Archive for the ‘British current affairs’ Category


In both the USA and Britain, fair elections are under threat

September 2nd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In the United States, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) was formed in 1974 after the Watergate scandal to enforce the country’s new election spending laws and the campaign finance abuses of the presidential race two years earlier. The bipartisan, independent agency was designed to investigate potential cases of illegal campaign spending, issue advisory opinions where […]

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Let’s hear it for friendship – and then let’s tackle inequality

August 27th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Relationships matter so much because other people can be our best sources of security, comfort and cooperation or our worst rivals. Just as bad relationships are highly stressful, friendship is relaxing and restorative. We have evolved an extraordinary sensitivity to relationships, because getting them right has always been crucial to our survival.” This is an […]

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My review of “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge (2017)

August 14th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

The award-winning black novelist Bernardine Evaristo has described the title of this non-fiction work – the first by Eddo-Lodge – as “gloriously provocative” and “marketing gold”. The truth is, of course, that the whole book is a conversation with white and non-white readers, by a young black woman born in north London and raised by a Nigerian mother, […]

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Was it right to have a local lockdown in Leicester?

July 20th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Here, in the UK, we have been easing lockdown restrictions for weeks now and, for most parts of the country, life is easier, although the coronavirus threat is still very real. However, for the people of Leicester, many restrictions have been reimposed rather than lifted. This local lockdown – the first of its kind in […]

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I told you a month ago that the 2 metre rule would be revised

June 23rd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the 2m social-distancing rule in England is to be relaxed from 4 July. From then, people should still try to maintain 2m distance, but new guidance of “one metre plus” will apply where that is not possible. He also announced that pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers could reopen from 4 […]

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Which countries are doing best and worst in tackling the coronavirus? Is Britain really doing that badly?

May 27th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Of course, it depends on how you measure this. Do you use the number of confirmed cases which depends massively on the testing regime in that nation? Or the number of deaths confirmed as caused by or involving Covid-19? Or the number of excess deaths over and above what would be expected for the time […]

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In the age of Covid-19, how far should we be physically distancing?

May 23rd, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Ever since the UK started social (or, more accurately, physical) distancing in the face of the coronavirus crisis, we have been observing a 2-metre rule. But where does this guidance come from and is it the ‘right’ measure? In fact, most older people – who are the most vulnerable – are not so familiar with […]

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In the UK, it’s Day 50 of lockdown and Mass Observation would like to know about your day.

May 12th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

This year, the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its annual call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK. The written diaries will be stored in the Archive at The Keep and be used by a wide range of people for research, teaching and learning. This is the 10thAnniversary of […]

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And in other news … this year’s World Press Freedom Index is published and it’s not good for the UK or the US

April 21st, 2020 by Roger Darlington

At this time of crisis and lockdown, many of us are deprived of some basic freedoms – but hopefully this is temporary. Meanwhile media freedom around the world is under challenge. The latest World Press Freedom Index shows that the United Kingdom has slipped to 35th and the United States is no better at 45th. […]

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It is now clear that the UK is not going to achieve a “good result” in the coronavirus crisis

April 19th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

In mid March, the British government’s health advisers on the coronavirus crisis told Ministers: The modelling suggests that, without severe social distancing and isolation practices, the death toll could be around 260,000. The modelling suggests that, with the current severe social distancing and isolation practices, the death toll could be around 20,000 or lower. Days later, the UK went onto national lockdown […]

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