How on Earth can a Conservative minister (Brandon Lewis) stand before parliament and so casually admit that the government is about to break international law? Isn’t there a law against that?
He says it breaks it in a “very specific and limited way”. Is that supposed to make it ok? What does that even mean? You either break the law or you don’t, you can’t break a bit of the law.
What happens if I decide to break the law in a specific and limited way? I could break into a house and ransack the living room, but not the bedroom. Will that be ok? Given the government’s reaction to some people breaking lockdown rules it probably would not be ok unless you are Dominic Cummings.
If this plan goes ahead, Britain will become a pariah on the world stage, and what’s more, will deserve to be.
Prince Harry has stated that he is “relieved” to have paid back the £2.4m of the British taxpayers’ money, used to refurbish Frogmore Cottage.
The British tax payer are “greatly relieved” to have that £2.4m back in the coffers, where it belongs, and to be put to good use for the nation's current financial needs.
Search for moderate SNP
I see much criticism from the SNP and certain commentators in Scotland about the lack of moderate Tory voices in the UK and within the Conservative Party.
However, can someone please tell me where the moderate nationalist voices have been over the last six years? The sort of voices that actually accepted the result of the independence referendum, thus the notion of democracy? Voices that can see the economic, political, social and cultural consequences of Scottish secession, obviously still agree with it, but are at least honest with the Scottish people? Voices that did not say in 2014 that the people of Scotland have rejected independence “at this time” or that it transcends every single issue in Scottish society.
Perhaps there’s a place where internal voices of descent are listened to within the party rather than the false presentation of bland homogeneity. Perhaps the SNP and its followers should look inward first before criticising another party.
Girvan, South Ayrshire, Scotland
Vital role of early years childcare
Day nurseries, pre-schools and childminders play a vital role in the development and future outcomes of our children. They contribute to their social, emotional, language and physical development. These education providers also support the economy by enabling parents to go to work.
However, a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies last week showed that many providers are at risk of closure because of the effects of coronavirus.
If the right action is not taken now to support nurseries, Covid-19 will set back educational progress by decades and make the UK less productive, less stable and less fair for all.
We need the government to appreciate the huge economic and societal returns that are possible from modest investment in the early years.
Government funding rates for their flagship 15 hours and 30 hours programmes need to keep pace with statutory pay increases. I would also like to see England follow the example of Scotland where early years providers are exempt from business rates, in recognition of their benefit to society.
The sector can raise its own standards too. We need to invest better in staff and create environments where they can build careers and thrive. This will help to counter the high turnover of staff which has been a problem in childcare for too long.
Managing director of Storal Learning, a national early years provider
Need for radical change
Priti Patel is accusing XR of undermining a functioning society. What she, the PM and other cabinet members are failing to recognise is that our “functioning society” will not be able to continue without radical change. The government needs to show that they are serious in their claim to be addressing the challenge of climate change.
Their record of missing targets, investment in major road building schemes, lack of investment in new “green” industries, set alongside the mysterious “oven ready” Brexit deal and the elusive “world beating” track and trace system, and their own willingness to break or ignore the law, will only serve to create more support for a movement that is rightfully fearful about the future.
Empty Brexit promises
It was clear to those with eyes to see that the “oven ready deal” was no more than a cynical pre-Christmas ploy to gull (sic) the weary and credulous electorate to vote for an illusory end to something with which they had lost patience and interest. A neighbour, knowing my cynicism about Johnson that he did not share, asked me how I was feeling on 1 February. He said: “Optimistic now, ready for a fresh start, aren’t we?” My reply was that nothing had changed, but that we were being led over the cliff-edge by a lazy leader and an incompetent government.
Despite the good offices of Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper to avert a no-deal exit from the EU, we are, thanks to the vainglorious naivety of Corbyn and Swinson, ready to be roasted in the flames of what Johnson and Cummings always intended for us. And now, to reach the culmination of their dreams, they are prepared to break international law and destroy any credibility we have as a nation of honest and trustworthy people in order to achieve the no-deal they wanted all along.
The bonfire of regulatory checks once we are outside the EU will enable the elite to get richer while the rest of us pick up the scraps that have fallen from their already over-indulged tables; proving, to those who have ears to hear, that the “levelling up” mantra was as empty as all those other patronising and simplistic slogans that this crew have been using since 2016.