• 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.

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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 $22…

  • 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 new…

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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…

  • Trees

    “Baobab” Plane Trees in Faversham

      There are four Plane Trees In Plane Tree Court against the churchyard of St Mary of Charity.  They have  bulbous distortions in the bark of their trunks. William Masters, the Victorian  nurseryman based in Canterbury,  included Platanus orientalis in his catalogues. The Natural History Museum  Identification Service advises that they are a clone of the London Plane (Platanus x hispanica), suffering from a viral infection. The common name is Baobab Plane. Details of the Canterbury trees are here   The tree on the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral has a plaque and is labelled as an “Oriental plane”. The plaque reads: “This tree was supplied in the 1820s by William…

  • Charity,  Philanthropy

    Crisis: local people and wildlife dependent on tourism need your support

    The Covid-19 pandemic has closed international travel. In the source markets governments have been able to provide furlough funding for staff. As Justin Francis has pointed out on LinkedIn : Being dependent on the tourism industry for putting food on the table or sending your kids to school is very different to relying on it for your holiday. #Coronavirus will hit the poorest in tourism destinations hardest. And the poorest will be hardest hit as the governments close the airports to defend against importing Covid-19 and the the originating markets closed. These are the views of Justin Francis, Glynn O’Leary and Richard Vigne about why travellers, accommodation providers, operators and agents should…

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  • India,  Kerala

    Kerala, Responsibility and Covid-19

    Kerala has developed greater resilience in the wake of recent extensive flooding, and they were quick to bring Covid-19 under control. RT has been successful in Kerala in large part due to the strength of state and local government. Kerala has been identified as a model state in reducing the impact of Covid-19 They had a state control room mobilised by 26 January. Two Keralan students returning from Wuhan tested positive and on 30th January were put into isolation. “In order to “break the chain”, the government has been conducting rigorous “contact tracing”, or studying whom the infected person has been in contact with and then whom that person has…