“My whole soul is in this…I ask every American to join me in this cause,” declares Biden in his Inauguration speech.
“It’s hopefully not a long-term goodbye and we’ll see each other again,” the departing President declares as he goes.
“I promise that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States…so help me God.”
It’s sad enough to see a formerly serious historian disappear down the rabbit hole – but the Today Programme should challenge false claims from guests.
The Government needs to engage with groups that have anxieties over the vaccine.
The unenviable role of humourless teacher trying to discipline an impudent schoolboy was played by the Leader of the Opposition.
The Prime Minister says the department thinks it will be able to “rectify the results of this complex incident”.
Too much learning has been lost, and too many children will find their educational outcomes affected, to simply return to business as usual.
Andrew Haldenby: Cameron was right to bury Labour’s targets regime. Johnson shouldn’t now seek to resurrect it.
If Ministers don’t trust the police to use the extra officers, why did they decide to recruit them in the first place?
Further details enclosed.
It would take a political genius of Mount Rushmore proportions to restore civic peace to America and Biden, for all his good qualities, isn’t one.
The new President’s problems will begin right at the start with whatever he decides to do next.
Ryan Bourne: A reassuringly conservative speech from Starmer’s Shadow Chancellor. The Tories will need to up their game.
This is not to say that all of Dodds’ analysis is coherent or correct, but the days of unhinged Corbynite attacks on capitalism are over.
Judging by its social media activity, the National Union of Students’ main current focus is ‘decolonising the curriculum’.
Likewise, if a cruise ship wants proof of vaccination before you board, it should have the right to. Here’s why.
This rebellion had little in common with most others, but the names of many who oppose the Government now show a certain predictability.
Both the Conservatives and Plaid have gone on the attack, but can anything break Labour’s iron grip on Cardiff Bay this year?
This is a good moment for targeted, well-justified interventions, but creating lots of new losers through sweeping hikes would be insane.
Peter Aldous: If the Government is to deliver on climate change, it needs better Parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals
Lords and Commons approval would give negotiators an additional argument to support their objectives.
Universal Credit, overseas aid, empowering judges, tax rises. There’s more to yesterday’s rebellion than six backbenchers.
Has today’s generation of Conservative MPs the appetite for the tax and spending discipline that must underpin any operable government?
Jonathan Caine: My experience of Biden and his team suggests that we shouldn’t fear his presidency – but need to engage
In ensuring that the Belfast Agreement is properly understood and appreciated in Washington, the British Embassy needs to be at the top of its game.
Radical: A University lesson from the Kathleen Stock fracas. It’s harder to support her if you’re a younger academic.
Not when they know that their peers – and the academic administrators they depend on for preferment – are watching for any ‘misstep’.
Coronavirus 1) Johnson ‘begins top secret planning to ease UK lockdown at Easter’
“Boris Johnson has begun top secret planning for millions to meet loved ones this Easter – but cracked the whip amid lagging vaccine numbers. The Sun has learnt Cabinet Office civil servants have begun building a detailed “unlocking framework” to gradually ease Covid restrictions area by area. Although publicly Ministers say it’s too soon to say when freedoms can be restored, the PM has tasked No10 officials with building the plans with his eye on early April mingling joy for millions – even if for many its only outside. Amid mounting backbench pressure to set out a route out of lockdown, a senior Government source told The Sun: “It’s way too soon to start talking about when, but the work is being done quietly on the how.”” – The Sun
- Public against rush to reopen after Covid lockdown, say ministers – Daily Telegraph
Coronavirus 2) Fears over vaccine supplies as rate drops
“Ministers are increasingly concerned about the pace of the coronavirus vaccine rollout after a reduction in the supply of Pfizer-Biontech jabs. The number of people receiving their first dose on Monday fell for the third day in a row to 204,076 from a high of 324,000 on Friday. Pfizer said supplies of vaccine would be lower this month and next as it was upgrading its factory in Belgium before increasing production in March. A government source said that the supply had become “very constrained” with ministers concerned about meeting the target to vaccinate 15 million people in the four most vulnerable groups by mid-February. “It’s going to be very, very tight,” the source said.” – The Times
