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The Guardian view on a post-Covid recovery: not much building back greener | Editorial

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7 juillet, par Editorial[ —]

If Boris Johnson wants to permanently shift the UK on to a trajectory to meet its climate targets, he must deliver a new zero-carbon infrastructure. There’s no sign of that yet

Boris Johnson does not want a crisis to go to waste. The coronavirus-induced recession is widely accepted as an opportunity to reset and rebuild the economy to take the environmental challenge seriously. Radical green policies that once seemed impossible – such as shutting down airports and closing off roads – have been implemented overnight with public support. Now that the economy is reopening, Mr Johnson’s political goal is to produce policies that chime with the nation’s mood. He says he will “build back greener”. What Mr Johnson’s phrase means for the country will only become clear when his policies emerge.

His government’s first big announcement is a small step in the right direction. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, will incentivise home insulation with a £2bn grant scheme so that homeowners can decrease the amount of heat lost through roofs, walls and floors. This will bring jobs back to local economies, with companies providing a labour-intensive service in a post-Covid-19 world suffering from extremely high levels of unemployment.

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The Guardian view on Trump and the Christian vote: doubting Donald | Editorial

7 juillet, par Editorial[ —]

The US president’s tactic of using religion as a battering ram in his culture wars may not work a second time

Donald Trump has suggested that the Bible is his favourite book. When pressed to say more, he has shiftily declined to name a single chapter or verse. But for those curious to understand Mr Trump’s current religious preoccupations, his Twitter feed is offering regular enlightenment in the lead-up to November’s presidential elections.

Last week, Mr Trump approvingly tweeted the words of a bestselling Catholic author who claimed on late-night television that American Christianity was under attack as protesters roamed the streets. The writer, Dr Taylor Marshall, moves in similar arch-conservative religious circles to another Trump favourite, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to the United States. Last month Archbishop Viganò published an open letter to Mr Trump in which he claimed that the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the death of George Floyd were orchestrated by “deep state” operatives. Describing the protests as part of an assault on the values of western Christian civilisation, the archbishop praised the president for robustly opposing “the children of darkness” who were threatening the social fabric. Mr Trump tweeted that he was honoured by the archbishop’s letter and hoped “everyone, religious or not, reads it”.

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My care home staff have worked long and hard. Johnson's comments are an insult | Mark Adams

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7 juillet, par Mark Adams[ —]

During the coronavirus crisis, the sector has suffered from a woeful lack of PPE, testing and clear government guidance

Imagine for a moment what it must feel like to be a social care worker on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. On a minimum wage and working without the safety net of meaningful sick pay, you’ve left your home to protect the people you care for, in the fullest sense of the word.

Working long hours to cover the additional pressures of the crisis, you’ve never complained. When the heatwave hit in June, you still wore layers of plastic to keep the people you support safe. Maybe you’ve lift-shared to avoid transmission, or even moved out of your family home altogether, providing care while your loved ones shield. You’ve found creative ways to connect with people, ensuring your face mask isn’t a barrier to conveying empathy and affection.

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Why Britain needs a national care service | Letters

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7 juillet, par Letters[ —]

Alan Walker on the history of care home ownership, Gillian Dalley on the prospect of a cross-party agreement, Jennifer Knowles on discrimination against those with dementia, and Dr Simon Gibbs and Ann Jolly on Boris Johnson’s claim that ‘too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures’

Ros Altmann conveniently glosses over the history of care home ownership and, in doing so, omits one of the main causes of the current crisis (The lesson of the Covid-19 care homes tragedy: renationalising is no longer taboo, 6 July). Responsibility for care homes was not “passed from the NHS to local authorities” in the 1980s; they were privatised, by the first Thatcher government. This policy had two dimensions. On the one hand, local authority social care budgets were cut and, on the other, private providers were given financial incentives to enter the newly created market. The full cost of care for those on low incomes was met by the government, but only for those in private homes. The result was an explosion in private homes, and the budget grew exponentially (so, later, it had to be cut).

