Section: UK

When did the NHS become a charity?

Richard Sadler

Today, the formidable Captain Tom Moore – the new celebrity of the coronavirus crisis – will open the Nightingale hospital in Harrogate, having raised an astonishing £26m for NHS Charities Together doing laps of his garden with a mobility walker. The event will be watched by millions of TV viewers. Then on 30 April – […]

Have you heard about Ractopamine in animal production?

Pauline Allon

It’s understandable that British farmers want to export their products to Europe, America and the rest of the world. Already, some 40 per cent of our lamb is currently exported to Europe and the National Farmers’ Union has warned that 25 per cent or more of UK farmers could go out of business in the […]

Home education in a pandemic – how we de-schooled almost overnight

Charlie McCarthy

School’s out for summer – or is it out for longer? In the space of just one weekend we de-schooled our country. What does this mean for the future of education? In ‘De-schooling Society’ (1971) Ivan Illich, the philosopher critic of the institutions of modern culture, put forward a series of suggestions for learning for […]

Peers call for a public inquiry into the handling of the COVID-19 crisis

Dr Stella Perrott

Fifteen senior peers, including Chris Patten, Bob Kerslake and Helena Kennedy have written a letter to the Financial Times calling for a full public inquiry into the UK’s handing of the coronavirus crisis. They argue that the public but particularly “health and care professions, the medical science community and those who have lost loved ones […]

Britain’s productivity gap: will robots hold us back post Brexit?

Anthony Robinson

In terms of installations of industrial robots, Britain’s record is woeful compared to every other industrialised economy. In 2012, a group of Tory MPs including Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng co-authored a book: Britannia Unchained, in which British workers were described as “among the worst idlers in the world”. Three of […]

Brexit negotiations during a pandemic lockdown

Dr Stella Perrott

Stella Perrott considers the impact coronavirus is already having on the UK and EU’s attempt to forge a Brexit deal and the implications for the future. David Frost the UK’s Brexit negotiator reassures us by tweet, almost on a daily basis, that the Brexit negotiations are progressing well. This is in spite of Michael Barnier […]

The Bubonic Plague – lessons for the modern age

Dr Stella Perrott

In 1347, the bubonic plague swept through Europe arriving on the UK’s shores in 1348; possibly caused by marmot fleas which transferred to rats as it moved from Central Asia to Crimea in about 1343. A secondary strain, pneumonic plague was transmitted from human to human through infected droplets, much like the COVID-19 virus today. […]

Scientific authority, whose data counts?

Dr Stella Perrott

The scream of the motos struggling up the hill taking their owners to work suddenly stopped and even the dogs were instantly silenced, with no passers-by to bark at as the Spanish lockdown was introduced. It was immediate, and immediately enforced with loud hailers touring the streets telling people to stay inside. Police patrolled the […]

UK Covid-19 strategy: did the experts get it wrong?

Anthony Robinson

In the middle of this terrible coronavirus pandemic, spare a thought if you can for embattled Health Secretary Matt Hancock, coming in for criticism because of our limited testing facilities. He and Dominic Cummings are blamed, but on this issue, if not on many others, they are almost certainly innocent. Hancock was only carrying out […]

Covid-19 crisis: UK dogma vs EU solidarity

Juliet Lodge

Why isn’t the Covid-19 crisis presided over by a committee of the wise, people experienced in international politics and crisis management? The easy answer is blinkered attachment to confrontational party politics and the associated dogma. The evidence from our closest European neighbours shows that collaborative, consensus-seeking politics works. The Dutch government called on a previous […]

Coronavirus and Brexit: double austerity on steroids is coming up

Anthony Robinson

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently warned that the economic shock from the present coronavirus pandemic was already bigger than the financial crash of 2008–09. It means we are almost certain to be looking at another ten years of austerity at least, but this time on steroids. Angel Gurría, OECD secretary general, […]

Think tanks: a malign influence on the media

Anthony Robinson

Before the referendum, figures about the cost or benefit of EU membership were dropped like cluster bombs by both sides until everybody was completely shell shocked and confused. The one that resonated and stuck was the £350 million a week painted on the side of the red bus. It was perhaps the most famous but […]

Brexit’s great repeal mystery

Anthony Robinson

Brexit was billed as taking back control of our laws but the government has still not published a list of EU laws they want to repeal After the transition period Boris Johnson will be free to tinker as much as he likes with a whole new section of the British constitution, called retained EU law. […]

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