- NHS under fire as elderly sent to distant coronavirus vaccination centres – The Times
- Coronavirus vaccine passports will leave bosses on shaky legal ground – The Times
- Widespread coronavirus vaccination risks ‘day before Armistice’ wave of infections, experts warn – The Times
- No10 hires PR firm to boost Covid vaccine uptake among BAME groups – Daily Mail
- Germans are told to wear better masks – The Times
- Maskless chats indoors spread coronavirus more than coughing – The Times
- Will we need more Covid vaccinations in the autumn? – The Times
- Vaccine nationalism helps no one – The Times
- Give us a road map out of this madness, Sarah Vine – Daily Mail
- I certainly would not begrudge the elderly a little post jab freedom, Olivia Utley – Daily Telegraph
- How Covid kids can become Generation Grit, Alice Thomson – The Times
- No individual glorification for today’s scientists… it’s about team effort, Karol Sikora – Daily Express
Tory rebels nearly scupper China trade deal
“A backbench rebellion by Tory MPs over China’s persecution of the Uighur people has narrowly failed to stop the government signing a trade deal with Beijing. The former cabinet ministers David Davis and Damian Green were among 33 Conservatives who backed an amendment that would have meant trade deals were automatically revoked if partner countries were found guilty of genocide by the High Court. In total, 319 MPs sided with the government and 308 voted against. Jeremy Hunt, the former foreign secretary who has visited genocide sites in Rwanda, abstained as a matter of conscience. He told The Times that he felt “very strongly” about the issue.” – The Times
- Day for fluffed feathers and Pheasant Plucker, Quentin Letts – The Times
America 1) Biden inauguration: Democrat to be sworn in as Trump leaves office
“Joe Biden is to be sworn in as US president, taking the helm of a nation wracked by political division, economic anguish and an unrelenting pandemic. Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office alongside him in Washington DC, which has been fortified amid fears of civil unrest. Some 25,000 troops will guard the inauguration ceremony after a deadly riot at the Capitol earlier this month. Donald Trump will leave the White House for the last time, bound for Florida. He will not be attending the inauguration ceremony. Mr Biden will be sworn in as 46th president of the United States by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts shortly before midday (17:00 GMT) on Wednesday outside the US Capitol.” – BBC
- ToryDiary: We wish the new President well as he starts but fear that his term won’t go well
- Lord Ashcroft in Comment: For many voters, America’s election was not about Biden – but a referendum on Trump
- Daniel Hannan’s column: If a restaurant can refuse to serve you, Amazon can refuse to host Parler
America 2) Trump vows ‘we’ve only just begun’ before leaving Washington…
“President Trump called on Americans to “pray for the success” of Joe Biden’s administration in a farewell address in which he refused to mention his successor by name or retract claims of election fraud. Mr Trump, who has not been seen in public for a week, issued a video message vowing that his “Make America Great Again” movement was “only just beginning” as he prepared to leave Washington this morning before Mr Biden’s inauguration. The outgoing Republican president defiantly insisted that “we did what we came here to do and so much more” in an indication that he may be thinking again about running in 2024. He may not have that choice, however. After he became the first president to be impeached twice, the prospect of his disqualification from public office increased when the most senior Republican in Congress, Mitch McConnell, accused him of provoking the mob that stormed the Capitol.” – The Times
- … as he pardons Steve Bannon, among 143 people who received clemency – The Guardian
America 3) May – Britain threatened to break the law. We abandoned our global moral leadership… we did not raise our credibility in the eyes of the world
“This week America inaugurates a new president, and the free world gains a new leader. In Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I believe Britain has partners for positive action to make our world a safer place. The US and the UK share enduring values: respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom of speech and thought, representative democracy, equality and the rule of law. These values have shaped our societies. In the past, we have had common cause to defend them. Today, those values are under threat once again – and once again, the UK has a responsibility to play its part in defending them. The threat does not just come from countries which reject our democratic values – nations like China, which continues to persecute the Uighur people and infringe the rights of people in Hong Kong, or Russia, where opposition leader Alexei Navalny recently survived poisoning only to face imprisonment. On January 6, those values came under attack in that bastion of democracy the United States Capitol.” – Daily Mail
