No, Brexit Is Not A Distraction From NHS or Housing Crises

No, Brexit Is Not A Distraction From NHS or Housing Crises

kev303 via Getty Images According to John Rentoul, writing in The Independent at the weekend: “Brexit is distracting the centre of Government – No 10, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury – from attending to the pressing problems facing the country.” You can see his point. The demands exerted by negotiating a Brexit deal in Brussels that neither party wants, while fending off a Remainer-dominated parliament in London, is hardly conducive to solving big and worsening domestic problems.

He is rightly sceptical about the government’s ambitions to build the millions of houses the country needs; and who isn’t outraged that 22,800 elective operations were cancelled in England as a consequence of ‘winter pressures’? But neither is the fault of Brexit. They are just the latest instalments in a long line of policy failures that existed long before that delicious jolt to the system intruded on the banal politics that existed before 23 June 2016. Does he really think that government would have got its trowel out by now and built the 250,000 homes a year it has been promising? Or that it would have got its act together and solved the social care crisis, and in turn solved one of […]

I Met An Elderly Lady On The Bus Who Was Looking For Noise. It Taught Me A Lot About Loneliness

I Met An Elderly Lady On The Bus Who Was Looking For Noise. It Taught Me A Lot About Loneliness

Bloomberg via Getty Images Ever been brought to tears on your commute? (No, delays on the Overground or missing your bus do not count.)

Last week, a journey home was rather emotional. To the point where I actually spent the rest of my evening wanting to turn back time and change my actions. Here’s why:

Picture the scene. I’m on route to a doctor’s appointment, on a bus that seemed to be hit with a severe case of red light syndrome. The anxiety of my looming appointment, teamed with the rocking back and forth consequent to the bus driver’s hesitant foot – and its constant misjudgement of whether to accelerate or break – meant that I was not having the most comfortable of rides.

An older lady sat beside me on the 27 heading towards Camden Town. She was elegantly dressed, her make up picture perfect and her hands decorated with long, black lace gloves. With my eyes transfixed on her adorned arms, she lowered herself on the seat next to me with her walking stick. With barely two seconds passing of her being my new neighbour, she turned to me and said:

“Excuse me dear, I’m looking for a cinema. Can you […]

Refugees Like Me Are Going Without Food To Pay The Legal Costs Of Reuniting With Family

Refugees Like Me Are Going Without Food To Pay The Legal Costs Of Reuniting With Family

British Red Cross This morning I woke up crying at 5am – I dreamt that my family were still in Cameroon.

Today I am lucky to have my wife and five children safely in the UK with me, but for a long time this wasn’t the case.

My family originates from Cameroon in central Africa. I worked as a tailor and my wife was a primary school teacher. But one day I spoke out against the elected government and was persecuted as a result. I had no choice but to flee my home, leaving behind my pregnant wife and children.

I left Cameroon on the 10th November 2014 and was granted refugee status in March 2016, almost 18 months after leaving my family.

In the UK, when someone is granted protection as a refugee, they have a legal right to be reunited with their family. But in 2012, legal aid was removed in the UK, meaning that refugees like me no longer have access to free legal support to navigate the complex family reunion process. Instead I had to sacrifice everything to fund this myself. I lived on absolute minimum subsistence. I received second hand clothes from charity, I took food handouts to […]

Walthamstow shooting: Man ‘sitting in car’ murdered

Walthamstow shooting: Man 'sitting in car' murdered

The victim was shot in Forest Road and died on the way to hospital A 20-year-old man has been shot dead in north-east London.

The victim is thought to have been sitting in a car in Forest Road, Walthamstow, at about 21:30 GMT on Wednesday when he was approached by a number of people.

He was shot and died about an hour later while being taken to hospital. His next-of-kin have been informed.

Det Ch Insp Andrew Packer said the killing had "left his family and friends devastated".

He added: "We are doing everything we can to find the culprits. I would urge all witnesses and those with information to contact police."

An air ambulance also attended the scene and medics performed first aid before transporting the victim to hospital.Formal identification has yet to take place and no arrests have been made.

Mariam Moustafa: Egyptian teen’s Nottingham death sparks anger

Mariam Moustafa: Egyptian teen's Nottingham death sparks anger

Mariam Moustafa, 18, was an engineering student at Nottingham College Police are keeping "an open mind" about whether an attack on an Egyptian student that sparked outrage in her home country was racially motivated.

Mariam Moustafa, 18, died on Wednesday after being attacked by a group in Nottingham on 20 February.

The hashtag "Mariam’s rights will not be lost" has been trending in Egypt.

Egypt’s prosecutor-general has requested information about the probe into her death by British officials, according to BBC Monitoring.

Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement: "At this time, from our investigation, there is no information to suggest that the assault was motivated by hate but we continue to keep an open mind."

Before Miss Moustafa’s death, police arrested a 17-year-old girl on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. She was released on conditional bail. Police said the attack took place in Parliament Street in Nottingham Miss Moustafa’s uncle told the BBC a group of about 10 girls had started beating his niece at the Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham, so she ran to get on a bus.The girls then followed her on to the bus, he said, and kept beating her until she passed out and a man intervened to […]

Baby Charities Express ‘Extreme Concern’ Over Increased Infant Death Rates In England And Wales

Baby Charities Express 'Extreme Concern' Over Increased Infant Death Rates In England And Wales

Baby charities have spoken of their “extreme concern” that the number of babies who died within their first 28 days of life has increased year on year in England and Wales. The rate rose from 2.6 neonatal (newborn) deaths per 1,000 births in 2015 to 2.7 for every 1,000 births in 2016, the Office for National Statistics revealed.

