Section: UK

Sweet treat for Burns Night

Meryl White

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!

Medical professionals concerned as government vaccine strategy gambles with lives

Andy Brown

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.

Yorkshire vaccine rollout takes a hit

Jane Thomas

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.

Covid vaccinations and health passports: jabs for freedom?

Professor Juliet Lodge

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.

Are you in line for the covid jab?

David Holden

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.

Learning in the time of covid and beyond: a reflection

Dr Pam Jarvis

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.

Has Robert Jenrick nothing better to do than fan up culture wars?

Alex Toal

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.

Brexit reality hits for British imports

Steve Pottinger

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.”

Withdrawing the benefit lifeline will leave many adrift

Jane Thomas

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.”

Let a thousand European links blossom

Michael Hindley

Former MEP Michael Hindley discusses how we can stay close to Europe: “the way back to the EU will be facilitated by maintaining and even furthering such initiatives. Labour needs to explore which EU projects are still open to the UK’s participation.”

SPOTLIGHT: CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

Incompetence, ignorance, ideology: the government sellout of touring musicians

Marcus Cain

Marcus Cain looks at the truth behind the UK government’s rejection of the EU’s offer of visa-free travel for musicians and crew. “All this begs the question, why would our government, a Conservative government, let an industry that is our second largest export and worth over £5.8bn a year to the UK economy wither and die?”

Fishermen’s trade bodies accuse Johnson of lying to them

Anthony Robinson

Fishing trade organisations have accused Johnson of negotiating a “desperately poor” deal for them, misleading them by claiming the deal was a major success and essentially of telling lies about the new quotas. Tory MPs who were quick to offer support find themselves out on a limb.

My experience of living with long covid

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway describes her experience of living with long covid, having caught covid in March, at a time when treatment was refused and symptoms were denied. “This is one roller-coaster nobody is getting off any time soon.”

‘Levelling-up’ government guts Transport for the North

Jane Thomas

Sheffield campaigner Jane Thomas reacts to the news that Transport for the North’s budget has been cut by 40 percent, a harsh blow to dreams of levelling up the north. “If the government does not support this through proper funding of local authorities, and through deeper devolution, the levelling-up agenda will never happen.”

Let’s do away with food banks

John Cole

John Cole questions why we have foodbanks in such a prosperous society, and how austerity led to divisions in this country. “Austerity has a lot to answer for and we may note that the two leading protagonists were David Cameron and George Osborne (both dismissed by a third Conservative MP Nadine Dorries as ‘two arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk’).”

COP26 - UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

Alok Sharma steps in to the eye of the Cop26 storm

Juvenal

Alok Sharma’s role as chair of the Cop26 conference – to be held in Glasgow in November – is now a full-time Cabinet position. But his record on climate issues is poor, and he doesn’t have long to turn this around. The world will be watching.

NEW AUTHOR

Bare-faced liars: conspiracy theories and the pandemic

Trevor Fisher

Trevor Fisher investigates the international spread of conspiracies during the pandemic which may hinder us getting out of it. “The rapid spread of these theories and the way they boost actual fascist activities make the ‘Scamdemic’ movement a dangerous threat.”

Has Gove torpedoed the UK fishing industry?

Anthony Robinson

As fishermen accuse the government of betrayal and selling them out, Michael Gove’s words are about to come back to haunt him. In 2016, he accused the EU of being a “job destroying machine”. Four years on he has become an industry destroyer.

Tory donors resorting to stealing children’s lunch money?

Alex Toal

What do accusations of bribing the UN, striking NHS workers, and Tory donors have to do with the latest government procurement scandal? York-based Alex Toal breaks down the news of another government contractor misusing public money during a national crisis, this time using £30 school meal credits to provide £5 worth of food to children in need.