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Society | The Guardian

  • The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s cabinet: new faces, not a new direction | Editorial

    The prime minister represents the triumph of a politics where some of the people are fooled all of the time

    In Westminster it is often said that politics drives the timing of decisions. But this week’s reshuffle by Boris Johnson is just the opposite: the timing is driving the politics. The prime minister is eyeing an early election, which could come as soon as 2023. He wants his party to be energised by new faces before his party conference. Mr Johnson’s changes are not ideological but about ministerial ambitions, accomplishments and personalities. The government he leads will have a new character rather than new direction.

    Leaving the cabinet are ministers (Gavin Williamson at education) who were deemed inadequate, replaced by politicians who can point to being successful (vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi). In terms of personalities, Nadine Dorries is a rightwing populist with the culture brief overseeing her bête noire: the BBC. As for personal ambitions, Mr Johnson has elevated a potential successor, Liz Truss, to foreign secretary.

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  • From crackpot Covid theorists to antivaxxers, hubris and fear haunt the wellness community | Brigid Delaney

    The randomness of illness is far too frightening for many to contemplate – so they rely on a fiction they’re special and can control their bodies

    It’s not unusual to meet people with alternative beliefs at a Sufi meditation course on a rooftop in Ubud. But when a mild, vaguely apologetic Australian woman in her mid-50s explained to me that she was responsible for her own breast cancer because she had repressed her needs and her sexuality and this repression had manifested itself as cancer in her breast, I thought: “Far out.”

    It was 2014 and the woman had been staying at a retreat centre nearby, submitting to a range of alternative therapies in a last-ditch attempt to stay alive after her cancer had spread.

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  • Scottish government requests military support for ambulance crews

    Nicola Sturgeon apologises to patients experiencing long waiting times as she calls in army assistance

    The Scottish government has officially requested support from the military to deal with pressure in the ambulance service that has extended waiting times, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

    On Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs during first minister’s questions the possibility of asking for aid was “under active consideration”, but the request came just a few hours later.

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  • Michael Gove faces calls to return donations from property developer

    Parliamentary records show new housing secretary received £100,000 in donations from Zak Gertler last month

    New housing secretary Michael Gove is facing calls to return £100,000 in donations he received last month from a property developer, with political opponents warning of a potential conflict of interest.

    Parliamentary records show that Gove registered two donations of £50,000 from a German property developer, Zak Gertler,three weeks ago. The Gertler family developed offices in Germany and has been linked to property deals in London and Birmingham after moving into the UK in the 1990s. The new housing, communities and local government secretary previously accepted £10,000 from the same donor in July 2016 to help his abortive party leadership bid after the Brexit referendum, and the same amount again in June 2019.

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  • Watchdog must do more to protect boy, 5, from landfill fumes, court rules

    Doctors say Mathew Richards’ life expectancy has been shortened due to exposure to hydrogen sulphide fumes

    The high court has ruled the Environment Agency must do more to protect a five-year-old boy from landfill fumes that doctors say are shortening his life expectancy.

    In a landmark judgment on Thursday, a high court judge said he was not satisfied that the EA was complying with its legal duty to protect the life of Mathew Richards, whose respiratory health problems are being worsened by fumes from a landfill site near his home in Silverdale, near Newcastle-under-Lyme.

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Community Care

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Social Care Network | The Guardian

  • 'Don’t expect a survivor to tell you her experience of undergoing FGM'

    Specialist social workers explain how they support women and girls affected by the practice

    When social worker Sam Khalid [not her real name] first began working with women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM), she found there wasn’t much awareness of the brutal practice in the UK.

    She was in her first year at university, in 2011, on a placement with a Women’s Aid team. “The service I was placed in was just starting its FGM unit, and I learned about the practice and met and spoke to many survivors,” she says.

    This article was amended on 12 December 2018. An earlier version referenced statistics from a recent Guardian article which was taken down after the Guardian was notified of a fundamental error in the official data on which it was based.

