• Politics

    Exceptionalism and Entitlement

    01 August 2021 Financial Times published revelations on Johnson’s and Party’s finances. Peter Oborne is fundraising to establish a website “which will record, sift and analyse the numerous lies, falsehoods and misleading statements of Boris Johnson and his colleagues. The website will also chronicle the role of the British media in aiding and abetting the culture of mendacity in Downing Street. Ahead of the 2019 general election we set up a website to make a record of the exponential rise in public lying by government ministers and spokespeople which followed Boris Johnson’s appointment as prime minister in July 2019. It was a full time job. However, we were obliged to…

  • Climate change

    Is it time to adapt to climate change?

    Scientists have each year become more confident in their forecasts of the consequences of climate change and global warming for us, for Homo sapiens, and many other species.  Enlightened self-interest should lead us to address this threat to our existence. But it isn’t. Politicians are more concerned about bequeathing debt to the next generation than they are about greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, a far more dangerous inheritance. Nevermind the patter watch the hands George Monbiot has clinically, and with substantial evidence, laid bare the chasm between  the rhetoric and extravagant PR commitments, “higher targets appear to be a substitute for action.” Having targets and policy objectives is not…

  • Faversham

    Multiple Deprivation and Child Poverty in Faversham

    Child poverty is on the rise. Between 2019 and 2020, 200,000 more children were pushed into poverty. The fallout of Covid-19 has cut thousands more families adrift, with job losses, illness and increased economic pressure pushing too many over the brink, limiting the life chances of millions of children and young people. If the Government fails to take urgent action, 730,000 more children will be trapped in poverty by the next General Election. It doesn’t have to be this way. We are calling on the Government to commit to eradicating child poverty in the UK, to leave no child behind. No child left behind Data on Multiple Deprivation is available…

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  • Cronyism

    The Cost of Cronyism

    Explosive emails revealed in a hearing on our legal challenge over direct awards of PPE contracts show civil servants raising the alarm that they were “drowning in VIP requests” from political connections that do not have “the correct certification or pass due diligence”. One email shows a civil servant warning that when VIPs “jump to the front of the queue it then has a knock-on effect to the remaining offers of help.” For ordinary people, the pandemic was a tragedy. But for well-connected VIPs it was the chance of a lifetime – huge fortunes were up for grabs. What this civil servant is saying is that it became more of…

  • Cronyism

    Cronyism in the UK

    In December 202o the New York Times ran a major story Meg Hillier, Chair of the powerful Public Accounts Committee, “The government had license to act fast because it was a pandemic, but we didn’t give them permission to act fast and loose with public money,” The NYTimes reported with some powerful graphics The NYT article is interactive and needs to be visited to access it. Here The NYT estimates that about £5bn went to politically connected companies and they have a VIP Lane graphic. £6bn went to companies with no prior experience £5bn awarded to companies with histories of controversy Tussell maintains a database of COVID-19 UK Government Contracts…

  • Uncategorized

    As we are seen in the New York Times

      LONDON — When the pandemic exploded in March, British officials embarked on a desperate scramble to procure the personal protective equipment, ventilators, coronavirus tests and other supplies critical to containing the surge. In the months following those fevered days, the government handed out thousands of contracts to fight the virus, some of them in a secretive “V.I.P. lane” to a select few companies with connections to the governing Conservative Party. To shine a light on one of the greatest spending sprees in Britain’s postwar era, The New York Times analyzed a large segment of it, the roughly 1,200 central government contracts that have been made public, together worth nearly…

  • Covid-19

    Never Again – clapping for the NHS is not enough

      UK Covid deaths: Why the 100,000 toll is so bad The language of Never Again resonates – we should not have to mobilise to Save the NHS – that was only necessary because it has been underfunded and successive governments had failed to prepare for the pandemic – although a pandemic was at the top of the UK’s risk register.  Scientists in one group were surprised to be told that they would not be meeting at all during August despite the ongoing pandemic. Daily Telegraph 07 January 2021 “Even after hearing about mutations elsewhere, the UK never really attempted to assess whether people entering the country were infected. The…

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  • aviation,  Carbon

    Ian Care: Thinking Outside the Box

    Ian will make you think – I found these interviews really stimulating. Do not be put off by his listing on LinkedIn. Ian Care is an award-winning innovator who has provided technical, project and innovation leadership, acclaimed by and delivering £multi-million benefits for Rolls-Royce plc. where he worked for close to 30 years. He has delivered continuous improvement across many projects, applying strategic thinking, specialist design skills and acquired engineering breadth resulting in reduced cost, scrap / duplication, improved productivity, quality and enhanced skills, knowledge and confidence. Engages with external partners to leverage the best intellectual property and cost results. Strong skills in creative problem solving and product development. Patented…

  • Uncategorized

    I am so looking forward to this

    In the UK we have a fine tradition of gallows humour, defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “jokes or humorous remarks that are made about unpleasant or worrying subjects such as death and illness.”   Spitting Image was a satirical puppet show which ran on UK television from February 1984 to February 1996.  It was adapted and adopted around the world. more  Dark humour suits the national mood as we go from one fiasco to another. The show ran through the later Thatcher years and the much of the John Major period engine a year before Tony Blair became the prime minister. # Now it is to return to BritBox, Britbox…

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