Luke Harding and Mark Townsend report that “from Moscow, Brexit is seen as a wild success, diminishing the UK and estranging London from its European companions… And MI6 did not ask its secret brokers what precisely the Kremlin was as much as” (“Timid, incompetent… how our spies missed Russia’s bid to sway Brexit”, Information). You don’t require a level in geopolitics to know why a weakened Russia, believing itself threatened by Nato and the west typically, wants, and works for, a weakened west.
Carole Cadwalladr (“The Russia report reveals we have now a nationwide safety drawback. He lives in No 10”, Remark) observes: “The Russians stand accused of exploiting with disinformation and lies the identical platform that Johnson’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings, exploited with disinformation and lies.” Is anybody asking what Cummings was as much as in his three years in Russia? Provided that your opinion ballot (Information) signifies that nearly half of the individuals interviewed imagine the Russian authorities interfered with the referendum, is it out of the query to problem, even at this late date, the validity of the 2016 consequence? This isn’t to problem democracy. It might be to problem attainable treason.
MI5’s failure to research Russian interference within the EU referendum was both as a result of the federal government ordered it or MI5 itself selected not to take action for concern of turning into concerned in politics. Additionally, its report was accomplished in March 2019 however didn’t attain Boris Johnson till the next October, loads of time for presidency to tamper with the report. This as revealed accommodates nothing to justify withholding it earlier than the final election. All the episode reeks to excessive heaven, identical to our politics normally.
Pembury, Tunbridge Wells
At house on the excessive avenue
Shane Hickey discusses the problems dealing with workers and employers as house working appears more likely to proceed (“As house working turns into the brand new regular, know your rights”, Money). A significant benefit for the person is avoidance of the time and value of commuting.
However, whereas some relish the daytime involvement of different members of the family, this may also be distracting. Conversely, solitary employees might really feel remoted and lonely. The shortage of structured hours, whereas typically offering useful flexibility (for instance for the college run), might erode what in any other case could be free time.
There’s one other risk. Native workplace hubs would possibly develop, maybe changing vacant retailers. People from varied corporations might lease a office with appropriate desk and chair and web entry. The journey to work is perhaps solely a 10-minute stroll, there could be chats across the water cooler and scope for assembly over lunch. The entire package deal would change the lacking social options of the workplace and would possibly finest go well with some employees.
Covid-19: a glimmer of hope
In her glorious article, Jemma Kennedy writes movingly about her signs following coronavirus and makes connections with the expertise of “our first cousins” whose lives have been devastated by the a lot misunderstood sickness ME/CFS (“I’m a Covid-19 ‘lengthy hauler’. For us, there isn’t any finish in sight”, Remark). Myalgic encephalomyelitis/continual fatigue syndrome profoundly impacts the well being and lives of victims for a lot of months, years or a long time.
Kennedy identifies the profound challenges of individuals dwelling with ME/CFS, for instance, in gaining a analysis, the dearth of an evidence-based remedy and, most importantly, the disbelief – even inside households and typically the medical occupation. This latter can result in isolation and despair.
Covid-19 has been an unrelenting nightmare for too many individuals but when we emerge from the expertise with a better openness, compassion and understanding for individuals dwelling with associated “hidden” diseases resembling ME/CFS, that will be a silver lining, a glimmer of hope for the 250,000 individuals who dwell with the situation within the UK.
David Oddie, Hilary Doe
Stoke Climsland, Callington
Flip-flops? Flop-flops, I’d say
Andrew Rawnsley’s interim report on Keir Starmer’s management reveals an encouraging begin (“The Tories are struggling to discover a method to make Keir Starmer look unhealthy”, Remark). Many individuals I spoke to final December noticed the final election as a Morton’s fork: Boris Johnson was merely much less undesirable than Jeremy Corbyn, each in persona and manifesto.
What appears stunning is that so most of the citizens nonetheless fail to recognise Johnson as a self-centred and shallow bully. Starmer could also be accused of being uninteresting and picket however that appears misplaced – we’re seeking to a possible prime minister. The irony is that Johnson might grow to be a number one Labour sponsor within the recognition stakes because the flip-flops that Rawnsley refers to are more and more perceived as flop-flops.
Hove, East Sussex
The issue that must be solved by automotive producers isn’t a lot the 1,800 deaths that happen on our roads every year, however the 64,000 untimely deaths that happen yearly from air air pollution (“Driving might by no means be the identical once more. However what a experience it’s been!”, Focus).
This has been given renewed urgency by the realisation that Covid-19 mortality is intently linked to ranges of air air pollution. Thus metropolis dwellers are between 40% and 80% extra more likely to die from Covid-19 than their rural counterparts, an statement that will go an extended method to clarify the upper mortality amongst members of the BAME neighborhood.
Robin Russell-Jones, scientific adviser, all-party parliamentary group on air air pollution