Play and playtime are increasingly controlled and constrained. Children must be allowed more play and trusted to take age-appropriate risksPlay is under threat. Even before lockdowns closed playgrounds and effectively legislated that children between five and 11 could not meet friends, campaigners were concerned. Playgrounds, where most outdoor play happens, have...
High hopes in the region soon turned to exhaustion and despair. But the movement is not overIt is sometimes said that the Chinese premier Zhou Enlai, when asked in 1972 about the influence of the French Revolution, replied: “Too soon to tell.” Though the tale is apocryphal – he was referring...
‘BBC TV dramas such as Michaela Coel’s extraordinary I May Destroy You struck a deep chord.’ Photograph: Laura Radford/BBC/Various Artists Ltd and FALKNA The past 10 months have been cataclysmic for the arts: unimaginable, unprecedented. No other part of the UK economy, with the exception of hospitality, has been so gravely impacted by...
Inadequate lunches are the latest scandal from a government that continues to shirk its responsibility to ensure that school children are fed Children need to eat. In England, at least 1.4 million of them, or 17.3%, are entitled to a lunch paid for by the government as part of the school...
Covid has hit the younger generation hard. We are fundraising to fight child poverty, and support youth work and mental health“She felt that she had to look after me and protect me.” This is how Christina, a mother with a severe disability, described her daughter’s reaction to a recent family crisis....
The prime minister made the right decision in the face of rising infections, but he left it far too late‘We don’t want to cancel Christmas… I think that would be inhuman,” the prime minister said just last Wednesday in response to calls from scientific experts to reduce the relaxation of social...
‘The test, known as Galleri, looks for abnormal DNA, and is most likely to have an impact on those cancers – including lung, ovarian and pancreatic – that are typically diagnosed late.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo Substantial improvement in the early detection of cancers was among the key aims set out last year...
Critics on the left should realise that the stability they attack was the necessary antidote to defeat Trump’s crazinessNow the fog of political war has cleared, it’s plain that Joe Biden scored a truly remarkable victory in the US presidential election. It’s never easy to dislodge a sitting president. Bill Clinton...
A protester holding the Nigerian flag near the Lagos governor’s office. ‘The #EndSars campaign against police abuses has drawn high-profile support around the world, but at home has unleashed more state brutality.’ Photograph: Akintunde Akinleye/EPA Nigeria’s flag is stained with blood once more. Protestors were clutching it as security forces opened fire at...
The French president, Emmanuel Macron. ‘He was right to say recently that the challenge is “to fight against those who go off the rails in the name of religion” while protecting other French Muslims.’ Photograph: Reuters It is difficult to convey the sheer horror of the decapitation last Friday of a French secondary...
The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, leaving the Palacio da Alvorada presidential residence in Brasilia this week. Photograph: Joédson Alves/EPA Even leaders who thrive by bullying people have realised that they can’t bully a pandemic. But nor does caution fit easily with their macho political image. Their temptation has been to let it run...
Boris Johnson’s necessary U-turn on NHS fees for overseas health and care workers reveals a leader who is no longer in control of policyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe first virtual proceedings of the House of Commons began on 21 April as a result of the national lockdown. They...
Pro-democracy campaigners distribute flyers protesting against China’s controversial national security law for Hong Kong. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images The end of one country, two systems is now clearly in sight. Though Beijing promised to respect Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy for a full half-century, it has chipped and then hacked away at them...
The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. This week it has announced all jobs are at risk of redundancy. Photograph: Iain Masterton/Alamy Theatre has brave new thinking in its bones. What is it, if not the imagining and sharing of alternative worlds? But no amount of creative thinking can change the reality that theatre...
‘It was entirely predictable Donald Trump would try to distract attention from his coronavirus fiasco.’ Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images Donald Trump’s histrionic threat last week to “cut off the whole relationship” with China produced a scornful response from Beijing. “Such lunacy is a clear byproduct of the anxiety the US has...
In the battle against Covid-19, transparency about the facts is key to maintaining public support. The government is undermining its own credibilityThe official documents consisted of line after line of blacked out information. They gave every appearance of top secret cold war papers from which the slightest hint that might be...
The near unanimous view among economists is that the UK is diving into a significant recession. Photograph: Adam Vaughan/REX/Shutterstock To grasp how low are the expectations for the economy, consider this: on Wednesday it was announced that the UK’s national output had just had its biggest drop since the great crash of 2008...
‘Hearing birdsong with such clarity has become for many a small joy and a valuable mental health boost during lockdown.’ Photograph: Alamy One night in April, birdwatchers from around Britain stepped outside their doors and listened intently to something most of them had never experienced before: the fluting, mysterious, melancholy cry of the...
‘It is not enough to invoke “good solid British common sense”, as the prime minister did yesterday, and hope everything works out.’ Photograph: Barcroft Media/Getty Images For more than 30 years, the term “consensus politics” fell out of fashion in Britain. For generations of Conservative politicians schooled in the dogmas of Thatcherism, the...
Nurses wearing protective gear rush out of a care home’s “red zone” for people sick with coronavirus. Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP “I have never written so many death notifications in such a short time,” a care home manager who lost 23 residents to coronavirus in just two weeks told the Guardian last month. “Every...

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