Less than a week after Tory home secretary Priti Patel was caught slandering the Traveller community as "criminal and violent" another rank example of her seeming xenophobia has surfaced.
It's emerged that Patel asked the UK home office to assess the viability of deporting asylum-seekers to the volcanic desolation that is Ascension Island – a place as bleak as Patel’s apparently withered soul.
Patel also asked them to investigate the feasibility of constructing an asylum centre on St Helena – the island where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled.
Is that where Patel would have put her own parents when they came to the UK from Gujurat via Uganda – on a remote island? Is there no limit to Patel's apparent inhumanity?
The most difficult job in the world at the moment is being the moderator in the Trump-Biden presidential debate, or should that be debacle? The moderator, Chris Wallace, found his task exceedingly difficult given the immoderate behaviour of the current president. Argue the politics, not the person, please.
Yes, Boris, the big shake-up in post-18 education was actually the Open University and the polytechnics, set up by a Labour government! It was John Major (Conservative) who ditched the polytechnics. He helped trash the system set up by the great Jennie Lee, Michael Young and Harold Wilson.
When I studied for my degree at Leeds Polytechnic I didn’t have the faintest clue what I would do with it – I was not of the Orwellian Alpha, Beta, Gamma generation who are supposed to know from birth exactly their station in life and the job they will fit into. My degree did, however, help me into various interesting jobs and I used the skills I learned in my degree throughout my working career. Oh and later I went on to study for an Open University MBA. It didn’t earn me a pile of money, but it did give me a load of insights which I use now in retirement.
The grim milestone of the global death toll of one million due to the scourge of coronavirus has ushered in a very sad day for the world. It calls for introspection but importantly we should not lose the focus on the ongoing world war against this pandemic.
Unfortunately, there were enough warnings and signs in the past about the possibility of a pandemic, albeit on a much smaller scale. The 21st century’s timeline of global fights against Sars, H5N1, H1N1, Mers, H7N9 and Ebola, starting from 2003 through 2014, were a bunch of red flags for the international community and wealthy nations to plan ahead for the onslaught of a pandemic and it’s grave implications given the globalisation and increased connectivity of the world.
Appallingly, the world’s complicity paved the way for Covid-19 to ravage across the globe leaving no exceptions, while the developed nations were pummeled ferociously and could not manage to reign in the spread of virus that has now resulted in one million deaths, with America alone accounting for more than 200,000 and the United Kingdom over 40,000 deaths, a staggering number by any standards.
At this critical juncture, although the coronavirus vaccine is under the last stages of trials, the lead researching nations are coming up with their own timelines and there’s no unified or cohesive front in this research and development of a vaccine as such.
I hope we will soon have a successful global launch of the vaccine that will arrest the virus spread and above all, the lessons we’ve learned will ensure the international community to have a singular front in preparing a preemptive plan that can nip such viruses in the bud before they garner pandemic proportions in future.
Atul M Karnik
Woodside, New York, USA
The PM’s rare (surely unique?) apology emphasises the urgency for Keir Starmer to put aside his no-policy policy and demand participation in Sage meetings and have an input into formulating rules for restrictions/relaxations of Covid-19 policies. Currently the stop/go nature of the government’s approach and late announcements bring to mind “knee-jerk” and “Russian roulette”. Boris Johnson has claimed “cross-party” support for his wretched handling of the pandemic: let it genuinely be a cross-party production from now on.
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Sunday’s news of the devastating financial impact being wrought on our charities is very timely.
Mass participation fundraising events have been cancelled, support jobs lost, and vulnerable people in critical need have seen their vital lines of support dwindle to nothing.
On 4 October, the deferred 40th London Marathon will take place, but only the elite athletes will be allowed to run the loop around St James’s Park. For the rest of the runners, the prestigious charity fundraising event will be going ahead virtually in thousands of individual locations across the country, providing a rare opportunity for those of us participating to help our charities in their time of financial need.
But the event will not be as it has been before. Creating our own 26.2 mile route we will have to carry our own emergency supplies, and share the roads with other road users. No cheering crowds, no Theatreland chorus-lines, no blaring brass bands, no stomping percussionist groups or disco DJs will get us over the line this time.
There will be medals, but crucially charities will receive a vital financial boost, allowing the continuing support of society’s most vulnerable.
My chosen local charity is disability charity Challengers. Receiving David Cameron’s “Big Society” award in the past hasn’t protected it from the same financial hit all charities are experiencing. We can’t raise this money without public donations. Whether we should have to is a different question. Please help us cushion the impact on our charities. On Sunday support your local running fundraisers, but please overtake us at a social distance.