The government, the prime minister and the man who gives both their instructions have all degraded themselves. Dominic Cummings has ruled chiefly by fear, making Downing Street his personal “court”, according to one former minister. Public trust is not merely a political commodity: in a pandemic, it is an essential public health resource. Now an essential public health message has to be qualified and caveated to accommodate Cummings’ behaviour. Beyond the political fallout and the effect on public health messaging, this is where much of the current anger comes from.
May 29, 2020 16:07 UTC
SIG employs about 9,000 people and has almost 600 branches but in recent years its share price has tumbledSIG, a roofing and insulation supplies group, is to be bailed out by a private equity firm. In the first of what the market says will be a number of “Pipe” rescues — public investment by private equity — Clayton Dubilier & Rice is to stump up half an expected £150 million fundraising to get SIG, formerly Sheffield Insulations, back into shape. If it had been a rights issue with existing shareholders, the fundraising would have been broadly on a one-for-one basis as the money SIG is raising virtually matches its market valuation. CD&R, an American firm, will effectively be taking a 25 per cent stake in the enlarged capital of the company with the option in a secondary fundraising to take that holding up
The UAE has carried out more than two million coronavirus tests, one person in five and three times the rate of any comparable nationLike many people, Paul Griffiths, a British expatriate in Dubai, objects to some of the cliches thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic, and the phrase “the new normal” is one of them. So many of these terms make huge assumptions about the way the world will be in a year’s time, he says — but he also has a vested interest, for he is no ordinary expatriate. He is the chief executive of Dubai International Airport and is thus in charge of the place that perhaps more than any other on the planet symbolises what the “new normal” is supposed to replace. A “new normal” where people stay at home? Not a good outcome for an airport that usually processes 90 million international passengers a
Students enjoy the sun in Bushy Park, southwest London. Students say they have been starved of sex and parties for more than two months but that their social lives resumed this week. Restrictions have been eased but gatherings are still forbidden and police have stressed that they will continue to break up large groups in public places. However, the sunshine is drawing out throngs of the nation’s youth who are flocking to parks to have picnics, play football and meet friends they haven’t seen for weeks. Groups met in Hyde Park in London on Wednesday to enjoy “ice cream and beer on tap at the kiosks”, one walker said.
In the last two weeks only 1,019 fines were handed out compared with 4,967 the previous fortnightThe number of fines for lockdown breaches has plummeted in the fortnight since restrictions were eased, with only 841 handed out by police in England. Between 50 and 70 fines are being issued every day, compared with as many as 700 a day at the height of the lockdown. A total of 16,947 fixed penalty notices, including 15,552 in England and 1,395 in Wales, were recorded by forces up to May 25, according to provisional data released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). Their use has fallen since the government allowed unlimited exercise, some travel to beauty spots and outdoor interaction with one person outside a household. There were only 1,019 fines issued in England during the latest two-week period, between May 12 and
June 14, 1970, remains a singular occasion in our national history: the only time that England have been dethroned as world champions of football. Alf Ramsey’s team had arrived at the World Cup in Mexico with an imperious air of expectation: the spine of the 1966 World Cup-winning team remained, augmented by the likes of Alan Mullery and Francis Lee, but in the sweltering heat of León, they wilted. A two-goal lead in the quarter-final against West Germany was squandered thanks to an uncharacteristic error by goalkeeper Peter Bonetti, and Ramsey’s fateful decision to substitute Bobby Charlton for the inexperienced Colin Bell. Back in London, Tony Benn, the minister of technology in the incumbent Labour government, wrote in his diary: “Tonight England was finally knocked
The twin imposters of triumph and disaster have made the Williams Formula One story one of the most indelible in British sport. Now the team is up for sale, struggling with losses on both the race track and the balance sheet, and a family affair could be on the last lap. The highs of nine constructors’ and seven drivers’ titles, including career-defining peaks for Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, are tethered to the tragedy of Ayrton Senna’s death at Imola in 1994 and the traumatic aftermath. It was another three years before Sir Frank Williams, the founder and team principal, was cleared of manslaughter. Claire, his daughter and the deputy team principal since 2013, would explain just how devastating the impact had been on her
