The daughter of a baronet, Wakefield grew up at Chillingham Castle – a large country house deep in the Northumberland countryside, an hour’s drive north of Newcastle. Her father, formerly employed by the auction house Christie’s, took possession of the property in the early 1980s and painstakingly restored it after it had been derelict for 50 years. The house is so grand that it was used as the set for key scenes in the 1997 film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett. … [Read more...] about Quarantine article by Dominic Cummings’ wife reported to regulator
Spectator dominic cummings
Mr Cummings, a multi-purpose political strategist, spin doctor and self-styled 'disrupter' for Mr Johnson, has made no secret of his disdain for the stuffy, traditional 'Sir Humphrey'-style Whitehall permanent secretaries as portrayed in the 1980s TV satire, Yes Minister. … [Read more...] about Dominic Cummings could quit in six months: Boris’s under-fire advisor is considering leaving after Brexit and civil-service shake-up are complete
The rose garden appearance did not calm the public mood – and, perhaps most troubling of all for a government seeking to have its messaging taken wholly seriously, stoked widespread ridicule. Memes abounded, including “Should have gone to Barnard Castle” riffs on the famous Specsavers ad. Staff could “hardly believe it”, said Maria Sattar, the opthalmic director in the company’s Barnard Castle branch, who noted that the spoofs “gave us a chuckle”. … [Read more...] about From evasion to evisceration: how the Cummings lockdown story unfolded
Second, Johnson has been an “’elf ’n’ safety gone mad” rabble-rouser since time immemorial, his fallback for any thin column-writing day. He and his claque have won, eviscerating the HSE, ordering it in 2011 to cut inspections by a third. Its budget has been cut by £100m since 2010, and it has lost a third of its workforce. Local authorities have had to cut health and safety, and environmental health, to the bone. “Light-touch” regulation and “bonfires of red tape” have been favourite Tory battle cries, with Johnson the cheerleader. Labour’s employment spokesman, Andy McDonald, says an employer’s chance of a spot inspection is once in every 275 years. … [Read more...] about For test and trace to work, the public needs to trust this government. But how can we?