The Guardian view on Paula Vennells: pride came before her fall | Editorial
The Guardian » Opinion
by Editorial
11h ago
The Post Office boss’s self-serving behaviour was plain to see. But she was not the only one Paula Vennells’s appearance at the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry was always going to be a big moment, even if it was overshadowed this week by Rishi Sunak’s decision to call an election. She was the chief executive of the government-owned business from 2012 to 2019, in charge when forensic accountants were hired to look into claims that subpostmasters had been wrongly blamed for errors caused by software – and when that investigation was terminated. She was the boss when Alan Bates and more than 500 o ..read more
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The Guardian view on prison overcrowding: a justice system in meltdown
The Guardian » Opinion
by Editorial
11h ago
Rishi Sunak’s government failed to protect the public, secure the prison estate and deliver swift access to justice Prisons tend not to draw political attention except when they go wrong, and even then they have to go badly wrong. There are strong incentives for governments to neglect a service used by relatively few voters, and prisoners themselves can’t vote. But the prison system serves the wider community in various indirect ways. Locking criminals away protects the public. Conviction and punishment signal to society that justice is being done. Rehabilitation inside jails reduces reoffendi ..read more
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Monetising children in care is morally bankrupt | Letters
The Guardian » Opinion
by Guardian Staff
11h ago
David Scattergood on how the work of independent fostering agencies is offering a glimmer of hope and Peter RC Williams on the government’s obligations. Plus a letter from Nina Lopez and Tracey Norton George Monbiot is right to highlight the state of the free market in children’s social care (How can a child in care cost £281,000 a year? Ask the wealth funds that have councils over a barrel, 18 May). With more children in care now than ever before, children’s residential and foster care provision is a lucrative cash cow for hedge funds and asset management companies, using taxpayers’ money to ..read more
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Tom Lehrer’s subversive wit and wisdom are still relevant today | Letters
The Guardian » Opinion
by Guardian Staff
11h ago
Readers respond to Francis Beckett’s article on the great American singer-songwriter who gave up celebrity to teach maths Francis Beckett doubts whether the Jesuits at his boarding school “ever realised the subversive nature of what we were listening to” (‘My songs spread like herpes’: why did satirical genius Tom Lehrer swap worldwide fame for obscurity?, 22 May). It may surprise him to know that I was first introduced to the incomparable Tom Lehrer by my Roman Catholic parish priest, in north London, who found The Irish Ballad a perfect comment on hypocrisy ..read more
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Tempering the true cost of alcohol abuse | Letters
The Guardian » Opinion
by Guardian Staff
11h ago
Shaun Whitfield on alcohol abuse research funded by the temperance movement, and Woody Caan on drink producers lauding their contribution to the economy Any research published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies should be treated with caution (Alcohol abuse costing £27bn a year in England, 17 May). The IAS receives the bulk of its funding from the Alliance House Foundation, the modern iteration of the temperance movement. The AHF website states that “to this day we continue to promote total abstinence as a lifestyle choice, but we are not seeking to enforce it by legislation”. It goes on to sa ..read more
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Stamp of approval for postcards | Letters
The Guardian » Opinion
by Guardian Staff
11h ago
Readers reflect on the joys of writing and receiving holiday missives I was interested to read Daniel Lavelle’s take on the decline of the postcard (‘Times have changed’: is the writing on the wall for the British seaside postcard?, 17 May). A few weeks ago, every child in year 4 at St George’s C of E primary school in Worcester sent someone a postcard. My grandson is one of those children, and I was happy to fund the project. Their teacher built lessons around the features of a good postcard: a clear address, the date, a message with interesting detail, an affectionate sign off – and of ..read more
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Free trade shift shows US dominance is coming to an end | Letters
The Guardian » Opinion
by Guardian Staff
11h ago
This move will not be lost on the poorer nations, as they too will wish to protect their young industries, writes Dr Roger van Zwanenberg Your editorial (22 May) is an important contribution to a major global event. But the article misses one point. Over the last 200 years free trade has been demanded by the dominant world power. All the major powers today in Europe and North America protected their infant industries in the 19th century at their development stages of growth. Once these powerful and imperial nations had developed their new technologies, they demanded free trade from weaker ..read more
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Hirst, Warhol and a little artistic licence | Brief letters
The Guardian » Opinion
by Guardian Staff
11h ago
Warhol’s words of wisdomAutocorrectedSixties sunbathingAdrian ChilesNominative determinismPaula Vennells After reading “At least 1,000 Damien Hirst artworks were painted years later than claimed” (22 May) I realised that Andy Warhol was right when he said: “Art is what you can get away with.” Robert Bonnington St Albans, Hertfordshire • I once started a text to a retired Methodist minister friend, “Dear Stan” which was autocorrected to “Dear Satan.” Fortunately. I spotted it before clicking send (People with commonly autocorrected names call for tech firms to fix problem, 22 May). Jo ..read more
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Make this the punishment election – damning the Tories for 14 years of cruelty and lies | Jonathan Freedland
The Guardian » Opinion
by Jonathan Freedland
11h ago
Voters want progress, but there must also be accountability. When you pick up a ballot paper, remember all the waste and incompetence Elections are a choice about the future, they say. We should look forward, not back, they say. And most of the time, that’s true. But every now and then we should make an exception – and this is one of those times. Because the coming general election must also be about the past. It must be about holding the Conservatives to account for the colossal damage they have done to this country over the past 14 years. It must be a punishment election. The Tories need to ..read more
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It’s Corbyn’s last stand. But can he beat Labour's Starmerite machine? | Andy Beckett
The Guardian » Opinion
by Andy Beckett
11h ago
By running as an independent, the Islington North MP will give constituents a chance to rebel against the Westminster consensus For supposedly one of the biggest losers in Labour’s history, Jeremy Corbyn has certainly won a lot of elections. Two leadership contests by huge margins, and 10 consecutive victories in his parliamentary constituency, Islington North. Since first being elected there 41 years ago, he has increased his majority from a modest 5,607 to a formidable 26,188. So his announcement that he is running as an independent in the general election, a plan that he has hinted at for m ..read more
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