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Society | The Guardian

  • Rural development won’t solve Britain’s housing crisis | Letters

    Communities need affordable properties, not executive homes, writes Dr James Derounian. Plus letters from Valerie Organ and Rosanne Bostock

    I agree with Simon Jenkins’s overall message that England’s rural communities desperately need low-cost and affordable homes to rent and buy (David Cameron failed to foist new houses on rural areas. Why does Keir Starmer think he’ll succeed?, 18 July). But beyond that he seems to dive down a whole string of rabbit holes, such as 80% of British students expecting “the luxury of living away from home” – the implication being that students should not be enabled to make a first move towards independence. And then he rails against onshore wind turbines.

    To say that the Conservatives failed to foist new houses on rural areas is wrong. It was their national planning policy framework that unleashed rampant executive housebuilding of four- and five-bedroom homes on villages and towns across rural England.

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  • Nottingham A&E staff may have mistaken dying woman for homeless person, inquest told

    Inga Rublite, 39, was found under coat at Queen’s Medical Centre where she had vomited and had seizure

    A 39-year-old woman found dying under a coat in an overcrowded A&E in Nottingham may have been missed by staff because they were accustomed to homeless people sleeping in the waiting area, an inquest has heard.

    Inga Rublite attended A&E at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) at 10.40pm on 19 January suffering from a severe headache, blurred vision, high blood pressure and vomiting.

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  • Cabinet secretary contenders: who’s in line for top job in UK civil service?

    Whitehall sources say it could be a more open competition than in past as Simon Case prepares to step down

    Simon Case is expected to step down as cabinet secretary early next year on medical advice, after taking time off for health reasons last year.

    The former royal aide, appointed by Boris Johnson to the top job in the civil service during the pandemic, has overseen Whitehall departments through the Partygate scandal as well as the premierships of Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

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  • The FDA chief is right: we are failing people with diabetes | Neil Barsky

    The $400bn in diabetes-related annual expenditures is breaking the back of our healthcare system. But there is an alternative

    A funny thing happened when Dr Robert Califf, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, delivered the keynote address to the American Diabetes Association’s annual scientific session last month – he told the truth about our country’s colossal failure to treat the raging health crisis.

    “For the larger epidemic of type 2 diabetes, we’re failing right now,” Califf said. “I don’t say that lightly.”

    Neil Barsky, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and investment manager, is the founder of The Marshall Project

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  • The godfather of competitive eating on secrets, success and physical stress: ‘I am always close to danger or death’

    Takeru Kobayashi can eat 50 hotdogs, 41 lobster rolls or 159 tacos in 10 minutes – and it has brought him fame and a healthy income. As he returns to the fray after five years, what will he do next?

    Eating 50 hotdogs in 10 minutes, buns and all, requires training. For Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi, the so-called godfather of competitive eating, that means drinking a lot of water. He starts by downing five litres in under 90 seconds, then rests, then repeats the process the next day, drinking more, faster. The goal is to increase the capacity of his stomach and the speed at which it expands. The target: 11 litres in 45 seconds. “It’s similar to the idea of building muscle,” he says.

    Kobayashi is competitive eating’s first elite athlete. His career has been a procession of broken records and seemingly impossible feats: 9.7kg (21.3lb) of soba noodles in 12 minutes, 9kg of rice balls in 30 minutes, 41 lobster rolls in 10 minutes. Feeling full yet? Kobayashi has set world records in volume (15 and a half pizzas in 12 minutes) and in speed (60 bunless hotdogs in 2min 35sec). How many tacos could you eat in 10 minutes? He did 159 – and yes, that’s another world record.

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Community Care

Blogs

Social Care Network | The Guardian

  • 'Don’t expect a survivor to tell you her experience of undergoing FGM'

    Specialist social workers explain how they support women and girls affected by the practice

    When social worker Sam Khalid [not her real name] first began working with women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM), she found there wasn’t much awareness of the brutal practice in the UK.

    She was in her first year at university, in 2011, on a placement with a Women’s Aid team. “The service I was placed in was just starting its FGM unit, and I learned about the practice and met and spoke to many survivors,” she says.

    This article was amended on 12 December 2018. An earlier version referenced statistics from a recent Guardian article which was taken down after the Guardian was notified of a fundamental error in the official data on which it was based.

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  • We want to attract the right people with the right values to social care | Caroline Dinenage

    New government recruitment campaign will raise the image and profile of the sector

    This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of our amazing NHS, but we must not forget that adult social care is also marking 70 years. The National Assistance Act 1948 that created many of the core elements of the modern social care system came into effect on the same day as the NHS act.

    In the NHS’s birthday month we have heard many stories of the dedicated nurses, doctors and support staff who have been saving and transforming lives across its seven decades. While these staff are rightly seen as the backbone of the NHS, hardworking care workers, nurses, social workers, managers and occupational therapists are, likewise, the foundation of the adult social care sector – and they have been on the same 70-year journey as colleagues in health. They are two sides of the same coin – inseparable and essential to each other.