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  • We want to attract the right people with the right values to social care | Caroline Dinenage

    New government recruitment campaign will raise the image and profile of the sector

    This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of our amazing NHS, but we must not forget that adult social care is also marking 70 years. The National Assistance Act 1948 that created many of the core elements of the modern social care system came into effect on the same day as the NHS act.

    In the NHS’s birthday month we have heard many stories of the dedicated nurses, doctors and support staff who have been saving and transforming lives across its seven decades. While these staff are rightly seen as the backbone of the NHS, hardworking care workers, nurses, social workers, managers and occupational therapists are, likewise, the foundation of the adult social care sector – and they have been on the same 70-year journey as colleagues in health. They are two sides of the same coin – inseparable and essential to each other.

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  • The UK project giving refugees another chance at childhood

    Young refugees face unspeakable trauma to get here. But a cross-charity initiative is helping them to rebuild their lives

    It is hard to be an adult when you feel like you haven’t had the chance to be a child.

    This simple statement has stayed with me over the last 12 months of working with young refugees and asylum seekers. Among them, a 17-year-old boy forced to sleep in a railway station for months; and another who witnessed the killing of his brother and father and escaped from his home country in fear of his life.

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  • UN: spend an extra £5tn by 2030 to tackle global 'care crisis'

    Report highlights risk of rising inequality against women worldwide

    The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn (£5.3tn) on care by 2030.

    Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.

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  • Theresa May got it wrong with her cash boost for the NHS. Here's why

    Assessing what the health service needs is essential before giving it more money to meet demand

    Four key things were missing from Theresa May’s announcement of extra money for the NHS.

    There was no admission that there is an NHS crisis that needs tackling. Or that money is needed now for both the the health service and social care. Without this emergency cash injection, there will be insufficient time and resource to make the necessary preparations to avoid a repeat – or indeed worsening – of last year’s winter crisis in the NHS and social care with the trail of waits, delays, suffering and extra deaths that accompanied it.

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Opinion | The Guardian

  • The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s cabinet: new faces, not a new direction | Editorial

    The prime minister represents the triumph of a politics where some of the people are fooled all of the time

    In Westminster it is often said that politics drives the timing of decisions. But this week’s reshuffle by Boris Johnson is just the opposite: the timing is driving the politics. The prime minister is eyeing an early election, which could come as soon as 2023. He wants his party to be energised by new faces before his party conference. Mr Johnson’s changes are not ideological but about ministerial ambitions, accomplishments and personalities. The government he leads will have a new character rather than new direction.

    Leaving the cabinet are ministers (Gavin Williamson at education) who were deemed inadequate, replaced by politicians who can point to being successful (vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi). In terms of personalities, Nadine Dorries is a rightwing populist with the culture brief overseeing her bête noire: the BBC. As for personal ambitions, Mr Johnson has elevated a potential successor, Liz Truss, to foreign secretary.

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  • The Guardian view on the Aukus defence pact: taking on China | Editorial

    The agreement between the US, UK and Australia strengthens old ties as a new era unfolds in the Indo-Pacific region

    No one – least of all Beijing – believes the denials. The new defence pact between the US, UK and Australia is unmistakably aimed at containing China. The question is how substantive it will prove to be. The initial project – Canberra’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, with Washington and London’s help – is prompted in part by growing Australian frustration over its troubled contract for French-made vessels. But it opens the way for greater military cooperation and is to be underpinned by wide-ranging collaboration on areas such as cyber-security, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, which China is pursuing intensively.

    Joe Biden appears to be realising Barack Obama’s pledge of a pivot to Asia, with US capacity freed by withdrawal from Afghanistan, and China’s behaviour ringing alarm bells internationally. The Aukus pact binds the UK and Australia more closely to the US position, and should augment US military power in the region (though France, Europe’s most significant Indo-Pacific player, is openly furious). Though Boris Johnson has highlighted the promise of UK jobs, a White House official described the deal as a “downpayment on global Britain”.

