’s often called the ‘Festival of lights’, as a candle […]
We are entering the Brexit endgame. Johnson is under enormous pressure to accept compromises to avoid the catastrophe of a no deal Brexit while under the watchful eyes of hardline Brexiteers in the ERG who are suspicious of the prime minister’s record of betrayal.
With just about 14 working days to go to the end of the transition, a food trade organisation boss attacks the “chaos and confusion” surrounding the NI protocol and the lack of preparedness for new trading arrangements starting in January, saying “If you are still trying to negotiate a deal 14 working days before it actually is supposed to come into effect, even the most brilliant communication is not going to work … You would need a Vulcan mind-melt to make it work, if it’s going to work in time”.
Dr Stella Perrott reveals the lack of planning undertaken by both her own county council and by national government to secure food and medicine supplies in January. Having submitted a number of Freedom of Information requests and letters, she found a complete lack of preparation and little concern for the potential disruption.
Granville Williams looks at the assault on reality in both the UK and the US, and of the development of alternative media ecosystems for the far right. “The need for trusted, independent media to hold lying politicians to account has never been more urgent.”
Nicholas Jones surveys the ways in which Boris Johnson has squandered the support he enjoyed from the Tory press. Detailing the blunders made by the government, Jones demonstrates how Johnson’s honeymoon with the press was ended abruptly by the prime minister’s own mistakes.
Andy Brown questions the desire to get ‘back to normal’, looking at how this normal was leading the human race to catastrophe. Looking at our economic and environmental failures before the pandemic and our lack of collaboration and empathy during it, he shows how returning to normal simply isn’t good enough.