Boris Johnson made a raft of promises and comments indicating future policy during the election campaign. Our specialists take a look at what we can now expect from the government on key policy areas. Health Boris Johnson said the NHS would be his government’s top priority. He has made an array of pledges – on funding, staffing and new facilities – aimed at reviving a visibly ailing service that hospital bosses say is “on its knees”. Johnson’s voluble support for an institution “that represents the very best of our country” will see him closely scrutinised over the delivery of his promises, several of which may prove very challenging. Johnson has promised to increase the budget of the NHS in England by £20.5bn in real terms (after inflation) by 2023-24. That is less than the equivalent £26bn extra that Labour offered. While that will be the biggest uplift in cash terms the NHS has ever received, the annual 3.4% rises are smaller … [Read more...] about From the NHS to Brexit: what can we expect from Johnson’s government?
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Lord Puttnam: Good evening. I don't know how many of you have read the book [Jane Fonda's My Life So Far]. Or, like me, have heard Jane reading it on the radio this week. I thought it was a completely remarkable book and that it, in a sense, redefines autobiography because it has an honesty and frankness that people in the future are going to find it difficult to match. I was looking for a way of describing and came across this Nobel prize speech by Solzhenitsyn, and he uses a phrase which to me perfectly summed up the book: "It is useless to assert what one's heart does not believe." It seems to me that, sometimes with great pain, you've gone right through this book asserting exactly what your heart believes, and has learned to believe. And that's why it's a journey, not an autobiography - I felt like I'd been on a journey with you. What I'd like to do, because I've become pretty familiar with a lot of the book, and this being a rather more anoraky audience, is to concentrate on the … [Read more...] about Jane Fonda
Ongoing Royal drama, foreign diplomacy rows and Extinction Rebellion protests dominated the headlines in 2019 before Boris Johnson's dominating election victory revealed light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. Britain's exit from the EU continued to be the biggest political story of the year, as continuing divisions took the public to the polls for a snap election held in the depths of winter. Boris Johnson secured a crushing victory over Jeremy Corbyn when a string of former Labour strongholds fell to the Tories, giving him the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. The country rejoiced at the birth of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in May and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embarked on a highly successful tour of Africa, just months after their son was born. Prince Andrew attempted to distance himself from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal by taking part in a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview, and was later forced to step down from royal duties in November. The … [Read more...] about How Royal drama, foreign diplomacy rows and Extinction Rebellion protests dominated the headlines in 2019 before Boris Johnson’s election win finally revealed a light at the end of the Brexit tunnel