A decade or more ago I encountered what you might call the sceptics’ movement. Often young scientists and medics, they would meet in rooms above pubs and listen to speakers talking about science, religion, belief systems and ethics. Sceptics saw themselves as an arguing army, upholding the values and methods of the Enlightenment in an age of conspiracy theories and mumbo jumbo. I liked them because they even managed to be sceptical about themselves. Over in the US, where pastors speak in tongues and lay on hands to heal the
Space Force(Netflix)Snowpiercer(Netflix)Grow Your Own at Home with Alan Titchmarsh(ITV)First Team(BBC Two)It is heartening or perhaps terrifying to recall that, long before the president of the United States was saying mad things about injecting bleach, there was a period when he was saying mad things about space travel instead. Nasa, he tweeted last year, should not be focused on merely going to the moon, but “on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part)”. Not long afterwards, Potus launched the Space Force, with a logo that looked a bit like the Star Trek one. Hang on, was this a fever dream? Satire about
Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio has outlined the club's transfer policy which will bring a boost to both Manchester United and Liverpool this summer. United loaned Alexis Sanchez to Inter this season and recent reports have suggested the Chilean will return to Old Trafford this summer. However, Ausilio has hinted he will give Sanchez the chance to earn a permanent move to the San Siro when Serie A resumes next month. “He'll stay with us until the end of the season," Ausilio told He told Sky Sport Italia. Then we'll decide about his future with Manchester United.
May 29, 2020 15:59 UTC
Stephen RossHigh Biggins, Cumbria• Last year I saw an albino pheasant occasionally on walks through local countryside. Bill CookKelso, Scottish Borders• In the early 1940s I saw a white pheasant on my grandmother’s farm in Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight. Richard JamesHighworth, Wiltshire• I saw a pure white albino pheasant a few weeks ago while out cycling. Prof Mary HamiltonArnside, Cumbria• I also saw a white pheasant, for the first time, in Northumberland last week. Tony LawWhissendine, Rutland• Albino pheasants have been sighted in The Cotswolds.
May 29, 2020 15:56 UTC
I read this week that Boris Johnson has been given permission by the Queen to exercise in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Can she give him permission to act like a prime minister for more than an hour a week? Couldn’t someone – perhaps Cummings – stand just out of shot wearing a sign on his forehead that reads simply: “DON’T SMIRK”? It’s a funny sort of world-beating achievement – but it’s evidently what you get with the boy who grew up wanting to be world king. With the Guardian’s deputy national news editor, Archie Bland, Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland and Observer chief leader writer Sonia Sodha.
May 29, 2020 15:20 UTC
That the volume you had to reach to be heard was so high that you lost your voice every time. As it happens, we’re turning the dial all the way up: a black man pleads for his life, the white officer kneeling on his neck maintaining a blank expression. An Asian fellow officer stands guard, deaf to anguished cries of passersby pleading for Floyd’s life. But images of black people being killed in the US have become part of the furniture of our lives. But let’s all try to get to the point where a black life matters, without having to witness the slow, painful sight of it ending.
May 29, 2020 14:04 UTC
Here, the PA news agency looks at what sports fans can expect to see in the coming weeks and months. A full set of fixtures would then take place across the weekend of June 19-21. A return for the Championship is anticipated but League One and League Two look set to go the way of Scottish football, with early curtailments. Plans have been drawn up to hold the delayed Test series against the West Indies in July, with matches starting on July 8, 16 and 24. More info 🔗 https://t.co/bCsP6HG1v2 pic.twitter.com/BT1OhNNFD7 — UCI (@UCI_cycling) May 19, 2020A revised schedule for the UCI World Tour takes place from August 1, with 25 events planned.
May 29, 2020 13:52 UTC
Soas University of London is being forced to slash budgets and prepare significant staff cuts after being caught in a financial crisis hastened by the coronavirus pandemic, the Guardian can reveal. In some cases, managers have presented cuts to courses to be taught next year and told department leaders to define the minimum number of staff needed. One department, the centre for international foundation courses and English language study (IFCELS), has been told to make so many cuts that it will in effect disappear, along with its 55 staff. The cash position is even worse than planned and the shock is much bigger than I warned about,” McGettigan said. Our auditors have made a statement about material uncertainty around future income from student recruitment in the context of Covid-19 … These are sector-wide not Soas specific risks.
May 29, 2020 13:41 UTC