- Good luck Biden. America’s problems are also Britain’s, Liam Fox – Daily Telegraph
- Biden will see Brexit Britain for what it really is: his closest partner in defending the international order, Sajid Javid – Daily Telegraph
- Has Biden got what it takes to be president? Daniel Finkelstein – The Times
- What now for the Republican Party? Telegraph View
- President Biden must revive the Gulf War spirit if he is to reunite a divided West, Con Coughlin – Daily Telegraph
- President Biden must stay true to his word and unify the American people or face ‘catastrophe’, Douglas Murray – The Sun
- Biden unleashes a fiscal bazooka, but Britain has no such weapon, Jeremy Warner – Daily Telegraph
- Biden’s celebrity-packed inauguration is an embarrassing start to his presidency, Ella Whelan – Daily Telegraph
- Exiles need our help to overthrow tyrants, Roger Boyes – The Times
- Tories didn’t start the culture war, but they have found a way to win it, Andrew Roberts – Daily Telegraph
- Government can’t solve musicians’ Brexit problems, Richard Morrison – The Times
- Wild camels would love a night out on the toon, Matthew Parris – The Times
Policing 1) £148m to target county lines drug gangs and treat addiction
“Police have shut down more than 550 county lines and arrested nearly 3,500 people connected with the drug dealing gangs in just over a year. The Home Office revealed the crackdown as it announced a £148 million package to cut crime and tackle issues around illegal drugs. It also gives more resources to police to tackle organised urban criminal gangs, which take over provincial drug markets, often exploiting young and vulnerable people. The county line is the mobile phone line used to take drugs orders. The government said that a £25 million programme in place since November 2019 had resulted in more than 3,400 arrests, more than 550 lines closed and more than 770 vulnerable people protected. Drugs with a street value of £9 million, as well £1.5 million in cash, had been seized.” – The Times
Policing 2) Patel: People are dying – so I am pulling together a system-wide approach to the impact of illegal drugs
“As Home Secretary, I am determined to cut crime and restore confidence in our criminal justice system. People must be able to live their lives knowing their family, community and country is safe. To do this, right across Government we must help those who are addicted to drugs while we also tackle drug misuse. Drugs ruin lives and devastate families while drug-related crime can plague communities. Behind every illicit deal there is a trail of violence and exploitation. Meanwhile, criminal gangs enrich themselves, profiting from human misery. That is why, today, I am announcing a £148 million funding package, to pull together a system-wide approach to the impact of illegal drugs. This includes £40m of new money to continue tackling county lines and drugs supply.” – Daily Telegraph
Shapps’ smart motorway roll-out criticised for being too slow
“Only 37 miles of smart motorway have been fitted with vital technology used to detect broken-down vehicles, prompting more concerns over safety. The radar system, which can spot stationary cars in 20 seconds, has been installed on four of the 24 sections of English motorway with no hard shoulder. Transport Focus, the roads watchdog, has said that drivers feel safer with a hard shoulder. Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, demanded the rapid introduction of the technology in March last year as part of a sweeping review of smart motorways designed to improve safety… Sir Mike Penning, the Conservative MP for Hemel Hempstead and a former roads minister, called for faster roll-out.” – The Times
- The critics of smart motorways were right all along, Ross Clark – Daily Telegraph
News in brief:
- What Covid tests can we trust? Tom Chivers – UnHerd
- Exclusive: Government Hires PR Firm To Boost Vaccine Take-Up Among Minority Groups, Arj Singh – The Huffington Post
- Lisa Nandy’s Biden no-show, Steerpike – The Spectator
- How will history judge the Trump years? David Wayell – Reaction
- Fishing for wins, John Redwood – John Redwood’s Diary
Coronavirus 1) Johnson ‘begins top secret planning to ease UK lockdown at Easter’ “Boris Johnson has begun top secret planning… Read more »
Ministers urged to warn people that vaccination is not a licence to ignore lockdown restrictions “Ministers have been warned that… Read more »
Coronavirus 1) Full speed ahead with vaccination of over-70s “More than 5.5 million people who are over 70 or clinically… Read more »
Health service may hit peak capacity tomorrow… “Hospitals have been ordered to open hundreds of extra intensive care unit (ICU)… Read more »
Johnson ‘boosts hopes of February freedoms’… “Britain could begin to see coronavirus restrictions eased by late next month, Boris Johnson… Read more »