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    Finding the trees in the wood: Behavioural science and the UK’s response to COVID-19

Finding the trees in the wood: Behavioural science and the UK’s response to COVID-19

If the government’s response to the pandemic appears opaque and chaotic, that is not the fault of behavioural science, writes Adam Oliver. He emphasises the importance of distinguishing between behavioural science as a subfield of public policy and the processes by which experts advise governments.

The UK Government’s early response to the coronavirus pandemic led to a lot of criticism […]

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    A modern ‘Rasputin’, or the UK’s ‘Vice-Premier’? Whichever view you take, Cummings’s role is unprecedented

A modern ‘Rasputin’, or the UK’s ‘Vice-Premier’? Whichever view you take, Cummings’s role is unprecedented

In the Dominic Cummings row, developments are not only unprecedent because they concern an unelected adviser but also because they are impacting on the country’s ability to deal with the health and financial crises. This scandal is thus affecting lives and livelihoods, argues Patrick Dunleavy.

Dominic Cummings set out to be, and has certainly become, a sharply polarizing force in […]

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    A reformer from a bygone era: What the Cummings saga tells us about British governance

A reformer from a bygone era: What the Cummings saga tells us about British governance

Patrick Diamond writes that the Cummings coronavirus row has wider implications for the machinery of British government. These revolve around the status of political advisers and the future of Cummings’s state reform visions.

As the row over Dominic Cummings’s breach of lockdown rules escalates, threatening to engulf the entire Johnson Administration, it is worth reflecting on the implications of the […]

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    The Cummings row undermines the sense of collective solidarity on which the lockdown relies

The Cummings row undermines the sense of collective solidarity on which the lockdown relies

The so-far widespread compliance with lockdown measures is driven by social identity and collective responsibility, new data confirms. This substantiates further the argument that by defending Dominic Cummings, the government risks undermining the fight against the virus, write Jonathan Jackson, Reka Solymosi, Chris Posch, Ben Bradford, Zoe Hobson, Arabella Kyprianides, and Julia Yesberg.

Soon after the easing of lockdown measures […]

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    COVID-19 and the Welsh economy: an extraordinary challenge, but also an opportunity

COVID-19 and the Welsh economy: an extraordinary challenge, but also an opportunity

Craig Johnson summarises some of the economic challenges facing Wales in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. He writes that alongside these difficulties, there are also opportunities to make positive changes in order to bolster economic recovery and resilience.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the Welsh economy. It is an unprecedented shock to a Welsh […]

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    The economic recovery from COVID-19 should focus on people and their skills, not just technology

The economic recovery from COVID-19 should focus on people and their skills, not just technology

Heather Rolfe argues that, while investment in technology is undoubtedly needed as part of the UK’s recovery strategy, the pandemic has highlighted our reliance on people and their skills. The government should therefore also be focusing on how to get people back into better and more sustainable work.

The coming months and years are going to be among the most […]

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    The suspension of routine inspections renders care homes invisible to scrutiny and costs lives

The suspension of routine inspections renders care homes invisible to scrutiny and costs lives

Alison Tarrant and Lydia Hayes explain how certain regulatory changes have led to legal standards being potentially contravened behind care homes’ closed doors. Researchers and regulators now face an urgent mission to stop such violations and save lives.

The number of people living in care homes in the UK is comparable to the population of the city of Bristol. Imagine if […]

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    Homelessness, bad housing, and the virus: a decent home should be every citizen’s right

Homelessness, bad housing, and the virus: a decent home should be every citizen’s right

Nicholas Pleace writes that the effect of the pandemic on homeless people should be seen as part of a wider problem – that of inadequate housing. He argues that if UK society is to be more resilient in the wake of this crisis, good housing should stop being seen as a privilege only the rich can afford.

We are living […]