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  • The UK project giving refugees another chance at childhood

    Young refugees face unspeakable trauma to get here. But a cross-charity initiative is helping them to rebuild their lives

    It is hard to be an adult when you feel like you haven’t had the chance to be a child.

    This simple statement has stayed with me over the last 12 months of working with young refugees and asylum seekers. Among them, a 17-year-old boy forced to sleep in a railway station for months; and another who witnessed the killing of his brother and father and escaped from his home country in fear of his life.

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  • UN: spend an extra £5tn by 2030 to tackle global 'care crisis'

    Report highlights risk of rising inequality against women worldwide

    The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn (£5.3tn) on care by 2030.

    Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.

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  • Theresa May got it wrong with her cash boost for the NHS. Here's why

    Assessing what the health service needs is essential before giving it more money to meet demand

    Four key things were missing from Theresa May’s announcement of extra money for the NHS.

    There was no admission that there is an NHS crisis that needs tackling. Or that money is needed now for both the the health service and social care. Without this emergency cash injection, there will be insufficient time and resource to make the necessary preparations to avoid a repeat – or indeed worsening – of last year’s winter crisis in the NHS and social care with the trail of waits, delays, suffering and extra deaths that accompanied it.

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Opinion | The Guardian

  • The Guardian view on Labour’s rebellion: removing the whip is a step too far | Editorial

    A continuous demonstration of intra-party unity and loyalty to the party leader won’t solve Britain’s problems

    The Labour party is a “broad church”, but there’s little space on its pews at the moment for principled nonconformists. The suspension of seven leftwing MPs for rebelling over the abolition of the two-child benefit cap is a curious affair, given that almost all their colleagues agreed with them. The two-child cap, introduced by the Conservatives in 2017, restricts child tax credit and universal credit to the first two children in most households. It impoverishes children, punishes ethnic minorities and humiliates women who have been raped. Unfair and morally repugnant, it is “the worst social security policy ever”, say academic experts. Ministers know this. Yet it is a truth that must be acknowledged everywhere but in the lobby divisions.

    Removing the party whip was once considered the nuclear option. But it has now become routine. This will have far reaching consequences. “If we are now saying that MPs will have the whip removed – even temporarily – for voting against their party line on any measure,” posted the academic Philip Cowley, “we have changed the rules of engagement considerably.”

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  • The Guardian view on the Paris Olympics: a space for some joie de vivre | Editorial

    Sporting greatness can unite the world in admiration. In grim geopolitical times, that is a welcome prospect

    Forget the politics; relish the spectacle. That was, in essence, Emmanuel Macron’s hopeful message this week, as he called for a domestic “truce” while Paris stages its first summer Olympic Games for 100 years. Following the president’s ill-advised election gamble, which almost opened the gates of power to the far right, the host nation finds itself consigned to a form of rudderless political limbo. At present, there is no proper answer to the question: “Who governs France?” But following Friday’s opening ceremony, a fortnight of excellence on track and field will offer a welcome diversion to a divided nation.

    At a time when the geopolitical outlook furnishes few reasons to be cheerful, the same goes for the billions expected to tune in around the world. As the dreams and ambitions of more than 10,000 athletes are pursued, the stage is set for perhaps the most visually sumptuous Olympics of modern times. Adopting an approach of “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”, and avoiding the cost of building expensive new infrastructure, organisers are taking the Games into the streets of one of the world’s most instantly recognisable cities.

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  • Rural development won’t solve Britain’s housing crisis | Letters

    Communities need affordable properties, not executive homes, writes Dr James Derounian. Plus letters from Valerie Organ and Rosanne Bostock

    I agree with Simon Jenkins’s overall message that England’s rural communities desperately need low-cost and affordable homes to rent and buy (David Cameron failed to foist new houses on rural areas. Why does Keir Starmer think he’ll succeed?, 18 July). But beyond that he seems to dive down a whole string of rabbit holes, such as 80% of British students expecting “the luxury of living away from home” – the implication being that students should not be enabled to make a first move towards independence. And then he rails against onshore wind turbines.

    To say that the Conservatives failed to foist new houses on rural areas is wrong. It was their national planning policy framework that unleashed rampant executive housebuilding of four- and five-bedroom homes on villages and towns across rural England.

    Continue reading...
  • Nicola Jennings on Keir Starmer’s suspension of the whip from rebel MPs – cartoon

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  • There are many routes to electoral reform | Letter

    It doesn’t have to be a dichotomous choice between first past the post and proportional representation, writes David Lipsey

    The election result, with Labour dominating parliament despite only having won just over a third of the vote, has rightly brought electoral reform to the forefront of the national debate (Labour divided over calls to scrap first past the post after landslide win, 17 July). But the debate is in danger of being dominated by a false dichotomy: between first past the post and proportional representation. This is unhelpful, not least because PR is not going to happen – not with a Labour government that FPTP has blessed with such a luxurious majority.

    The choice is not between FPTP and PR. As I learned as a member of the Jenkins committee on electoral reform 25 years ago, there are as many electoral systems as there are apples on a tree.

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