Section: Health

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Package pile-up as 70 postal workers self-isolate in central Devon

Anthea Simmons

The image above shows the growing backlog of undelivered parcels at Ashburton Post Office and library as a consequence of covid-related staff shortages, with 70 of the 100 sorting office and delivery staff self-isolating following Covid-19 notification ‘pings’. Deliveries in a number of areas in Teignbridge and the South Hams are similarly affected. Ashburton Post […]

“Get Britain on its bike”- part 3: E-asy cycling!

Mike Zollo
two mountain e-bikes

In Parts One and Two of this Cycle-paths series, we covered the subject of cycle routes, both on and off-road, for commuting and for leisure. However, ‘leisure’ can be a misnomer where the physical effort to cover distances and climb hills is concerned. If you, Dear Reader, feel a degree of cynicism stemming from concern […]

On the frontline: the safety of shop workers is being ignored – again

Vicky Rosier
smashed bottle of red wine n supermarket aisle

Shop workers go unnoticed by much of society. They toil away mostly unseen in the background so that the rest of us can get our groceries, ready meals, beers or clothing in well-stocked, pristine-looking stores. They work for some of the big, long-established companies in the UK – Sainsbury’s, Asda, Next, M&S, John Lewis, WH […]

Kleptocrats’ playbook: the seven ‘D’s

Robin Alexander
man holding stolen gem

You may have seen a recent article and video by the brilliant journalist Jon Danzig, titled: Boris Johnson is asked: “Did you sack Matt Hancock?” He replies: “Here’s a story about a bus.” It features the inadequate attempt by Chris Bryant MP, in a select committee hearing chaired by the insidious Bernard Jenkin MP, to […]

A dangerous masquerade

Anthea Simmons
Johnson outside No. 10 on a giant St George flag

If England win tonight, you just know that Johnson will muscle (!) in to claim credit. I have a vision of him, having been woken up by a sharp poke in the ribs by Carrie, shambling towards the dais, hellbent on snatching the trophy from Kane’s hands. The worst foul you’ll ever see at Wembley. […]

People’s Covid Inquiry – a report on the recent webinar

Chris Ambrose
doctor in PPE in front of union flag

People’s Covid Inquiry Webinar 7 July 2021 The People’s Covid Inquiry was called by campaign organisation Keep Our NHS Public. The Inquiry heard testimony from many witnesses and took place with support from a wide variety of individuals and organisations. The panel (all members giving their time on a voluntary basis) was chaired by Michael Mansfield […]

Why I won’t stop wearing a mask post 19 July

Clare Knight
toddler in a face mask

Johnson is going to repeat the stunt that briefly had ineffectual Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle showing a bit of backbone, and bypass parliament to tell us all about ‘Freedom Day’ on TV. Freedom Day! The day this government officially frees itself from all responsibility for the health, welfare and financial security of […]

Lack of action on active travel in Somerset

Mick Fletcher

Somerset County Council (SCC) have contacted us over our article on cycle paths in Somerset. They asked us to add three points giving the perspective of the County Highways Department on some of the key issues raised. We are pleased to set out their comments here in the interests of balance and to quote in […]

Serco in Cornwall – a lesson unlearned

Tom Scott

People in Cornwall learned about Serco the hard way more than ten years ago. Yet a company with a record of serial failure and dishonesty has just won another massive government test and trace contract. Some 15 years ago, the Scott household had its worst ever family Christmas here in Cornwall. On the day that […]

Sajid Javid: a safe pair of hands?

Tom Scott

Media outlets have been parroting the line that by appointing Sajid Javid as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Boris Johnson is putting the NHS into a “safe pair of hands”. This is no doubt exactly the line that Johnson’s government would like to hear, and it is an epithet that has been […]

Covid-19 and schools: an open letter to the BBC

Jane Stevenson

Dear BBC, I am writing to ask you to review the depth of scrutiny in your recent reports on Covid-19 and children in school. A BBC Breakfast report on 23 June explained that large numbers of children are having to isolate.  A concerned parent spoke about the impact on her child’s education. I was hoping […]

Challenging the NHS data opt-out: letter to the editor

Barbara Hills

A comment from the editor-in-chief can be found at the end of this letter. I am writing in response to your article on the sharing of GP data. I am really saddened by the one-sided argument currently circulating in much of the press regarding the proposed use of our GP data. I am an NHS […]

Cornwall becomes Coronawall

Tom Scott

Ten days after the G7, Cornwall has some of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country. And the government is attempting to cover up one of the main reasons for this. For the first 18 months of the pandemic. Cornwall felt like a relatively safe place to be. Covid case rates were substantially lower […]

“Get Britain on its bike” – Part 2: cycling home and away on routes with roots!

Mike Zollo

“Boris Johnson ‘obsessed’ with encouraging cycling” “Cycling is a top priority in Prime Minister’s drive to tackle obesity in fight against Covid-19 in the UK.” So said Cyclist magazine on 15 May 2020, adding that “Boris Johnson believes that the coronavirus crisis presents the perfect opportunity to ‘get Britain on its bike’ to enable social distancing […]

“Get Britain on its bike”- part 1: cycle-paths

Mike Zollo
Boris Johnson on a pushbike

what might encourage people to take up cycling, and what support and infrastructure exist to foster cycling … and what might put potential cyclists off! ‘Cyclist’ is a very broad term, ranging from those using two wheels to commute to work or to travel from a to b, through leisure cyclists and touring cyclists to serious club and competition cyclists.

WCB event: the true cost of cheap food

Editor-in-chief
Pizza factory

The UK today: record foodbank use, hungry children, an obesity crisis and post-Brexit trade deals which threaten to decimate British farming and flood the market with food produced to lower standards, and the politicians chant the ‘cheap food’ mantra. The costs of cheap food are high – for humans, animals and the planet. What can […]

Tell them, because Matt Hancock lied

Tom Scott

If any question why we died,Tell them, because our fathers lied. So reads one of Rudyard Kipling’s Epitaphs of the War. Substitute “Matt Hancock” for “our fathers” and it could serve as an epitaph for the many thousands of vulnerable elderly people and hundreds of care home staff who were consigned to die in the […]

Government’s green travel list – are holidays really back on?

Emma Monk

The weekend before the May election the front pages of certain Conservative-supporting newspapers were excitedly reporting that ‘Boris’ was about to announce that foreign holidays were coming back! What a boost to give people just before an election. Especially when you are hoping that the general public will forget the 128,000+ official Covid-19 deaths caused […]

Agoraphobia: when your home is your prison and your only safe place

Lee Wilson

In many ways, I have confined myself to my prison: the four walls inside this house that I call home being the bars on my life. The very thing that contains me is also my comfort blanket. Shouldn’t your home be your safe space? Shouldn’t that be where you always feel safe? What if that […]

Indian variant: Boris Johnson’s indecision is final – and fatal

Tom Scott

Brexit was supposedly about “controlling our borders”. But when controlling our borders became a matter of life and death, Johnson’s government has proved pathetically inadequate.. There is as, far as we know, not yet any spread of the super-infectious Indian coronavirus variant in the South West. But this is unlikely to be the case for […]