Public heroism is no substitute for a coordinated response when disaster strikes

“WHAT’S the worst that could happen?” That’s the first question those working in resilience planning have to ask, and in these uncertain times it’s not an easy one to answer. The second is “how should we respond?” On Tuesday night the BBC broadcast extraordinary scenes in its fly-in-the-wall documentary Hospital, showing how the staff ofContinue reading “Public heroism is no substitute for a coordinated response when disaster strikes”

Tim Farron was wrong to believe the personal was not political

LAST week, as Theresa May dithered and swithered about whether she had a deal or no deal with the DUP, I had a pang of nostalgia for the comparatively simple days of 2010, when Nick Clegg’s gung-ho Liberal Democrats hopped swiftly into bed with the Tories. The accepted narrative about that coupling is that CalamityContinue reading “Tim Farron was wrong to believe the personal was not political”

What if some of the SNP’s 56 MPs were just a bit rubbish?

WHEN a relationship comes to a end, it’s tempting to focus on the positives. Maybe they really meant it when they said “it’s not you – it’s me.” Maybe it honestly was the case that “the timing just wasn’t right.” Anything to avoid the horrible possibility that you blew it or, worse still, they justContinue reading “What if some of the SNP’s 56 MPs were just a bit rubbish?”

Skimpy outfits don’t harm girls, but slut-shaming does

“WHAT do these women wear into battle?” asks a bemused Wonder Woman in the new blockbuster, upon being shown the ladies’ fashions of London in 1918. Raised on an island of warrior women who run, jump, punch and kick, she can’t fathom why anyone would pull on a restrictive pencil skirt or a high-neck blouse.Continue reading “Skimpy outfits don’t harm girls, but slut-shaming does”

Can we make room for love while keeping those in children’s homes safe?

As a society we have paradoxical attitudes towards children generally, and children in care in particular. On one hand we know they need love if they are to grow into healthy, happy adults – of course we do – but on the other we’ve become more and more suspicious about the motives of the unrelated adults around them.

Payslips and Facebook posts alone won’t tell you who’s in poverty

A WARM winter coat. A damp-free home. Fresh fruit and veg. A week’s holiday every year. Are these the bare necessities of life in the UK? What about broadband, curtains, or household insurance? It’s hard to pin down exactly what we mean when we talk about living in poverty. One man or woman’s luxury –Continue reading “Payslips and Facebook posts alone won’t tell you who’s in poverty”