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Yes, Northern Ireland should have the £1bn. But what about other UK regions? | Jonn Elledge

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/general-election-2017play episode download
27 June, by Jonn Elledge[ —]
To anyone not invested in May’s career it’s hard to explain how people in other deprived areas are less deserving than those affected by the votes of 10 DUP MPs

One of Theresa May’s more memorable screw-ups, in an election campaign not short of them, came on Question Time at the start of June, when a nurse, who had not had a pay rise since 2009 gently queried when this might change. The prime minister sympathised (at least, I assume that’s what she was trying to do). But, she added, “I’m being honest with you ... There isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake.”

Related: Tuesday briefing: Bung parliament – May's £1bn bill for DUP support

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I’ve grown old with HIV. I don’t fear the virus any more, I fear the stigma | Michael Penn

27 June, by Michael Penn[ —]

New cases among gay men in London have fallen for the first time. We’re turning a corner, but there’s a lot o do to bring attitudes and awareness up to date

In December 1986 my partner, Brian, fell ill. We were spending the Christmas break at our holiday home in Suffolk. Brian spent all of Christmas Day in bed, and on Boxing Day morning I could tell he wasn’t getting better. I called a doctor friend to get his opinion. He took one look at Brian and said we must take him to hospital straight away.

Anyone who contracted HIV back then, as Brian had, was almost certain to die. On top of that, there was so much we didn’t know about how the virus worked or how it was transmitted.

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I know what it's like to be a trans teen at school. Here's how to deal with the bullying | Aimee Challenor

https://www.theguardian.com/society/transgenderplay episode download
27 June, by Aimee Challenor[ —]

A new report shows 64% of trans pupils are bullied for their gender identity. But some small actions can help change lives

Bullying and hate speech daily affects how pupils perform – it seems obvious, right? So why are we still failing LGBT+ pupils? During my time at secondary school I felt anxious, isolated, lonely and depressed; there were no adults at school I felt like I could talk to about being trans. Turns out I’m not alone.

According to the School Report, released today by LGBT charity Stonewall, 53% of LGBT young people said the same. In fact, more than 40% of trans students said that teaching staff at their school don’t even know what the word “trans” means. This is a huge issue, particularly as 64% of trans pupils are bullied for being transgender. For lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans, this bullying figure is 45%.

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Our fear of sharks is tinged with subconscious guilt | Philip Hoare

27 June, by Philip Hoare[ —]

A blue shark sparked panic at a Spanish beach but our irreconcilable attitudes to the sea ought to worry us more

A shark on a Spanish beach is a vividly terrifying image. The holiday idyll threatened by a sharp-finned deputation from the deep. This is no “snakes on a plane” fantasy. Potential disaster looms. There are children out there, for God’s sake. In a resort where the sand may be raked daily, and where a margarita is never more than a few euros away, such disruptive visions seem all the sharper.

Related: Blue shark captured following Mallorca beach panic

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Dear Andrea Leadsom, shrinking the state is the opposite of patriotism | Polly Toynbee

27 June, by Polly Toynbee[ —]
The leader of the House of Commons accuses broadcasters of not being patriotic – yet the Tories have betrayed the nation through cuts to our most valued services and institutions

Patriotic? Who? Not the Tory Brexiteers who have brought this country so alarmingly low. While EU politics are rebooted with new Franco-German confidence, our government is only saved by the Democratic Unionist party. Ignominy doesn’t get much more mortifying than that.

Related: Peston on Sunday gives Leadsom's call for patriotism a droll reply

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After Grenfell: two councils, two very different responses | Dawn Foster

26 June, by Dawn Foster[ —]

Unlike the Kensington and Chelsea leader, Georgia Gould showed Camden residents that councils can have an accountable and human face

On Friday evening, outside Camden town hall, council leader Georgia Gould defended the decision to evacuate the nearby Chalcots estate due to safety concerns. Gould seemed genuinely worried, and told the BBC that Camden had been first in the queue to test its cladding, finding on Thursday that the panels fitted were “not to the standard that we had commissioned” and announcing they would be removed. At a public meeting the same night, Gould says residents raised other safety concerns she’d been unaware of: Camden council and the London fire brigade assessed the block, and the council was advised to evacuate.

Related: Grenfell is political. The right can’t make that fact go away | Suzanne Moore

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The Guardian view on the Tory-DUP deal: Theresa May is in denial | Editorial

26 June, by Editorial[ —]
The prime minister is governing as if she has a majority and a mandate. She needs to learn that she has neither

During the general election campaign, Theresa May obviously hoped that, when 9 June dawned, she would be leading a Conservative government with an increased majority and would be able to claim a mandate for the version of Brexit she always intended. When 9 June actually dawned, however, she had achieved neither of these things. Quite the reverse, in fact. Not only had she lost her majority; she had also failed to win her Brexit mandate. Mrs May’s current problem is that she has not yet properly come to terms with either of these outcomes.

On Monday Mrs May demonstrated this in two dangerous ways. In the first, she struck a Westminster deal with the Democratic Unionist party which emboldens her to behave as though she now has an overall majority when, in fact, she leads a minority government. In the second, she issued a tightly drawn paper on the rights of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom after Brexit in which she acts as though her version of Brexit represents the settled public will, when in reality it does no such thing.

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The Guardian view on Murdoch’s Sky plan: a blow to media plurality | Editorial

26 June, by Editorial[ —]
We need to recover faith in the scrutinising pressure of a truly independent, diverse media. Concentrating more power in the hands of a rightwing billionaire won’t help

Elected politicians traditionally shied away from picking fights with wealthy media moguls, wary of those who could spill barrelfuls of ink in defence of their arguments. There was a tendency for governments to raise little more than an eyebrow when media takeovers were proposed. This was a bad thing for democracy, leading to a concentration of power in the hands of a few very rich men. This process has been exacerbated in recent years by a digital revolution which has undermined traditional forms of media. All this should have changed with the revelations of phone hacking and the exposure by the Leveson inquiry of the unhealthily close relationship between politicians and the media. The test of just how different things are will come this week when culture secretary Karen Bradley announces what should happen to the proposed purchase by media conglomerate 21st Century Fox, effectively controlled by the Murdoch family, of the remaining 61% of Sky, the pan-European broadcaster, that it does not already own.

Mrs Bradley should at the very least refer the £11.7bn bid to the Competition and Markets Authority to allow for a six-month investigation to take place into media diversity. The broadcasting regulator Ofcom identified the need to promote “plurality and preventing undue influence by any one media owner”. If this deal went through then the Murdochs would control a third of the paid-for newspaper circulation, one of two 24-hour news channels, a sizeable amount of radio news and a popular news website. Linking Fox content to Sky’s distribution network – which encompasses set-top boxes, a landline broadband and mobile network – it will have a storehouse of personal data and the ability to understand what its users are viewing on television, online at home and when out roaming. The door is being opened to shape the media consumption habits of millions of Britons without them probably ever knowing about it. With such power, one would expect, comes responsibility. Instead the Murdoch empire undermines the BBC and describes vital impartiality rules as “an impingement on freedom of speech”. There’s enough evidence to contradict Rupert Murdoch’s assertion that he has “made it a principle all my life never to ask for anything from any prime minister”. As his own lieutenants have made clear over Brexit, Mr Murdoch’s media is about power.

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