Covid 19

Heroes and villains of the pandemic in America

The most alarming aspect of living in America is the recurring sensation that no one is in charge. This is much more disconcerting than recognising that the people in charge are incompetent and corrupt: that is merely a sorry fact of everyday life. Three times in two decades the world’s most powerful state has failed its people: on 9/11, in the crash of 2007-8 and in the Covid-19 pandemic. Once is unfortunate, twice is carelessness, thrice is recklessness, and after that you’re on your own. My basement now resembles a nuclear bunker: food, water, medical supplies, a gym, a lifetime supply of lavatory paper. I live in an affluent, blue-state

The pressure on the NHS is only just beginning

Is the row over the government’s plan to award only a 1 per cent pay rise to NHS workers as politically toxic as some suggest? Labour has certainly seized on it, with Sir Keir Starmer saying ‘Covid heroes’ deserve a pay rise. But Boris Johnson today defended the raise, saying: ‘What we’ve done is try to give them as much as we can at the present moment… We’ve tried to give the NHS as much as we possibly can.’ He also pointed to wider government investment aimed at helping the health service cope with the pandemic.  The pay ‘rise’ might not be as much of a problem in isolation –