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  • Len McCluskey is shifting the blame for Labour’s woes | Letters

    Readers respond to the former Unite leader’s broadside against Keir Starmer’s leadership

    It was saddening to read Len McCluskey’s account (I trusted Keir Starmer – until I saw how he handled Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension, 13 September), but I can appreciate why this episode broke his personal relationship with Keir Starmer. Likewise, I understand why McCluskey formed the view that Starmer “was not a man of his word”.

    Since you published a statement about Labour’s approach from one of its frontbenchers that “it’s about bringing a level of brutality” (‘No strategy, programme or project’: Labour divided ahead of conference, 7 August), I have looked in vain for this to be disavowed by the leader’s office. Promoting mistrust, division and brutality may seemingly bring victory in short-term internal party battles, but it is not a strategy for winning longer-term popular support from voters.
    Mike Sheaff
    Plymouth

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  • British Council cuts harm UK’s reputation | Letter

    The council is falling victim to political ignorance and indifference at home, says Bob McIntyre

    The British Council is most certainly not “the British government’s cultural arm” as suggested by your article (British Council to close 20 offices across globe after cuts and lost income, 9 September). It is a public corporation and charity, governed by royal charter. Unfortunately, most of its funding comes from the government and because of the pandemic shortfall on language tuition and other services, it will not be able to balance its books.

    As someone who has worked with the council in Africa, I can tell you that far too many politicians simply do not understand the good that the British Council does for the UK’s reputation, and the despair and disappointment when its offices are closed. Alliance Française and the Goethe-Institut do not suffer from such political indifference and have funding that makes the UK’s equivalent, the British Council, look seriously third-rate.
    Bob McIntyre
    Llandovery, Carmarthenshire

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  • Clarkson, cliches and the Chipping Norton set | Letter

    Oxfordshire village life does not conform to outdated stereotypes, writes Chris Rawlence

    In the piece on boy racers stirring up Cotswold villagers by their visits to Jeremy Clarkson’s farm (‘We’re just not used to it’: Clarkson farm shop causes stir in the Cotswolds, 10 September), I was sad to read the “frozen in time” and “Chipping Norton set” tropes that tend to characterise metropolitan takes on Oxfordshire village life. Chadlington is in fact alive with radical outward-looking initiatives in sustainable farming, arts in health, and sustainable tourism. The village has a thriving music community, being home to several composers and performers with international reputations.

    The recent Covid-inspired influx of Londoners, while making housing even less affordable for locals, was not driven by a desire to live a “chocolate box” life so much as to escape diesel particulates and find space for young families. And as for Chipping Norton, take a look at the recent local election map. There’s a red splodge there that’s chiming with the Green/Liberal Democrat Fair Deal Alliance that now runs Oxfordshire county council. The Chipping Norton set cliche has had its day.
    Chris Rawlence
    Chadlington, Oxfordshire

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Learning in the Modern Workplace

  • Top Tools for Learning 2021
    The Top Tools for Learning lists have now been published. 2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of […]
  • Online Workshop: Modern Training Practices
    Next public workshop: 6 September – 8 October 2021 Modern training is not just about digitising current training events but thinking differently about what is appropriate for today’s workforce. In this 5-week online workshop we will first look at how to address the issues with current training and then consider some of the modern training […]
  • Online workshop: Empowering self-development at work
    Runs 5 July – 6 August 2021. Continuous learning and development in the workplace is much more than continuous training. Whilst it is up to everyone to become a lifelong learner and keep up to date with what’s happening in their industry or profession to remain employable, it’s also up to L&D departments to help […]
  • MWL Daily has a new look
    Join our new MWL Daily Telegram channel for daily curated posts and articles about learning in the modern workplace
  • Supporting Continuous Learning From the Work (Online Workshop)
    Next public workshop: 24 May – 18 June 2021 Although L&D departments have traditionally focused on training people to do their jobs, research tells us that most of what employees learn at work happens as they do their job – it’s just that they are not aware of it or make the most of it.  So, […]