Welcome to my day – 14 December 2020

Christmas draws closer and, it seems to me, has started in earnest a bit earlier than usual this year. Perhaps that’s because many of us need a bit of cheer at a particularly trying time. The prospects of a no-deal Brexit, combined with a long winter before the various vaccines are rolled out, are not likely to lift the soul, it has to be admitted.

This week theoretically sees Parliament go into recess for the Christmas break although, if some sort of deal is done, the session may run into “injury time”. All three major parties will be undergoing some soul searching in terms of how to vote in such circumstances, with some Conservatives unlikely to support any deal, Labour seemingly committed to support any deal despite serious misgivings and the Liberal Democrats torn between abstention and rejection. That may not matter in the Commons, but the Lords is different for so many reasons.

Last week, I answered some of the questions asked by our readers, and this week I thought I might offer some more site data – the five most clicked on articles over the past week. Funnily enough, on a rolling basis, the “Most Read” section actually represents the most clicked on articles over the past week which means that, if you look at it just after midnight, you have the past week’s complete data. Of course, it changes as days drop off but for the benefit of Katharine Pindar, here is the list for the week ending 13 December;

  1. Given where we are, I perhaps shouldn’t be surprised that “How should Liberal Democrat MPs vote on any trade deal?…” came top. Irina von Wiese and Humphrey Hawksley rather encapsulated the dilemma facing Liberal Democrats.
  2. Jon Alexander’s explanation of “What the Lib Dems can learn from the Tories digital campaigning” reminded us that, whilst technology isn’t everything, using it effectively becomes more important all the time.
  3. “Compass launches a new Liberal Democrat network”. Another attempt to build a new progressive big tent and just as likely to fail as its predecessors did? You be the judge…
  4. Tom Arms never fails to challenge our readers, offering his perspective on a range of issues, and this week’s explanation of why politicians can’t admit their mistakes, “Observations of an expat: Looking foolish”, was an astute look at how politicians act in the face of unwelcome truths.
  5. It’s always nice to see new contributors, and Jake Stevenson made an impression with “Why Holyrood 2021 has me (SN)Paranoid”.

And so, having looked backwards, it’s time to set off into a new week. So buckle up, it may be a bit of a bumpy ride…

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4 Comments

  • Forgive me, Mark, for using your page to highlight a devastating report published in October by Amnesty International on the UK Government’s failure to protect older people from Covid-19 in Care Homes in England.

    “As lockdown began, thousands of patients were sent from hospitals into care homes. In three months 18,562 people living in Care Homes died with COVID-19. Our report As if Expendable highlights the UK Government’s failure to protect older people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

    The report ought to be compulsory reading for all politicians, and especially for Liberal Democrat Councillors on Councils that have social care responsibilities. It provides an essential safeguarding check :

    The report is downloadable as a PDF on google (see below to cut, paste, then search).

    ‘As if expendable – Amnesty Internationalwww.amnesty.org.uk › files › Care Homes Report PDF

  • Thanks David, for highlighting the terrible negligence this government perpetrated on the older generation and particularly in relation to care homes, it must never be forgotten or swept under the carpet.

  • Helen Dudden 14th Dec '20 - 3:35pm

    It’s heart breaking, to read the way the families were treated.
    At 72 years of age, am I no longer treated as viable? I think that could well be the case, I pray, that my health does not fall to a level where I need desperate treatment.
    Dental surgery, with many left in pain for months and months, is now added to the list of failings. I know, I have waited nearly a year, with several broken teeth. Is unbearable pain and infection the only way to get treated? That’s how it is.
    Many serious illnesses not had treatment or been diagnosed.
    Nothing has been logically planned.
    I think, there is so much this government totally ignored.
    Testing, it seems now was far from where it should have been, contracts awarded to just anyone they felt deserved it.

  • Barry Lofty 14th Dec '20 - 3:50pm

    Helen Dudden” Yes it has seemed to me that we older generations and people with various disabilities have been seen as less worthy of help than propping up the economy, at least in this governments eyes. I think we were deemed expendable.

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