The initial promise of small “homely homes” was soon ditched as private providers sought to maximise profits by expansion. This legacy still bedevils social care today. Until it is restored to democratic oversight and funded to the same quality levels as the NHS, social care will continue to be the poor relation of the welfare state.
Alan Walker
Professor of social policy and social gerontology, University of Sheffield

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‘Cottagecore’? Here we call it cow shit | Brief letters

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7 juillet, par Letters[ —]

Outdoor fashion trends | Hong Kong citizenship offer | Sharks | Quick crossword clue | Face masks

Thanks to your correspondent for introducing us rural folk to “cottagecore” – “the latest trend of whimsical outdoor living” (David Beckham leads the way as men flock to ‘cottagecore’ look, 3 July). In Somerset, we call “the romantic sheen of rural life” by the name “mud”, or sometimes “cow shit”. As for city dwellers “daydreaming about pastoral settings, where one could be cosy and feel free from disease”, the farmer in our village who went to Cheltenham races is much missed. He was buried in our pastoral setting some weeks ago.
Terry Gifford
Wookey, Somerset

• People from Hong Kong who come to the UK (Report, 2 July) should be advised to keep all paperwork, however insignificant, in case some future government decides they or their children must prove their right to remain, despite years of paying taxes and contributing to the country.
Christine White
Bingham, Nottinghamshire

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Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget will be the most leftwing in years. Can Labour capitalise? | Larry Elliott

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7 juillet, par Larry Elliott[ —]

The impact of coronavirus on the economy means high public spending and state ownership are top of the political agenda

Back in December, a major plank of the Conservative party’s general election strategy was to portray Jeremy Corbyn as a Marxist throwback, committed to all sorts of dangerous 1970s lefty ideas such as state ownership and higher public spending.

Six months later, Boris Johnson felt the need, when announcing plans to bring forward £5bn of investment in Britain’s clapped-out public infrastructure, to reassure voters that he was “not a communist” and still believed in capitalism.

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Letter: Saroj Lal obituary

7 juillet, par Anne Munro[ —]

Saroj Lal was an inspiration to me and many other women. She and I met more than 30 years ago in 1989, at a conference, where we were discussing unmet needs of minority ethnic older people. We were both passionate about the social injustice being experienced by BAME older people and wanted to do something about the lack of specialist services – particularly in Leith and Edinburgh.

We joined forces to try to do something practical to address the problem. Saroj was fantastic at “persuading” people to help. We developed a number of initiatives including Milan Senior Welfare Organisation in 1990 – the first day service for both male and female older people from the Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Mauritian communities in the south-east of Scotland.

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The pandemic has exposed the dark underside of fast fashion's supply chains | Niloufar Haidari

7 juillet, par Niloufar Haidari[ —]

Boohoo and other brands known for their influencer-to-landfill pipelines have come under scrutiny during this crisis

Aren’t you so over lockdown life? I am. After three months of “namastaying-inside” wearing my crop-top ensembles and glamming up on the weekends for Zoom drinks with my besties, I was more than ready to step outside last weekend. No, this isn’t something I made up: namastay-inside is a phrase recently coined by the fast fashion retailer Boohoo in order to sell more cheap garments to young women.

Boohoo, the online fast-fashion brand run by the billionaire Kamani family that also owns boohooMan, Pretty Little Thing and MissPap (among others) is so ubiquitous that it has become shorthand for a mythical person: the Boohoo babe who pouts down at us from billboards, promising that we too can look this good if we buy a £6 polyester bodycon dress made in a UK sweatshop where some workers can be paid as little as £3.50 an hour. The outfit of her mythical male counterpart mirrors hers in tightness: spray-on jeans and deep V-necked T-shirts that lovingly cradle his biceps and show off his waxed chest.

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Thanks to a new drug for cystic fibrosis, I can plan a future I thought I'd never have | Isabelle Jani-Friend

7 juillet, par Isabelle Jani-Friend[ —]

With the NHS deal on Kaftrio, I’m likely to live longer. This is why swift access to novel treatments is so important

It’s been 15 weeks since I went into isolation to shield from Covid-19 – having cystic fibrosis (CF) put me in the high-risk category. I had expected this year to be a write-off but, after a devastating four months, 2020 may finally be looking up.

While the easing of coronavirus lockdown measures has provided relief for many, there has been more specific, and life-changing, recent news for CF patients: soon we will be able to get our hands on the drug Kaftrio under the NHS. Now for the first time in my life, I can plan a future I never expected to have. Regular hospital admissions and hours of unbearable pain may no longer be my reality, and growing old is something I may actually get to experience.

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