Archive for the ‘British current affairs’ Category

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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If you would be interested in tracking in real time accurate data on the spread of coronavirus worldwide, there is a web site that is doing that

March 18th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Amazingly the site has been set up by an American boy of just 17, Avi Schiffmann, a high school junior from Mercer Island outside Seattle. But the site is using reputable sources such as the Word Health Organisation. You can access the site here. As I write this posting, the global number of confirmed cases […]

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Sajid Javid has resigned as Chancellor rather than sack his Special Advisers, but who are Special Advisers?

February 13th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

Special Advisers – or SpAds as they known in political circles – are a small number of political advisers appointed by each Secretary of State to serve that Cabinet Minister only for the duration of that minister being in the office. Some have specialist knowledge of the subject matter of the Government Department headed by […]

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Now that Brexit is ‘done’, what happens next?

February 7th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

A week ago, the United Kingdom left the European Union after membership of 47 years. In a practical sense, nothing changed because we now have a transition period but, in an emotional sense, everything changed because – depending on your point of view – either we took back or control or (my view) we stupidly […]

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American politics in (in)action

February 4th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

They can’t impeach a president who is as guilty as hell. They can’t count caucus votes in one of the least populous states in the union. If you want to know more about the American political system, check out my guide. But we Brits can’t be smug. We couldn’t hold a clean referendum on the […]

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