Section: UK

Will the Labour Party rebranding exercise learn from the past?

Dr Pam Jarvis

At the heart of this issue is the question about what the current Labour Party has to say that is relevant to many of the descendants of workers in factories, mines and mills. It is the votes of such people, updated to the 21st century, that will be key to turning the blue wall red again.

Vaccine race leaves no winners

Jane Thomas

Vaccine nationalism plays straight into the hands of this footloose-and-fancy-free virus. A virus that does not respect borders and will happily mutate to survive. A global pandemic is just that – global. And if you want to stop it, the only way is to make sure globally the vaccine is available to all.

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.

Will the next Grenfell happen in Yorkshire?

Alex Toal

Little has been done to prevent another Grenfell tower fire, research from the Labour party revealed as they pressured the government to act. With millions of people still living in blocks with unsafe cladding, more needs to be done to make these fit for habitation, Alex Toal writes.

The idiocy of vaccine nationalism

Andy Brown

Andy Brown argues that “a government that has delivered the highest death rates globally, and helped to give the world the English variant of covid, is not in a great position to lecture the rest of the world on its superiority”.

WEEKEND LONG READ

What would proportional representation look like?

Marcus Cain

Marcus Cain explores the world of proportional voting, and what can be done to make it a reality in the parliamentary system. There are several ways to make our system more proportional, with each having its advantages and disadvantages.

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.

NEW AUTHOR

Operation Close Stable Door

Roger Winterbottom

To demonstrate the urgency of the government action, the new border implementation has even been given its own codename: ‘Operation Close Stable Door And By The Way Has Anyone Seen My Horse, I’m Sure I Left It In Here Somewhere’.

The ideological problem of our national debt

Andy Brown

The prime minister with the least interest in economics of any frontline politician since the war is going to have to try and lead an economic recovery plan for the UK. The prime minister who gave us Brexit is going to have to help to develop an international approach to solving an international problem.

Destination devolution

Jane Thomas

The pressures for greater local control are growing and cannot be ignored. Devolution may not be a destination, but for some it sure looks a better road to travel on than the current path offered by Westminster.

Gavin’s labyrinth: a tale of the bewildered

Amy Day

Amy Day looks into how the education secretary’s failings are leading to a confused educational environment for real children. “On the one hand, children are expected to dismantle the English language down into its most basic and technical components. On the other hand, they’re treated as being entirely ignorant of even everyday processes.”

Exiting Erasmus is an avoidable mistake

Dr Hywel Ceri Jones

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.”

Covidconfused.com

Professor Juliet Lodge

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.

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.

When it’s no longer right to roam

Andrew Leach

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.

NEW AUTHOR

Monolingualism: the thorn in post-Brexit Britain’s side

Oliver Lawrie

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.”

How fragile is our democracy?

William Wallace

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?

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.

Wishful thinking: the government’s strategy on defeating Covid-19

Andy Brown

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 […]

“Don’t you forget about me”

Dr Pam Jarvis

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.