Tory pay rise for public sector workers not all it’s cracked up to be

This morning (21 July 2020) Tory Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced that around 900,000 public sector workers are due to receive an “above-inflation pay rise”, for their “vital contribution during the Coronavirus pandemic”. From doctors to teachers to police and prison officers, all are being offered pay increases up to 3.1%.

Build working class unity, says veteran anti-apartheid campaigner

At a Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday (13 June) in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, the rally’s organiser, Morning Star supporter Pete Stevenson, read out this stirring message from veteran anti-apartheid campaigner and communist Ken Keable. There were over 200 people at the rally and the message was warmly received. Social distancing was strictly observed.

Police charge Black Lives Matter protesters outside Downing Street

Demonstrations in London yesterday (6 June 2020) in support of US protests following the murder of George Floyd were the scene of heavy handed policing which resulted in clashes with anti-racism protesters and mounted police charging crowds.

UK Statistics Authority calls out Tories for misleading COVID-19 testing figures

Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock received scathing of criticism of official government figures in a letter published today (2 June 2020) from Mr David Norgrove chairman of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA).

The watchdog’s response to government publication of official data on COVID-19 tests in England described the figures as of “limited value” and called out that the “aim seems to be to show the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding”.

Dominic Cummings flagrantly breached lockdown at height of pandemic

It has emerged that, senior No.10 aide Dominic Cummings travelled hundreds of miles from London to County Durham during the lockdown when he had virus symptoms. This comes after the resignation of Prof. Neil Ferguson, who ignored the law to visit his partner in another home. Back in April the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood was also forced to resign after flouting lockdown measures, which she herself had advocated for.

The youth need quality apprenticeships

Apprenticeships, on paper, sound like a fantastic initiative, right? Learning practical skills for the workplace, gaining qualifications, all while earning a wage. Indeed, there is a romantic image surrounding apprenticeships that still pervades among popular opinion, students learning to become skilled craftsmen at the foot of an all knowing master, the making of the artisans of the future, all very nostalgic.

It was this romantic image that was harnessed by the Conservative Government in its push for apprenticeships, including degree apprenticeships, to be rolled out en masse in the early 2010s, with Cameron vowing to create 3 million apprenticeships, including prestigious ‘degree apprenticeships’, in 2014, payed for via cuts to housing benefit of course.

The Gendered Impact of COVID-19

The ongoing Covid-19 crisis taking place across the world is producing some of the most significant upheavals the world has seen since the Second World War. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was first admitted to hospital with the Virus on the 5thof April. His battle with the illness prompted a wave of sympathy, with commentators sending niceties, positing that this highlighted that the Coronavirus can and does affect us all. “We are all in this together”, as Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, argued, and while it is clear that the Coronavirus is affecting us all, it is important to highlight that it is not affecting us all equally. There are obvious class differences in how people are able to cope amid the government lockdown. However, there are also key gender differences, and as usual women are bearing the brunt of both the economic repercussions of the lockdown, and are put at greater risk of infection.

We must continue fighting the good fight

Nelson Mandela once said, “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could notContinue reading “We must continue fighting the good fight”

Class divide at the heart of our education

I’m sure everyone reading this is aware of the deep class divisions within the British educational system. The disparities could not be more glaringly obvious. Children of rich bankers go off to Eton, while the heating of the local comp still hasn’t been fixed. Fairly common knowledge. While the existence of public schools such asContinue reading “Class divide at the heart of our education”