All four chief medical officers of the UK nations, including England's Professor Chris Whitty, opposed the prime minister's hopes of lowering the Covid-19 alert level last week.This is why we're still at Level 4 in the UK despite easing the lockdown. TL;DR: We probably shouldn't be easing up yet.
Although I was told that I’d be “fighting #terrorism” in #Afghanistan, most of the people our unit was killing turned out to be teenagers or angry farmers with legitimate grievances, people tired of #America’s never-ending occupation of their land, tired of our country’s contemptuous devaluation of Afghan lives. And frankly, when I searched my own soul, I couldn’t blame them for fighting back. Had I been in their shoes, I would have done the same.#politics #army #pentagon #DoD #terror #war #humanrights #history #news #moral #ethics
An artificial intelligence firm hired to work on the Vote Leave campaign may analyse social media data, utility bills and credit rating scores as part of a £400,000 contract to help the government deal with the coronavirus pandemic.#politics #CivilLiberties #security #privacy #UK #Tories #cronyism
The company, Faculty, was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last month. However the full details of its work for the government are unknown because the published version of the contract was partly redacted.
The disclosure comes amid questions from civil liberties groups as to how private companies hired by the government during the pandemic are using confidential data.
Downing Street today admitted the coronavirus "alert level" is still 4 - which it has been since the very start of the lockdown on March 23.#politics #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #pandemic #lockdown #SocialIsolation #SocialDistancing
We’re not highly trained – we’ve been sitting around doing nothing. This programme is not fit to bring Britain out of lockdownOne man's account of the abysmal failure of the UK government to get a track and trace system up and running.
In the Dominic Cummings row, developments are not only unprecedent because they concern an unelected adviser but also because they are impacting on the country’s ability to deal with the health and financial crises. This scandal is thus affecting lives and livelihoods, argues Patrick Dunleavy.How much has the Poundshop Rasputin Dominic Cummings had to do with the abysmal failure of the UK government to deal effectively with the Covid-19 pandemic?
Dominic Cummings must be sacked | Petition at Change dot orghttps://www.change.org/p/dominic-cummings-must-be-sacked
It is not news that Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings treat rules with contempt. But there is one rule even they might be expected to obey, because it is crucial to the maintenance of power. Never, ever, make the people who place their faith in you feel like fools.Brilliant writing by Fintan O'Toole.
And... never let the people who think they are making a sacrifice realise that in fact they are the sacrifice.
there is no forgiveness for that terrible moment when you realise that the anguish you have endured for the greater good was, to those in authority, just a mark of your credulousness and inferiority.
The big, communal and institutional structure that gives a value to the millions of individual sacrifices has been kicked away – in Johnson’s defence of Cummings, the only value is the individual “instinct” of the members of the ruling caste.
... During the Democratic primary, Biden spoke of restoring normalcy after four years of Donald Trump, frequently appealing to voters’ nostalgia for the presidency of Barack Obama. But now, as he faces the general election amid the deepening economic turmoil, the presumptive Democratic nominee is reaching for the legacy of a radical American president: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/22/joe-biden-radicalism-fdr-economic-crisis-coronavirus
“The blinders have been taken off,” Biden told supporters recently during a virtual fundraiser from his Delaware home, where he has been since March. “Because of this Covid crisis, I think people are realizing, ‘My Lord, look at what is possible. Look at the institutional changes we can make.’” ...
Last week, Biden announced six policy taskforces – centered around issues that include healthcare, climate and the economy – that pair his supporters with ideological allies of Sanders. Among those chosen to participate are some of the young, progressive leaders most skeptical of his approach, including the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. ...
In yet another assault on checks and balances, President Trump abruptly removed the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) independent watchdog late Friday – the same night he announced plans to fire the State Department Inspector General (IG). At DOT, the acting IG was overseeing a high profile investigation of Secretary Chao’s alleged favoritism benefiting her husband Senator Mitch McConnell’s political prospects, but has now been replaced with a political appointee from within the agency. The acting IG’s ouster calls into question the future of the Chao-McConnell investigation, other critical oversight, and whether the watchdog was dismissed for unearthing damaging information.https://www.citizensforethics.org/trump-removed-watchdog-investigating-elaine-chao-mcconnell-vetted-replacement/
This move is the latest salvo of Trump’s assault on oversight. And it looks like the President made sure to cover all his bases to block accountability, not only nominating an IG to succeed the experienced watchdog who held the post, but also demoting the acting IG who was investigating Chao, and installing a political appointee to serve in his place while the Senate considers a permanent replacement. To make matters worse, Trump’s pick to be the new acting IG, Howard “Skip” Elliott, already has a job overseeing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an office he will now also be in charge of policing.
Trump’s decision to sideline DOT acting IG Mitch Behm (who has 17 years of experience with OIG) was lost in the shuffle of outrage following the announcement that Trump planned to fire the State Department IG, but potential conflicts of interest abound. The most high profile is the DOT OIG’s review of allegations that Secretary Chao gave Senator McConnell’s constituents special treatment and helped steer millions of federal dollars to Kentucky as he is facing low approval ratings and a tough reelection bid. ...
“when you face a crisis and you spend much money in addressing the economic and health implications of that crisis...businesses that don’t pay tax shouldn’t benefit from interventions the government is making.https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/politics/wales-moves-to-deny-covid-19-support-to-businesses-based-in-tax-havens/14/05/
“...we are not going to go back to business as usual after this crisis.”
Last month France joined Denmark and Poland in blocking firms registered in offshore tax havens from claiming aid from its government coronavirus bailout.
Conservative MPs including a health minister have shared an edited video of Keir Starmer from a “far-right” Twitter account.They deleted their tweets and in one case her account but they should have tweeted a full and abject apology. They went after a top lawyer and this could, and should, comes back to bite them.
The world’s most robust study of universal basic income has concluded that it boosts recipients’ mental and financial well-being, as well as modestly improving employment.Of course, you might have to have a government like Finland's for it to work so well.
A secret government report that said the UK was not prepared for a pandemic and forewarned of the Covid-19 crisis in care homes is being published by the Guardian.#Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #UK #politics