Full marks to Hancock for deciding to try and tackle these problems for the future when the focus on day-to-day survival is dominating life so dramatically. And yet … there are a couple of tiny but rather important things to consider that haven’t been making the headlines
Wapping – The Workers’ Story is a film about the momentous year-long industrial dispute which began in 1986 when Rupert Murdoch plotted to move production of his papers overnight from central London’s Fleet Street to a secretly equipped and heavily guarded plant at Wapping, a docklands district in east London.
Steve and Tim discuss the difficulty of maintaining cleanliness while living in a car, and how hard it is to still access all the facilities and services, once you’ve exited a long-standing relationship.
Jon Worth asks, how bad does Brexit have to get before the government admits that it made a mistake? “However you look at it, this makes no sense. It’s no longer about whether or not you voted for Brexit, or voted for this government”.
Hotel quarantine is good in principle, Alex Toal writes, but its implementation in the UK is riddled with holes. The 10-day waiting period is too short, while the ‘red list’ of countries impacted misses some of the major hotspots.
The fact that the Northern Ireland protocol – designed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland – is being put to the test so early, is no big surprise. It was always going to result in additional customs checks somewhere, and those checks landed firmly at the Northern Ireland ports, for goods crossing from Britain to Northern Ireland.
Roger Winterbottom wonders whether Boris Johnson is an experiment in a new field in robotics and machine learning: Artificial Gormlessness. Can he pass the Turing test and convince us that he’s human?
As there were no local elections in 2020, two-thirds of district councillors face election in May. This opportunity for a protest vote and, perhaps, even shift the balance of power is unprecedented and unlikely to be repeated. Voter apathy may therefore be the Conservatives’ best electoral weapon.
Michael Hindley looks at just how isolated Britain is going to be in post-Brexit trade talks, and the difficulty of ‘rollovers’ in trading. “Brexiters are in for shocks of recognition, as they realise that the key decisions in world trade will be made elsewhere. Washington, Beijing, Tokyo and the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Brexit Britain is truly on its own.”
As an island we really have no excuse. But our border policy has been elusive, at best. The government’s responses are invariably too little, too late or subsequently get dumped or changed. The most recent response around border controls will take effect next Monday, 15 February, 382 days since the virus first appeared on our shores.
People who have done all things that Conservatives traditionally value, have been put in an impossible position by a series of government decisions. Most of these people have worked hard, saved their money and after years of struggle finally got to the point in life where they can afford to buy a small place at the bottom of the property market. Only to find that their bills for insurance and for repairs have gone through the roof and the value of their home has collapsed.
As the practical impact of the bureaucracy and red tape agreed as part of the NI protocol become clear for businesses and citizens in the province, there are worrying signs of tensions rising between London and Brussels.
Finally, in the last few weeks the government has got round to deciding that it really should do something about trying to control borders properly and has announced a system of enforced quarantine at hotels close to airports. Only to quietly decide that this only applied to a small number of countries where there is a dangerous outbreak.
We need to keep the pressure up for Julian’s release, the US charges to be dropped and the right to report strengthened in the light of the judge’s ruling. Julian’s struggle is far from over and neither are the threats against investigative journalism highlighted in Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling.
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 […]
Which MPs are earning the most from second jobs? David Davis tops the list, along with 6 other Conservative MPs, who are regularly earning £288,098 a year.
Treating people with respect, and celebrating difference, makes economic and financial sense and adds value to any workforce. The DWP is a government department responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. Welfare is part of its remit, yet it is failing its own employees. Certainly, unconscious bias training for its civil servants appears to have largely fallen on deaf ears.
I look forward, with interest, to see what japes you might come up with next. Having a jester for a prime minister doesn’t always look wise, but it sure can be a lot of fun in these depressing times, so keep up the good work!
Welcome to Schroedinger’s Border. This is the border in the Irish Sea which the UK government negotiated and which the UK government says doesn’t exist, and which is both there and not there as long as it’s kept in a box and nobody looks at it.
Kenneth Branagh is to play the prime minister in a sky drama, set during the pandemic. I’d hesitate to give such an outstanding Shakespearian notes, but he may wish to dust off his copy of Twelfth Night. In the steward Malvolio, he’ll find an arrogant character convinced that cavorting about in an oafish manner, preferably while wearing an outlandish outfit, will win him the approval he desperately seeks.
EveryDoctor are deeply concerned that the trauma triggered by the pandemic will have lasting consequences for the mental health of frontline NHS workers and the public.
Peter Norcliffe dives into family history in this three-parter about his uncles who served in the Second World War. In this instalment, he discusses his Uncle Stanely, who served in Normandy.
A series of disastrous political interviews has had viewers cringing in their seats, as Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid have grilled Conservative leaders into utterly embarrassing states of confusion and denial. Good Morning Britain (GMB) has rightly engaged in great journalism, holding power to account correctly as the government continues to consistently fail the nation
Jane Thomas reviews the evidence that was given to the Welsh Affairs Committee this week. The committee was taking oral evidence on the EK-EU deal and border arrangements one month on, and specifically at impacts on Wales and the Welsh ports.
John Cole calls into question how genuine libertarians have been, particularly during this crisis, when they have done more harm than good. Encouraging more open economies and taking the blame from the shoulders of government and putting it on the people, they have done nothing except exacerbate the situation.
Eurocrat smack down misses the point: the political situation in Northern Ireland is not just a diplomatic spat
To depict this as the EU being ‘nasty’ and pretend this is just about vaccines is to miss the point completely. As every politician or civil servant who has worked in the EU over the past 40+ years know, informal cooperation is how ‘constructive cooperation’ gets done – on the island of Ireland and in the EU.
The tensions between the science of epidemiology and the politics of governing the country, and trying to preserve the national economy at a time of pandemic, are laid bare in the predictions and hopes of the prime minister and his health secretary. Meanwhile we, the people, are caught in the crossfire.
The all-party group on coronavirus heard evidence from experts and families in relation to the impact of covid and covid policies on children. In particular, at what level children are likely to infect other people and whether schools are a major vector for infection spreading between communities.
The news that the UK is bidding to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP will come as a surprise to those suffering as a result of our withdrawal from the EU, which on the surface, looks like an almost identical body on our doorstep.
As Martin Brooks notes, fish are not subject to the freedom of movement restrictions that Britain’s people now are. “It’s questionable if the notoriously independently minded fish can be persuaded to change their attitude and behaviour.”