Displaying items by tag: Politics
Lord, we ask you to bring comfort and healing to the family of Sir David Amess, and for peace and wisdom to reign in all our political leaders as Your protection surrounds them. May Your Kingdom's purpose for our nation thwart every strategy of the enemy. We also pray for the proposals, planning and preparation for the 27 October autumn budget that will set out the next stage of ‘Building Britain Back Better’. We pray particularly for Rishi Sunak and all who work in the treasury. Father, give them heaven’s wisdom. Anoint with sound judgment those making decisions on employment tax changes, and give insights to what is needed when investing in NHS, education, infrastructure and housing while delivering on Brexit plans. May all decisions made be according to Your intentions for the nation’s economy as funds are appropriately injected where they are most needed and ministers steward wealth wisely.
The Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism said it was ‘devastated to learn of the death of their friend and colleague Sir David Amess MP. A long-standing and active member of the group and an excellent public servant, he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.’ Sir David recently spoke in Parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day saying, ‘Although I am not a Jew but a Catholic, there is Jewish blood in each and every one of us. I would certainly have been proud to be born a Jew, and I stand shoulder to shoulder with our local Jewish congregations. Over recent years, these people, my friends, have felt very vulnerable. I would like the Government to continue supporting the Community Security Trust, in its vital work to keep Jewish communities safe through the protective security grant.’ David also supported the genocide amendment to the Trade Bill.
After Father Jeffrey Woolnough was not allowed to reach Catholic MP Sir David Amess when he had been stabbed last Friday, an amendment was proposed in Parliament. In the Catholic tradition, the last rites are the final prayers said to commend a person to God's mercy. A Catholic Labour MP suggested adding the ‘Amess amendment’ to legislation to allow priests to reach and pray with terminally ill Catholics in the final moments of life or just after they have died. However, some professionals have argued that the proposed change could lead to the potential contamination of a crime scene.
Health leaders have called for some Covid restrictions to be reintroduced immediately to avoid England stumbling into a winter crisis. They said a back-up strategy, a Plan B which includes mandatory face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces, should be implemented. UK cases have been rising sharply. Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said it was not yet time for a Plan B and urged a greater uptake of booster jabs. He did not want to jeopardise the ‘hard-won gains’ of reopening the economy even though for a week daily Covid cases have averaged above 40,000, the worst figures since March. Overall, he said, ‘the health service is right at the edge’. Meanwhile, the health secretary is telling the public to ‘play their part and get a booster jab’ in order to enjoy Christmas with loved ones. Cabinet Office officials are already discussing ‘Plan C’ proposals which would ban mixing between households. See
Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan has a $3.5tn price tag that could transform millions of Americans’ lives. The bipartisan senate infrastructure bill proposes $66bn of new spending on passenger and freight rail projects over the next decade as the Democrats undertake the most ambitious and transformative domestic policy agendas since the New Deal of the 1930s. It also focuses on a long list of social policies and programmes ranging from education to healthcare to housing to climate. With Republicans unified in opposition, Democrats are using a special budgetary process known as ‘reconciliation’ to avoid the 60-vote filibuster threshold and pass the bill on a party-line vote. Boris Johnson’s Build Back Better plans to support economic growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation, and will tackle the NHS backlog while capping social care costs for adults. Another aspect was for a Build Back Coronavirus recovery plan: see
On 22 October the House of Lords will debate and possibly vote on the Assisted Dying Bill. It aims to legalise assisted suicide for terminally ill adults with six months or less to live. The media report that Boris Johnson opposes the legislation after carefully reviewing the arguments for and against a law change. Health secretary Sajid Javid is understood to have made clear he does not intend to vote to relax the law. This news will be welcomed by opponents of assisted suicide who feared a move towards cabinet support for changing the law. In the last year former health secretary Matt Hancock and former justice secretary David Gauke both endorsed assisted suicide. Parliament has debated this issue on several occasions, but there has been no change. Pray for the bill to continue to remain unchanged. See also
The murder of Sarah Everard by a police officer caused a national outcry over gender-based crimes, and a new question: should misogyny be considered a hate crime? Activists, criminal justice experts, and opposition lawmakers say the definition of a hate crime should be expanded to ensure greater punishment for crimes of harassment, domestic abuse and stalking. But the government has so far ruled that out. Boris Johnson said the legislation currently in place was ‘abundant’ but not properly enforced. Widening the scope would increase the burden on police. Ruth Davison, CEO of the charity Refuge, said, ‘When did we ever take the scale of a problem as a reason not to act on it?’ Government statistics reveal that one in four women have experienced sexual assault, one in three women will face domestic abuse in their lifetime, and a woman is killed by a man every three days, with many cases involving domestic violence.
The UK wants to change the Brexit process to allow goods to circulate more freely between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as current rules impose too many barriers to the sale of products. The EU have set out proposals that involve reduced checks on goods and medicines. The January post-Brexit arrangement, the Northern Ireland Protocol, was introduced to help prevent border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Both sides agree in differing degrees that the protocol poses many difficulties. EU and UK talks to reach a better arrangement are likely to go on for several weeks.
Gareth Stace, the director general of UK Steel, said that now was ‘not the time’ for Mr Johnson to go on holiday in Spain. He told him to ‘bang ministerial heads together’ after a row broke out between different departments as to how to resolve the energy crisis and stop factories having to cease production. The business secretary was accused of making misleading claims about offering energy bailouts to factories struggling with soaring costs. Mr Stace said the Government should ‘shield’ the steel industry from soaring energy costs in the short-term, or risk ‘a bigger bill for the taxpayer’. He said that the industry was not seeking subsidies, but an end to ‘policy costs’ to cover the transition towards renewables which have been ‘piled on - making them uncompetitive’. See also
The Universal Credit extra payments helping people through Covid have ended, amid fears that many lives will get worse not better this winter. 29-year-old Lynton Lockett is embarrassed to show people his kitchen. A leaking kitchen tap caused mould on the floor and walls. The dampness has brought an infestation of fruit flies. Lynton showed the kitchen to plumber James Anderson who runs a community initiative called DEPHER CIC that provides free heating and plumbing services to people who can't pay for them. James anticipates a 50% increase in calls for help this winter. He has started giving food parcels to struggling families. He said that the end of payments, the higher cost of living, a rise in gas prices and the end of furlough puts too much financial pressure on families. He added, ‘You can't hide the truth. If this continues, people are going to die.’ See also