Can our society and way of life survive the triple threat of Brexit, Johnson’s government, and climate change? Or are we headed towards a total collapse of civilisation as we know it? Tom Serpell ponders what lies ahead if we don’t take action now…
Rishi Sunak and the government are looking at ways to force people to return to work in offices, despite Covid being an ongoing problem, and despite the many proven benefits of working from home, especially for women and minority groups… In an updated version of her article from last year, Mo Kanjilal ponders what the Tory ministers’ real motivation might be…
Refugees could make a contribution if this country would only allow more in and let them work. This would relieve desperate people of the dangers of life in camps, on the road or under the control of smugglers. It would enable them to demonstrate their skills and commitment to this country. It would add to the workforce and enrich our culture. This surely constitutes a win-win.
How can opposition parties take back control from the increasingly right-wing Conservatives? The choice is between divisive tribal nationalism and an opposition of shared values and cooperation.
The wonderful fact is that this team really does represent what it is to be English today. They represent Englishness and belonging. They inspire those of us from immigrant backgrounds to embrace being English and to be proud to support the team. Sport does have a way of doing that. And it is especially needed for a country that has been so divided in recent years.
Back in the day, tourists flocked to Brighton. It was raffish and quirky, with old world charm. Then came tower blocks. Now they’re planning ‘seafront classrooms’ and bulldozing away the city’s seaside character, feels local resident Rod Watson.
Rory Buchanan examines the influence of national newspapers on a political party’s chances of gaining power in the UK. Given Labour’s lack of support from major newspaper owners, what can the party do to win the next election?
Over the centuries, and particularly in the last hundred years or so, there’s been a decrease in wealthy land-owning aristocrats, an increase in “self-made” rich businesspeople, and therefore a larger number of owners participating in the real estate market. Yet shockingly, around half of England is owned by just 1% of landowners, and they are almost entirely a mixture of corporations, oligarchs and aristocrats. Tom Serpell asks: should anyone actually be entitled to claim ownership of land?
Because adultery and abortion are considered sinful in the Catholic Church, a large number of Christians (who take their faith very seriously) are appalled that a serial adulterer, and someone well known to have abandoned his children, could get away with taking the sacraments in Westminster Cathedral. Yet reinventing himself is part of his raison d’être. I suspect he has no particular attachment to being able to take the sacraments and went along with the whole process because he had no strong opinions either way — and that is exactly what a trickster would do.
A retired, lifelong left-of-centre activist ponders what constitutes a meaningful legacy, and worries his generation is failing to leave the next with the right kind of wealth…
Banning face coverings in our new, post-Covid world of legally enforceable face mask mandates sounds implausibly ironic. But that’s exactly what has happened in Switzerland.
Local elections are happening across the UK on 6 May 2021. Their results affect us all. So why do the vast majority of voters not bother to cast their ballot?
Britain spends billions on ‘defence’, not because it needs to but because our rulers are still intoxicated by military greatness and by the money to be made. Isn’t it time to move on?
“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”
The question of the degree to which market forces should determine remuneration — especially for those in public service – is a thorny one. Do we let the market decide? How can such work be valued? Tom Serpell explores these and other questions thrown into sharp relief by the Covid pandemic.
Where does a female belong in the 21st century? Are we women who work or ladies who lunch? As a society, the only responsibility we all have is to educate ourselves, with a critical eye, being always aware of who is telling the story and questioning why the story is being told.
Trust does not come ready-wrapped beneath the Christmas tree or in our monthly wage slip. Charlotte Rawlinson explores trust, how we take it for granted and how vital it is to our lives in 2021.