Dominic Cummings, double feature or In the room where it happened

By Laura Griffiths From Spiderman to SAGE, the double select committee that featured Dominic Cummings today has consumed the day’s news. At the beginning of the session with the Science and Technology Committee, Mr Cummings made what many people wanted to hear – an apology. There was also an acknowledgement that he and others had…

Reflections on life in lockdown

By Vanessa Chance With today marking the one year anniversary of the UK going into lockdown, many are looking back and reflecting on one of the strangest years in our time. I can remember this time last year and we had already been working from home for a short while to avoid infection. We thought…

One year on and a lot of lessons learnt

By Emma Kane On 20 March 2020 in a note to our team I wrote, “there is no doubt that this is a marathon not a sprint; and, as someone who has done a marathon, I know that mental stamina is key. In any crisis, the character of an organisation is exposed not made –…

My experience of being vaccinated

By Gareth Jones Last Friday, I received my Covid-19 jab in one of the newly established vaccine centres in Guy’s Hospital near London Bridge, taking part in the country’s biggest ever vaccination programme. With about 10 million vaccine doses delivered so far in the UK, I wouldn’t suggest my experience is particularly unique. However, being…

Covid testing ramps up as government moves to contain new strains

By Imogen Shaw Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s new postcode-based rapid Coronavirus testing strategy has begun in earnest today, as approximately 80,000 people across eight UK postcodes await visits from door-to-door testers. Everyone over 16 in the targeted areas is being urged to take a test, whether they are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or not. The attempt…

When blame is not a game

By Fraser Raleigh As the Prime Minister held a sombre press conference last night to mark the grim milestone of 100,000 COVID deaths in the UK, he might have thought back to when he stood at the Downing Street podium all the way back on 12 March last year – two weeks before the first…

Vaccine-induced fear and loathing

By Simon Gentry It’s unlikely that we’ll see the full political fallout of the pandemic for many years, but a slow vaccine roll-out seems to be denting support for the SNP Government in Edinburgh and the Labour administration in Wales.  This pales into insignificance however, when compared to what appears to be happening on the…

Vaccines, ideology and Britain on the world stage

By Simon Gentry The vaccination programme is progressing well (in England and Northern Ireland anyway) with over four and a quarter million vaccinated as of today and it increasingly looking like the target of 14 million by mid-February will be reached.  With new vaccination centres being added every day, the Westminster government is pleased with…

The Prime Minister may be in a better place than many think

By Simon Gentry On Sunday morning the Prime Minister appears on television and tells the nation that the schools must stay open, that the damage to children caused by closing them is too great.  On Monday evening, less than 36 hours later, he addresses the country and announces that schools must close. Over the weekend…

The year of impossible choices

By Simon Gentry It all started so well.  A natural star, charismatic, good looking (in his own way), a man the public could relate to, had landed the role that many thought he was born to play.  A whopping Parliamentary majority with a clear mandate to deliver the UK’s exit from the EU and to…