#ForgottenFreelances – letter to an MP

As part of the National Union of Journalists’ campaign to highlight the plight of #ForgottenFreelances,… …I have sent the following adapted pro-forma letter to my MP, Sir Oliver Heald QC. If you work in the communications/creative industries, I urge you to do something similar. There are some big holes in the English government’s coronavirus support […]

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Coronavirus lockdown sees air pollution fall by 50% over Europe

If you live in an urban area, and are breathing easier of late, it may be because levels of nitrogen dioxide emitted largely from vehicle exhausts are down 45-50% when compared with the same period last year. The data confirming this reduction in air pollution come from the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P Earth observation […]

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An ailing state

Sources tell me that the entire English cabinet has tested positive for coronavirus, and are showing symptons such as sad eyes and hebetude. The only one in Number 10 unaffected is Dominic Cummings.

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TTP designs new ventilators for coronavirus patients

I am so proud of local technology and product development firm TTP, which has designed a ventilator system for coronavirus patients in NHS hospitals. In the news the ventilator is generally described as a Dyson invention, but that is inaccurate. TTP is based in Melbourn, a South Cambridgeshire village neighbouring Royston, where I live. I […]

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Crisis and innovation

A friend remarks that we can only do our best with what is within our control. Crisis can bring innovation, she says, and we must step up to the challenge. True enough. I shally be content with the ruination of capitalism, dissolution of the UK state, and introduction of a Universal Basic Income by the […]

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Coronavirus latest – a trade union perspective

I and my NUJ colleagues have been busy collating case studies of freelance journalists whose livelihoods have been crushed in the coronavirus emergency. Unlike employees, freelances are not entitled to sick pay or other benefits, and in many cases order books are completely empty following client cancellations of previously agreed commissions. A few publishers such […]

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The best of us – the worst of us

Today I was told that down my way they were queueing in their hundreds at dawn to strip bare the supermarket shelves. Contrast this with the scenes of solidarity witnessed recently in Italy. There is much good in humanity, but many of us are downright selfish cunts.              

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Coronavirus and freelance journalists

The following is a text on which the NUJ statement published on Monday 16 March 2020 is based. See the official statement for links to further relevant material. The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis that will affect everyone to some degree, whether or not they are infected with the COVID-19 virus. Workplaces are shutting […]

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