How small would the risk of excessive deaths from COVID need to be, before you personally would feel comfortable with lockdown restrictions being reduced? Present discussions have focused on a date to reduce or end restrictions, provoking the understandable answer of ‘it depends.’ There is an equally understandable desire to prevent avoidable risks to the NHS and to public wellbeing, especially with the mass rollout of vaccines giving the impression that we are on the home straight.Read More
“Good night then: sleep to gather strength for the morning. For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.”Winston Churchill, speech to the French people 21st October 1940
Are you looking forward to consigning 2020 to the rubbish bin?
That’s the vibe one picks up everywhere. Not since the year 2016 seemed to be systematically killing off celebrities has there been such a widespread eagerness to reach the first of January. This is perhaps best illustrated by the popular No Such Thing As A Fish podcast. In years past the podcast team have released a highly popular ‘Book of the Year’, containing some of the more entertaining and informative aspects of the year past.[i] This year, there is no book of 2020, given the domination of world news by the pandemic.Read More
Is it time to hand pollsters their notice after the industry embarrassingly failed to spot how close the 2020 American Presidential Election was? After months of telling readers that Democrat Joe Biden was on course to carry an Electoral College landslide, and that incumbent President Donald Trump had no chance of regaining the White House, at the time of writing the contest is so tight that we are not entirely sure when it will be called.Read More
How has lockdown impacted your personal friendships and relationships? It is probably true to say that we are all past the first stage of the pandemic, where confinement was a bit of a novelty, and we were taking crash courses in video conferencing. There was a resolve to show our better side; we advised how to connect with vulnerable neighbours, volunteered for local hubs, and exchanged tips on how to stay entertained while forced to remain indoors.Read More
You may have seen a comment somewhere in your social media during this election campaign along the lines of ‘If Jesus were voting he definitely would/wouldn’t vote for [insert party/politician].’ For Christians it’s easy to understand the logic behind this; the name ‘Christian’ means ‘little Christ’ and we see imitating Christ’s actions as the best way to live – which resulted in the now passé trend to wear bracelets bearing the letters W.W.J.D. (What Would Jesus Do?). But those of different or no faith can also identify with the sentiment, whether Jesus is seen as a worthy person to imitate or as the representation of our higher ideals.
The devastating fire at Notre Dame cathedral has generated unexpected headlines following the revelation that $600m has been pledged by Philanthropists to rebuild the cathedral within 24 hours of the fire breaking out.Read More
UPDATED: 5 March 2018
This week twelve Members of Parliament resigned from their party, eleven of them forming the newly designated ‘The Independent Group.’ Other MPs had previously resigned the party’s whip in Parliament, mainly to vote contrary to the party’s stance on Brexit, as was the case with Frank Field (formerly Labour) and Stephen Lloyd (formerly Liberal Democrat). These resignations were notable not just for the sheer volume, but additionally because the MPs indicated that they were not prepared to bring their change of political allegiance back to their electors by contesting a by-election.Read more …
If you have ever attended a Carol Service featuring young children, whether in your own formative years or as a proud parent, it is highly likely you have heard the carol ‘Away in a Manger.’ A melody well suited to growing and uncertain young vocal chords, it is a popular choice for children’s choirs and usually ends up sounding as sweet and innocent as the baby they are singing of.
If the result of a hung parliament has come as a surprise to everybody apart from YouGov, the biggest surprise is the sudden media focus on Northern Ireland’s largest unionist party, the DUP. I know a number of people will be disquieted at the presence of the DUP as a potential party of government – so I wanted to use a quick bit of political science to show how the DUP are in the position that they have an effective veto on House of Commons business.