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…

Beware of the trolls

By Anthony Hughes Last week we highlighted some of the ethical and reputational challenges that face companies around the rollout of the various vaccines for Covid-19. If those weren’t complicated enough, widespread disinformation campaigns are making the politics of ‘the vaccine’ even more complicated. In recent years most people have become increasingly aware of a…

In the bleak midwinter…

By Simon Gentry Cities, counties and nations locked down, mortality numbers rising daily, nearly a million newly unemployed, short days and long cold nights.  The least we could be allowed is some time with the people we love most.  And yet if we do the virus will overwhelm the NHS and many, many more of…