I don’t like Mr Bone’s politics one little bit (although I understand that he is a very hardworking and highly respected constituency MP who says what he thinks). I seriously don’t see him ever being Sir Peter Bone.
However, my personal antipathy to his views, as a rule, doesn’t stop me thinking that he is right on these matters.
I’d add though, as I sure Mr Bone probably wouldn’t have thought of it, that the Prime Minister should have repeatedly made clear to his audience, the British people, that these matters referred only to England and that the other 75% of countries in the union had their own governments and their own policies about lockdown ending and about travelling to the countryside.
Had he had the courtesy to take the advice of the Speaker instead of ignoring it, and made the statement in parliament, then I am sure that MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would have drawn attention to the fact that he spoke only for England.
Mr Johnson should have rammed home the point that before travelling to Wales or Scotland (I imagine that very few flights or ferries to Northern Ireland are running at the moment), people should check what policies existed in those countries.
It is right for the government in Westminster to do what it thinks is the right thing with regard to the balance between protecting industry, the economy and, therefore, jobs, and protecting the public from serious illness and possible death.
It is also the absolute right of the governments in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh to make decisions on these matters for their countries.
Last night I enjoyed a real father and son moment: first, calmly explaining that England and penalty shootouts don’t go together, and then the sheer joy, delight and exhilaration at an @England victory! Well done #ThreeLions Onwards…!
I know just what you mean. My equivalent mother-son moment was first, calmly explaining how his generation’s future was sold down the river by a man who cared more about personal power than an entire country’s future. Disbelief, sadness & anger followed. What a life lesson.
Game, set and match to Dr Clarke, methinks… and LOL (lots of love???) to Cameron!
The question is – if The Russians did perpetrate that nerve agent poisoning to kill one former agent – how did they think they’d get away with it. If they didn’t care through arrogance what can May possibly do that might impress them?
Jeff Dugdale raises a good point here.
Let’s be honest, we don’t know who poisoned the ex-double agent and his daughter, and we can’t trust anything that comes out of Whitehall, Westminster, the BBC or the Tory Press. (After all, a few months ago we held all the cards with the EU, and now they are bullying us. How can you bully someone who holds all the cards?)
Will we ever know the truth? And would we know it was the truth when we heard it?
But let’s suppose for a minute that it was Russia and that it was done with President Putin’s knowledge. What can May do?
I remember a few years ago when Russia invaded and took Crimea, that David Cameron announced that he was going to be speaking to Mr Putin on the phone and that he would make Britain’s points very strongly.
How we laughed.
“Now look here Vladimir, old chap. I say, this really isn’t cricket you know. You just can’t bally well do this sort of thing. What have you got to say to that, old chap?”
Vlad must have been shaking in his shoes for sure! Or maybe that’s just the way he dances.
It’s not unreasonable to suppose that during the Crimea crisis, President Obama would have spoken to Putin. It is possible, although less likely, that President Xi may also have had a word. Both of these conversations might have given him pause for thought … because the USA and China count.
Frankly, despite Cameron’s proud claim that “we punch above our weight” the UK does not count in that way. Everyone knows that it wouldn’t do anything without permission from the USA. So worry about what the USA thinks and disregard the Brits or indeed the French, who are in almost (but not quite) the same powerless position.
Perhaps if all the countries of the EU/EEA withdrew from Russia’s world cup (leaving Russia and Serbia) it might have an effect, or if countries all around the world stood in solidarity with Britain the whole world cup thing would end in humiliation for them.
But England withdrawing of its own accord would be a smaller blow from which the tournament would easily recover. And you have to ask if it would also be fair to the fans and the players with their tickets bought and flights booked and paid for.
If this is state-sponsored terrorism, it’s extremely serious. Not just for Skripal and his daughter, but for the police and emergency services and the potentially tens of thousands of locals who received safety advice a week after the event. (Thanks Amber Rudd.)
Is that an act of war? If so some action is required.
But having said that, May’s best mates are Erdogan, Netanyahu, Trump, Mohammad bin Salman and their likes. Has Mrs May any moral ground to cling to?
So what should… or rather CAN… Mrs May do? Anyone want to advise her?
… Oh, and “resign” is too obvious.
Here’s my suggestion. Send Fluffy as her majesty’s emmisary! He’ll show them.
The Deputy First Minister will know that life expectancy levels in the east end of Glasgow are dramatically lower than those in other, more affluent parts of the city. The Commonwealth games offered an unparalleled opportunity to take specific action to reduce health inequalities and mortality rates in the neighbourhoods that hosted the games, yet it seems that no targets were set to achieve that. The London boroughs that hosted the 2012 Olympics set themselves the explicit target of narrowing the gap between male and female life expectancies in the east end and those in the rest of London. Does the Deputy First Minister agree that Glasgow should follow London’s lead on that? What actions will the Scottish ministers take to address the health inequalities that persist in Glasgow?
Today, we note that the same observation has been made about life expectancy in England.
University College London expert Sir Michael Marmot said he was “deeply concerned” by the situation, calling it “historically highly unusual”.
He said it was “entirely possible” austerity was to blame and said the issue needed looking at urgently.
But the government said its policies were not responsible.
The Department of Health said ministers were providing the necessary support and funding to ensure life expectancy “continues to increase”.
Going back to Mr Tomkins’ query, I’m a little bemused as to why he thinks we would have seen an increase in life expectancy so soon after the Olympics or the Commonwealth games. The “healthy” legacy in terms of increase in sporting participation was not designed, in either London or Glasgow, for those who might be in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Rather, it was directed towards the young.
We won’t be able to tell for many a year whether this has worked to lengthen life, the main benefactors of the sporting legacy being likely still to be in their teens and 20s. However, the Scottish professor might like to note that (according to Wikipedia) :
Criticisms and concerns:
Criticism of the London 2012 legacy includes the legacy not meeting its original ambitions with a decrease in 2014/15 in the number of people playing sport for at least half an hour a week of 125,100.
A report on the legacy of the Commonwealth games (dated 2015) shows an increase in some sporting participation. Does anyone know if that has been maintained? It could well be that Scotland has followed the English legacy, despite the spending of a considerable amount to try to encourage young people into sport. At the end of the day regardless of nationality, no matter how many facilities you provide, if young people prefer video games to actual physical exercise, there is not a lot anyone can do about about it.
It also seems appropriate to point out that as we helped to pay for the Olympics in London, we should also have been on the receiving end of the legacy from the English games.
I’d like to suggest that in all probability, the reasons for the levelling out of life expectancy are far more complex than could be covered in this post, but that one of the many contributing factors might be austerity which has been forced upon people from the four nations of the UK by the Conservative government in London.