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The silence of the press on the Julian Assange hearings is a disgrace

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The Wikileaks disclosures delivered to mild prison behaviour the US govt wished hid from its voters – the revelation of which can maybe well very effectively be a truly significant plot of a free press. Nonetheless, this govt has done the entirety doubtless, on the price of tens of millions of kilos, to punish Mr Assange to please its US ally. Any individual following experiences on the unusual complaints might maybe maybe presumably be fully taken aback on the purpose out-trial nature of the hearings.

There are arguably extra critical press failings, let’s have in mind, the mature media challenges to the govt.’s deceits round Covid-19 reporting, or the fiascos and corruption over PPE, take a look at and mark and the amazingly crass switch of the elderly from hospitals to care houses. Additionally, in fact, on the selling of lethal weaponry to the Saudis that the UN claims are being mature for war crimes in Yemen. (The govt. changed into outraged by the alleged use of Novichok in Britain, but its weapons are being mature to extinguish thousands of civilians in a international country – the hypocrisy is breathtaking.)

An informed public is very well-known for any important democracy and it is their true, other than where secrecy is serious for nationwide security, to know what it is being done in their name. If the large majority of the media, because it seems in the Assange case, collude with the govt. on silencing whistleblowers, they are doing the country no favours. The silence of the nationwide press, and the BBC namely, on the Julian Assange hearings is a disgrace.  

Frank Chacko

Cheltenham

We’re all stuffed this Christmas

Nicola Sturgeon’s warning relating to the necessity for folks to curtail their dilapidated festivities at Christmas this yr thanks to coronavirus stroke a chord in my memory of the time Harold Macmillan’s chancellor of the exchequer, Selwyn Lloyd, offered in 1961 assorted measures of what we would now call “austerity”, including a “pay terminate”.

One wit described it thus: “Selwyn Lloyd is doing effectively/ No beer, no fags, no money, Noel”

Jill Stephenson

Edinburgh

Workers must learn unusual talents

This morning’s news that UK job losses rose on the quickest rate since records began, coupled with the greatest upward push in unemployment in over a decade, point out the devastating results the pandemic has had on jobs and firms. With extra restrictions likely to be imposed over the iciness months, we must brace ourselves for added disruption.

In April, a glance advised that a fifth of firms did no longer bear enough money to outlive even the subsequent four weeks. Our have research in fact confirmed that firms’ top lines bear taken a knock throughout the pandemic with revenue for SMEs down 6.6 per cent on sensible over the final six months. Many continue to count on challenges, with a third of SMEs ready for to invent some employees redundant in the subsequent three months.

But there might maybe be decided off for optimism. SMEs bear also been advised to adapt and rapid tailored their industry and dealing gadgets to the unusual, with out warning changing industry environment, with 37 per cent of firms asking their employees to take on unusual obligations and amplify their skillset. Within the face of the greatest economic hurdle in an extended time, having the supreme talents isn’t upright “a nice to bear” for firms – it is a ways very well-known for survival.

If we’re to bring collectively the financial system support on its toes, remain competitive on the worldwide scene and withhold growth, we bear now to higher toughen all workers to reskill and upskill throughout their careers and abet them to initiate adapting their skillsets to the post-pandemic ways of working. This contains changing the apprenticeship levy to an apprenticeship and talents levy for all workers to make sure firms bear the expertise they need now and sooner or later; persevering with to take a position in direction of higher level apprenticeships to elevate the flexibility levels of the UK team; and introducing a rebuttable true to retrain to empower workers to test extra practising and model.

Andrew Harding, chief govt – administration accounting, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

No penalties for footballers

While the inhabitants is subjected to restrictions on commute and socialising, leaving industries facing closure, it seems the equal does no longer be aware to sport. With the nationwide, Champions’ and Europa leagues, coupled with the European Countries’ Cup, hundreds of of clubs with their gamers and entourage are flying backwards and forwards all the absolute most life like map throughout the country and Europe, as a ways as Kazakhstan, to play fits.

They use airplane, carry out no longer socially distance after which return to their very have clubs, utilizing airplane, trains or autos. The risk of infection someplace should always be wide, but it is permitted demonstrating entire hypocrisy.

Peter Fieldman

Madrid

Beethoven’s Bonn

I changed into born and raised in Bonn and bear in mind meeting my chums on town’s licensed meeting space, the Beethoven statue on Bonn’s central square. In Bonn, you bump into Beethoven in each space – streets, squares, concert halls and faculties are named after him. In some unspecified time in the future of this yr’s carnival, your total city offered out of Beethoven wigs as many chose to brighten up as town’s prodigious son.  

Nonetheless, the reason why Bonn changed into capital changed into no longer because it changed into the “final one standing”, as you painting it. Reasonably, Germany’s first chancellor Konrad Adenauer made the case for Bonn. No longer handiest changed into Bonn “finish to dwelling” for him (he changed into from Cologne), it deliberately changed into a limited placeholder for Berlin. For him, deciding on Frankfurt, the runner as a lot as become capital, would bear been paramount to accepting Western Germany as the unusual Germany. Nonetheless, he changed into wanting to invent lag that Western Germany with Bonn as a capital changed into a provisional command, wanting ahead to reunification.

And, as if to entire the circle, Beethoven offered the soundtrack for reunification itself. The major concert after the tumble of the Berlin Wall changed into Beethoven’s “7th symphony”, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. And in December 1989, throughout the Berlin Occasion Concert occasions, Bernstein directed an orchestra of English, French, American, Russian, East and West German musicians performing Beethoven’s “9th symphony”, with one trade. As an exchange of the “Ode to Joy’” Bernstein had rewritten the textual issue material to “Ode to Freedom”. Nobody might maybe maybe maybe bear scored this ecstatic 2nd in German historical past better than Beethoven himself.

Katja Staple

London E8

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