The PM has picked ministers who owe him everything and do his bidding. They have a duty to the country but are shirking it
This ought to be the cabinet’s moment. A prime minister who exults in his own uniqueness is dragging his party down in the polls. Byelection reverses loom, and perhaps even a general election defeat. An unexpectedly large number of MPs have just voted no confidence. If ever there was a moment for his most senior colleagues to speak and act on behalf of the Tory party, this is it.
Instead, what do we get from Boris Johnson’s cabinet team? We get parroted rhetoric about massive agendas, his capacity to “deliver”, lines in the sand, and moving on. We get a video of the cabinet compliantly listening as Johnson delivers a five-minute Putin-style ramble in which he pointedly ignores Monday’s revolt entirely. And now we get windy, wishful waffle about how it will all be solved by tax cuts.
Service of thanksgiving raised the Genesis question – how many people can you swap out of this lineup before it ceases to be Genesis?
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, couldn’t attend the service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral, having tested positive for Covid a few days before, which was not a problem, since it was for this very purpose that the centuries-long enmity with York was cultivated – so there would be a Stephen Cottrell waiting in the wings, with a sermon ready to go.
Then Prince Andrew also got Covid; it is unclear who could understudy his role in the proceedings, let’s hope nobody. By the morning of the event, the first platinum jubilee in the nation’s history, the Queen wasn’t feeling very well, either, and would not be attending. By 2022 protocol, they should have got Prince Charles to speak on behalf of everybody, surrounded by their hats.
George Monbiot on the growing global food crisis and the degradation of our soils. Can the solution be found in the lab?
When farming is degrading our soils and people are still going hungry, is it time to change how we get our food?
“Ninety-nine percent of our calories come from soil. Everything we are, everything we have built, everything in our lives comes from the soil. Without it, we’re finished,” says the author and environmentalist George Monbiot. “And yet, we treat it with extreme disrespect and disregard.”
Whatever our vision of the future, there is no doubting public admiration and affection for the Queen herself
As the Sex Pistols said back in 1977, the year of the silver jubilee, never mind the bollocks. It really doesn’t matter what it’s for – just seize the moment: an extra bank holiday for this miserable country, which has the fewest national holidays in Europe and the second fewest in the world. England and Wales have just eight, Northern Ireland 10, Scotland 11; by contrast Europe averages 12.8, and Japan has 17.
Enjoy a release from England’s grindstone working culture, whipped on by cabinet luminaries Liz Truss, Priti Patel, Kwasi Kwarteng and Dominic Raab, who in 2012 damned British workers as “the worst idlers in the world” in their obnoxious book Britannia Unchained.
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McCraw, using a map of the school as a prop, says the back door at Robb elementary school was left propped open by a teacher.
Salvador Ramos, the shooter, crashed his car outside the school and began firing at two men outside, who were not hurt.
We’re here to report facts as we know them now, and not to defend what was done, or criticize what was done, or the action taken.
The Partygate saga culminated with a report on Wednesday on the extent of rule-breaking in Downing Street during lockdown. Peter Walker and Jonathan Freedland analyse what it means for the PM
For months, Sue Gray’s report on rule-breaking at the heart of Downing Street during the Covid pandemic has hung over Boris Johnson’s government like a dark cloud. Every time a new picture leaked or another allegation surfaced, there was one message from No 10: wait for Sue Gray’s report. Even as members of the government – including Johnson – and the civil service were being issued with police fines, the message stayed the same.
On Wednesday, it finally arrived. As our political correspondent Peter Walker tells Nosheen Iqbal, the day felt an important one from the very start. As the report landed on desks around Westminster, it was clear that the details were damning for Johnson’s government.
Trump must submit paperwork to have contempt order liftedGinni Thomas urged lawmakers to overturn Biden win – reportBiden poll rating dips as president travels to South KoreaSign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by email
The Washington Post said Friday it had obtained emails showing that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers to set aside Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state and choose “a clean slate of electors”.
Thomas wrote to two unidentified lawmakers on 9 November 2020, the newspaper says, six days after the general election, arguing they needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud.
Massive food producers hold too much power – and the regulators scarcely understand what is happening. Sound familiar?
For the past few years, scientists have been frantically sounding an alarm that governments refuse to hear: the global food system is beginning to look like the global financial system in the run-up to 2008.
While financial collapse would have been devastating to human welfare, food system collapse doesn’t bear thinking about. Yet the evidence that something is going badly wrong has been escalating rapidly. The current surge in food prices looks like the latest sign of systemic instability.
George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist
George Monbiot will discuss his new book, Regenesis, at a Guardian Live event on Monday 30 May. Book tickets in-person or online here
The full uniformed flummery of the state opening of parliament belies the fragile state of the nation
You had only to watch a few minutes of the state opening of parliament to know that, in Britain, an old order is passing. Most comment has focused, naturally enough, on the enforced absence of the Queen, and on Prince Charles deputising for her. But the process of change we are witnessing is not just about individuals, it’s about our governance too. It’s about our politics – and it’s even about the nation itself.
The rituals and robes of a state opening appear familiar. But they are an invented tradition from the imperial age, like the building in which they take place. What we saw on Tuesday dates from 1852, during the reign of Queen Victoria, who only intermittently opened parliament herself. Most of the current uniformed flummery was created for Edward VII in 1902.
Matthew Katzman was forced out of the UK after he was accused of ‘cancelling the Queen’. For pundits and politicians, it was all just lucrative fun
He only knew it was serious when the hate mail began. Up until then, neither Matthew Katzman nor his friends thought what they’d done was that big a deal. But now he was getting abuse in his inbox, over WhatsApp, on social media. Every few minutes, a fresh load landed.
“BIG NOSED UGLY FUCK GO KILL YOURSELF”
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The government is abandoning a public health tool that has undoubtedly saved many lives in the pandemic
They call it April Fools’ Day for a reason. From tomorrow, 1 April, Boris Johnson’s government will end the provision of free lateral flow and PCR tests for the majority of people in England.
Ministers have announced that only a limited number of groups will now have access without having to pay. That includes symptomatic hospital patients when it is required for their care, and people living or working in “high-risk settings” such as care homes and prisons. Free asymptomatic testing will remain available for care home and patient-facing staff in the NHS, but only when there is a high prevalence of the virus and it is determined that infections may spread quickly.