The infant mortality rate – deaths within the first year of a child’s life – also rose, from 3.7 to 3.8 per 1,000 live births from 2015 to 2016. This is the second year in a row the statistic has increased. “These increases can be attributed to many risk factors, such as the mother’s country of birth, mother’s age at birth of child, birthweight and the parents’ socioeconomic status,” an ONS spokesperson said .

Bliss and Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association) are now calling for NHS England’s Neonatal Critical Care Transformation Programme Review to be given urgent attention. “It is deeply concerning to see a rise in infant mortality rates for the second year running,” said Caroline Lee-Davey, chief executive of Bliss. “Research has highlighted there are significant variations in mortality rates across the country, meaning there is much more to […]

The Waugh Zone Thursday February 15, 2018

The Waugh Zone Thursday February 15, 2018

Theresa May captured the mood of the Commons yesterday when she attacked Russia for treating the use of a military grade nerve agent against two civilians “with sarcasm, contempt and defiance”. After she expelled 23 diplomats, the Russian Embassy in London proved her words in spades when it tweeted a photo of a thermometer , adding the temperature had dropped to “minus 23, but we are not afraid of cold weather”. Moscow could respond today with expulsions of our own diplomats. A senior Cabinet minister tells HuffPost : “It’s tit for tat now – it will escalate so we had to have other options open to us…No one wants to be the first not to retaliate.”

Last night at the UN in New York, as the Americans and others rallied round the UK in condemning Moscow, Russia’s representative Vassily Nebenzia, claimed there was no “material proof” that his country was involved. Continuing the sarcasm theme, he even cited Arthur Conan Doyle’s “hapless character” Inspector Lestrade, who is “not particularly smart” and comes up with “banal conclusions, only to be overturned by Sherlock Holmes” . On the Today programme, Boris Johnson attacked Russia and Vladimir Putin’s “smug sarcasm” and countered that […]

Harry Styles’ New Song ‘Medicine’ Is Being Hailed As A Bisexual Anthem

Harry Styles’ New Song ‘Medicine’ Is Being Hailed As A Bisexual Anthem

Harry S tyles has delighted fans with his latest new track, ‘Medicine’, with many already calling it a “bisexual anthem”.

The former One Direction star is currently midway through a European tour, and debuted ‘Medicine’ earlier this week during a show in Paris.

Footage of the performance was swiftly shared online by various concert-goers, much to the joy of fans who weren’t able to attend his tour:

Fans online have singled out one lyric in particular – “The boys and the girls are here / I mess around with him / And I’m OK with it.” – for praise, calling for a studio version to be released: nothing but respect for MY bisexual anthem aka Medicine by Harry Edward Styles. I was so shocked when he performed it I can’t remember if I fell or just opened my mouth and didn’t moved for 4 minutes oshsisjsjs DROP THE VERSION STUDIO FAT @Harry_Styles — 85 PAMPLEMOUSSES (@offthatwall) March 14, 2018 @Harry_Styles thank you for the song #medicine . It’s great of you to sing this but as well as that it’s an awesome sign to all bisexual etc. that there is someone so popular who speaks his mind. So they may, too. But, […]

‘Cover Buddha Tattoos And Don’t Pack E-Cigarettes’: Foreign Office Releases Travel Guide On How Not To Get Arrested Abroad

'Cover Buddha Tattoos And Don’t Pack E-Cigarettes': Foreign Office Releases Travel Guide On How Not To Get Arrested Abroad

If you want to stay out of trouble on holiday, don’t take e-cigarettes to Thailand, stop swearing when you land in the United Arab Emirates and be sure to hide your Buddha tattoo in Sri Lanka.

The travel tips are part of advice shared by The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for globe-trotting Brits, aimed at reducing the amount of people landing themselves in serious trouble by falling foul of lesser known local laws and customs.

The tips are particularly aimed at young travellers, as new research from the FCO shows one third of 18-24 year olds (33%) will be influenced by celebrities when preparing for their holiday this Easter, with nearly one in three (30%) saying stars inspire their travel destination.

However, many of these destinations have more unusual and surprising rules than young UK travellers are used to. The FCO noted a 7.1% increase in arrests and detentions of Brits abroad between 2015 – 2016 and 2016 – 2017. Ascent/PKS Media Inc. via Getty Images By analysing ONS data, the FCO found a significant increase in Brits travelling further afield than Europe, often to popular celebrity destinations that have stricter laws and customs than the UK. Visits to Sri Lanka […]

Channel 4 News Presenter Cathy Newman Slams Employer ITN After Gender Pay Gap Reveal

Channel 4 News Presenter Cathy Newman Slams Employer ITN After Gender Pay Gap Reveal

Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman has hit out at her employer, ITN, after it was revealed that the company’s gender pay gap sits at 19.6% .

The disparity – which is almost double that of the BBC’s – was revealed on Wednesday (14 March) and bosses were quick to cite the fact most of ITN’s senior roles are occupied by men as the main reason for the gap.

Writing in her Telegraph column , Cathy said she is “shocked at the extent of the disparity – worse than the national average, and worse than the BBC”. Channel 4 News “What’s made me angriest is why we’re all still having to fight this battle,” she added. “The irony is journalists at ITN have been robust in tackling the BBC on this issue. (I even staged a sit-in to interview the director-general on it.)

“We’re employed to ask tough questions: now our own bosses are having to answer some themselves.”

ITN’s chief executive John Hardie has pledged to cut the pay gap in half within five years, while also ensuring half of all senior roles are occupied by women during the same period.

Turning her attention to this, Cathy wrote: “But it’s hard to shake […]