Posts Tagged ‘winter of discontent’

Get ready for the winter of discontent, 2020/21

02/07/2020, 10:30:20 PM

by Jonathan Todd

We have reached the mid-point of the longest year. Football’s back, pubs and shops are open, the sun shines. The government are eager for consumers to spend the economy back to health. But our winter of discontent looms.

Only the rich and/or complacent are secure in their incomes. Fear of Covid-19 remains – while not always deadly, especially among the young, it can induce long-term health complications. It is hard to be confident that all children, many out of school since March, will be in class in September.

“Open unemployment,” warns Professor Paul Gregg, “is likely to rise from 4 to 14% without further policy intervention.” Over 4 million on the dole, before the possible economic tsunami of no-deal Brexit.

“Currently the government’s drive to open up as quickly as possible bears a risk of another increase in infections,” fears Professor Devi Sridhar, “similar to what is being experienced in several US states such as Florida, Arizona and Texas, and in Iran.”

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, recently said: “The NEU is of course in favour of all children being back in school, but even with a one-metre rule that will need more teachers and more spaces.” It remains to be seen if the plans announced by Gavin Williamson will deliver upon this.

Ignore these people if you have had enough of experts. The rest of us might conclude:

We need more testing and tracing, with much better data sharing and collaboration with local authorities, to contain the virus. We need more physical and human resources to reopen schools. Without decent public health and education, attempts to build, build, build rest on the shakiest foundations.


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James Ruddick says the Tories are storing up glory by trashing our past

08/07/2010, 09:51:41 AM

The next election is already being lost.  And the one after.  And indeed the one after that.  John Kennedy once said: “We can’t know where we’re going until we know where we’ve been.”  Well I’m old enough to have been here before: it was the summer of 1979 and Margaret Thatcher was busy rewriting the last Labour government as the Worst Moment in History.

She succeeded – big time – and her rewrite kept Labour out for a generation.  It didn’t matter that the disasters which had led to the fall of the Callaghan government – the biggest since World War II – were not Labour’s fault (there had been an international oil crisis, then a US gold crisis, then another oil crisis, then European stagflation). (more…)

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