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Showing posts from July, 2020

Signs of second wave of COVID-19 across Europe

The upsurge in COVID-19 cases in Spain serves as a timely reminder that we are not out of the woods. The UK government acted swiftly to impose a two week quarantine period for people arriving from Spain. The latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) states that travellers returning to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland from anywhere in Spain after July 26 needed to self-isolate for 14 days.
It would be wrong to consider that the problem is a Spanish one. It isn't. As the Prime Minister acknowledges, there are signs of a second wave across Europe. We can hope that with speedy action it can be contained. Certainly,  we need to be vigilant and ready to act decisively in the UK. The test, track and treat are vital in ensuring a speedy and effective response.
The Thin End COVID lockdown diary is out now on Kindle.  "It became clear from the beginning of the COVID Pandemic that many countries were ill-prepared for the task. This was undoubtedly true …

The Thin End account of COVID Lockdown

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



Morning has broken

The Threat to Fairtrade

The combination of companies abandoning 'fairtrade' commitments and the UK government's determination to scrap the DFID pose a significant threat to ethical trade. 
Support for co-operatives and Fairtrade risks being diluted and diverted with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s "reckless" proposal to scrap DFID (Department for International Development), Labour has warned. Abandoning DFID isn't a new idea.  The Tories have been targetting it for some time.  Their arguments against it are that it spends far too much money,  but there is another,  more sinister reason.  It gets in the way of trade based on poverty wages.  There lies the rub of it.   They don't really want ethics to block trade deals. 




In 1997, the then Labour government set up a dedicated Department for International Development, and over the next decade, the UK development budget tripled.  Support was targeted at the poorest, with work to promote good governance, encourage growth and economic dev…

It wasn't always late summer

This is a powerful story of Mary, a single teenage mother, living on a housing estate plagued with predatory abuse and prostitution, and Annie, an innocent girl whose ghostly presence links the central characters over two generations, bringing the events that led to her death, the loss of innocence and the unfolding story to a dramatic, thrilling conclusion.
The characterisation in the book is brilliant and entirely believable. From page one, I was completely drawn into the story and found the book difficult to put down.This is a stunning first time novelAn intense, gripping and highly personal thriller, with a modern ghostI found it hard to put down the book and the story very compelling.

Spend, spend, spend is not enough

Some thoughts on the Chancellor's measures for recovery.



The Chancellor's measures are a big package, but likely to be not big enough. There is much to be welcomed, even if it is a commitment with some half-measures. The government should not allow political philosophy to get in the way of doing what is required. Now more than ever, we need a unity of purpose across the political divide. That is never easy. We did it once before in what became known as the 'post-war consensus' on the need for spending on social infrastructure.

It helped us recover from the ravages and debt of war. Far from increasing national debt, the social investment-led recovery helped stimulate demand and the national debt tumbled. All the main parties, Tory, Labour and Liberal put employment at the heart of the strategy.

Merely urging people to spend is not the answer. In the long term, we need an investment-led recovery. Investment creates jobs, increases earnings and thus spending people can aff…

I Feel it in My Fingers