Richard Langridge should know better. He has been a Conservative councillor in Witney for years. Now he stands as an independent for the Witney North ward in the District Council elections.
The Electoral Commission insists that no election placards are erected on public land and that all must carry an imprint. These are the little words saying who printed the thing, who authorised it and where they can be found. The LibDems often consider themselves above this aspect of the law, but the Tories are punctilious. Perhaps Langridge is making some sort of point.
To joyous celebration in Green quarters, Natasha Engel has resigned after only 6 months as the UK’s shale gas commissioner. Hers was always a strange appointment. As a Labour MP, she opposed fracking in her North East Derbyshire constituency, then she changed her mind about fracking, lost her seat in 2017, and took a job with Ineos (Jim Ratcliffe’s fracking company).
Engel feels that folk should not worry if fracking causes the odd earthquake. She also thinks ministers should pay no attention to someone only sixteen years old, meaning Greta Thunberg.
Asked by Greenpeace under Freedom of Information legislation to cough up her emails and notes relating to Ineos and Cuadrilla, she protested she had hardly any to disclose.
“I tend to deal with everything on the day and delete what has been done …”
Nearly 60,000 foreign students took an English language test as part of the UK visa renewal process between 2011 and 2014. Only 2,000 did not cheat – according to the Home Office and the American company it paid to administer the test. 34,000 have been packed off home in disgrace; the rest are fighting the decision in the UK.
Shades of Windrush here and Sajid Javid has just asked the National Audit Office to investigate. A failure rate of well over 90% makes a nonsense of the test, but the context then was Theresa May and her hostile environment. The context now is Javid’s interest in leading what might be left of the Tory party.
In the few spare moments left from Brexit negotiations, the government is coming down hard on carers who have claimed too much allowance. These are people paid a pittance to look after the disabled, often aged relatives. They save the state a fortune.
It’s not that these carers are trying to steal; only 483 of 93,000 over payment cases were prosecutions for fraud last year. They have simply failed to report sufficiently quickly, and in the correct fashion, that they have received more than £123 of other income in a week. These criminal carers are paid just £66.15 to provide at least 35 hours of care a week.
These are real LibDem candidates, standing for Bridge ward in Lewes. The LibDems are normally cutthroat and unscrupulous in their approach to leaflets and placards. Could they have selected candidates with these names just to attract attention?
A piece in Politico Magazine (‘Inside the race to build the burger of the future‘) balances the burger debate rather nicely. To paraphrase: producing burgers pollutes the environment. Using fewer resources to produce the same number of burgers would help reduce pollution, but has implications for animal welfare and human health. Taxes and regulation might reduce meat production, but at a cost to the poor.
It’s complicated, and a solution is unlikely without the cooperation of farmers. Demonising burgers may make vegans feel better, but may not be the best way to gain the cooperation of those farmers.