Section: Health

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Covid-19: the effects on rural churches and communities

Susanna Metz
Sheepwash Church, Devon with thatched cottage.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The opening of A Tale of Two Cities came to mind when I was asked to write about the effect these very difficult past ten months have had specifically on ‘the Church’ in rural areas. If I were not too old to start […]

Is callousness a vote winner? Rees-Mogg appears to think so.

Anthea Simmons

Self-professed man of faith gave an interesting demonstration of Christian charity yesterday when he took a pot shot at UNICEF. The government he represents appears to be in denial about the record levels of child poverty, but does not take kindly to being forced to confront the truth by the likes of Marcus Rashford and, […]

Nationally acclaimed health campaigners speak to Devon

Editor-in-chief

This is aan official press release from Save Our Hospital Services: On 10 December, health campaigning group Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) held a webinar, inviting the public to listen in to both local and national campaigners who are deeply concerned about the NHS. SOHS was founded in north Devon in 2016 but have spread […]

The Covid-19 herd immunity scandal: you need to know

Fionna O'Leary

You might want to look at this Sunday Times article @ChrChristensen @chrischirp . TENGELL, Sweden’s COVID lead, with GUPTA and HENEGHAN, U.K. herd immunity fans, met secretly with Boris Johnson & Rishi Sunak (U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer) at Sunak’s request) on 20th Sept. 20th Sept is highly material as it was the day before […]

No deal takes UK back to the 70s and food anxiety

Robert Saunders

No apologies for reproducing yet another Twitter thread. Everyone should have the chance to read this. Ed The 1970s was a decade of serious anxiety about food supplies. Norman Tebbit, of all people, urged the government to consider rationing basic foodstuffs. That played a significant role in the decision to join the EEC, and raises […]

Protect the NHS in trade deals! House of Lords to the rescue yet again

Anthea Simmons

Great news, but what’s the betting the Conservative super majority means that all the Lords’ good work will be thrown out, just as food safety, level playing field for farmers and measures to stop government breaking international law were also rejected? Keep writing to your MP. Ask them to vote to keep the Lords’ amendments. […]

Plagues, public health and politics

Terry Riordan

“And my Lord Mayor commands people to be inside by nine at night that the sick may leave their domestic prison for air and exercise”. Samuel Pepys’s diary 12th August 1665 Throughout recorded history plagues and pandemics have had the capacity to cause massive loss of life. Those in power have sought to control or […]

Cornish beaches top anthropogenic litter league

Bernard Deacon

It is becoming ever more starkly apparent that human activity and over-exploitation is having a disastrous effect on species and habitats in the marine environment. Pollution, particularly by plastics, over-exploitation of fishing grounds and climate change are producing a lethal cocktail of habitat degradation and loss of biodiversity – at sea as well as on […]

Pilgrim’s shame – the price of cheap meat

Tom Scott

While argument rages over whether Cornwall should have been assigned to Tier 1 of the government’s social distancing regime, little attention has been paid to the US company operating the meat-packing plant in Cornwall which has been at the centre of a major outbreak of Covid-19. Tom Scott lifts the lid on its grim record […]

Living through austerity with a learning disability

Neil Carpenter

Since 2010, successive Conservative governments have made it a priority to ‘clear up the financial mess left by Labour’ through a wide-ranging programme of austerity measures intended to reduce the deficit. As those cuts were biting, I began working as a volunteer advocate for adults with a learning disability, going into day centres, running a […]

Hooray! We are taking back control…of GM

Simon Chater

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. There are precious few upsides to Brexit, but here’s one. We’re coming out of the EU’s dysfunctional system for regulating genetically modified (GM) crops! What do we know? It’s a quarter of a century since the first GM crop, a tomato modified to prolong its […]

Letter from the editor: don’t hibernate! Activate!

Anthea Simmons

Hibernation has never seemed a more attractive prospect. Hunkering down in a dark, snug spot, away from the daily horrors in the news would probably do wonders for our mental and physical health. I’m tempted. I am sure you are, too. We’ve put out a lot of shocking stories of corruption, incompetence and bare-faced lying […]

Vaccine: I’ll have it. Will you?

Sarah Cowley

A vaccine is on the way – hooray! Most people cheered when elated Pfizer and BionTech scientists announced their news last week, revealing that early results showed their vaccine to be 90 per cent effective against Covid-19. It was the first in a line of good news stories about possible vaccinations coming on stream. Will […]

Weird and wonderful words – week 1

Sadie Parker

Hello lockdown, my old friend; I’ve come to walk with you again. How are we all feeling? You may have awoken early in a state of uhtceare (pronounced uht-kay-ara; the ‘h’ is as in ‘loch’), an Anglo-Saxon expression for the ‘sorrow before dawn’ when you lie awake in the darkness and worry about the day […]

A breath or two of hope

Jo Molyneux

Recently I have begun feeling a little swamped by depressing stories regarding the scale of Covid-19 infections, Tory party skullduggery, disinformation and the state of our planet. There are a million and one minor stresses for us all, on top of that. It didn’t feel quite so bad in the summer, but now the nights […]

“Don’t sell our farmers out to the mighty dollar.” North Devon relief milker and team vicar urges MPs to support Amendment 16b

Anthea Simmons

We ran this article last week on Torridge Council’s decision to express its anger at the government’s decision to vote against protecting food and animal welfare standards in the Agriculture Bill. One of the passionate supporters of the motion proposed by sheep farmer and councillor, Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin, was the local Rural Dean and team vicar, […]

Newsflash – a mobile phonecall!

Sarah Cowley

I took a mobile phone call yesterday. I was out walking the dog, when I heard a ringing sound in my ear, reached up and pressed the button and heard a voice – loud and clear. “Is that Sarah?” “Yes, hello.” I’m deaf, but I could talk to the caller through my new Bluetooth enabled […]

The worst and the best of Cornwall

Tom Scott

The news that every one of Cornwall’s six Conservative MPs had voted against extending help to hungry children came as little surprise to anyone who had studied the parliamentary voting history of Scott Mann (North Cornwall), Derek Thomas (St Ives), Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay), Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall), Cherilyn Mackrory (Truro and […]

Cannabis – time to reassess?

David Haysey

The tide is slowly turning in one of the early fronts of the culture wars, as scientific possibility and questions of personal freedom challenge the assumptions of an earlier generation. Throughout its history, on questions where private vice encounters the desire to create the perfect ‘city on a hill’, the United States has lurched between […]