The Telegraph reports, Ofcom accused of stifling ‘criticism’ of Government’s Covid response. Here’s my comment in full: “Time and again, the weight of Ofcom rules about coronavirus coverage upon broadcasters’ legal departments has been explained to me by people with direct experience. “While the actual rulings made appear entirely reasonable, we can only speculate on the extent to which risk aversion within the main broadcasters prevented serious broadcast journalists from applying proper scrutiny to policy. No wonder freedom has been […]
UPDATE: I have now written to the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab: “In the meantime however, I would ask you to please examine again whether these cuts to aid spending could be done more sympathetically with respect to those most in need.” 3 June 2021: In order to protest cuts to Overseas Development Aid (ODA) taking spending below the legally-required 0.7% of GDP, rebels have tabled an amendment to the Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill. This is the text of […]
Tags: Aid, International Development, ODA, Parliament
Many thanks to the Adam Smith Institute for having me on the Tax Freedom Day panel this evening. I promised I would publish my referenced slides: find them here.
Tags: Ideas, Liberty, Tax, Tax Freedom Day
A leading group of academics from LSE, including former Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell, have today published a report which concludes that the Government’s response to Covid has “been dictated by concerns for lives lost from COVID-19, which represent far too narrow a focus for a full impact assessment.” “Shaping the post-Covid World: Moving towards wellbeing over the lifetime as the unit of analysis in policy” (link below) says that “any policy intervention requires us to capture and quantify all […]
Tags: Coronavirus, Covid-19, Government, Liberty
Following today’s news about vaccine passports: In recent months, the Government has repeatedly denied it is looking at vaccine passports, despite The Telegraph reporting lots of evidence to the contrary. Now James Cleverly appears to have confirmed @elliotttimes piece that they are indeed happening. Go figure… — Harry Yorke (@HarryYorke1) February 5, 2021 Steve Baker MP said, I’m alarmed by the present lack of clarity about vaccine passports as well as the poor level of communication by Government on what […]
Tags: Coronavirus, COVID19, Liberty, Parliament
My letter to constituents on my role in axing the Tampon Tax follows below. Thank you for writing to me about the abolition of the “Tampon Tax”. Having fought for it, I am very pleased a zero rate of VAT now applies to women’s sanitary products. This is part of wider action by this Conservative Government to end period poverty, which includes free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals. You can find the Government’s announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tampon-tax-abolished-from-today In particular, “The Chancellor […]
Tags: Parliament, Tampon Tax, Tax
The following article was submitted to the Mail on Sunday in our joint names. It was edited in ways which changed its meaning which we positively rejected. The following is the copy we provided as our final version. By Rt Hon Mark Harper MP (Chair of the Covid Recovery Group) and Steve Baker MP (Deputy Chair of the Covid Recovery Group) For those vulnerable to it, Covid is a dangerous disease so it’s vital we control it effectively. That’s why we […]
Epidemiological predictions – Analysis of prior model failure, a presentation provided to ministers on 26 November 2020 further to this report: Summary of methodological issues in epidemiology, all by Mike Hearn, plan99.net.
Tags: Coronavirus, COVID19, Ideas, Liberty, Modelling
This report on the methodological issues in epidemiology was produced by Mike Hearn, a former senior Google software engineer. I have raised the issues it highlights with the Chairs of the Science and Technology Committee, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and the Health and Social Care Committee. I have also raised it with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as well as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Find the report here:
Tags: Coronavirus, COVID19, Ideas, Liberty, Mike Hearn, Modelling
If broadcasters send bids relating to coronavirus legislation in the following form by SMS, I will send them on to colleagues: *Media bid:* [Channel], [Presenter] at [time] on [subject]. Contact: [name] [number] For example: *Media bid:* Sky News, Adam Boulton at 10:00 on local lockdown in the NE. Contact: Alice 07777 123456 I am not managing the process, only passing on bids. Colleagues may or may not reply directly. Thank you.