Roundtable: Richmond Park & the Progressive Alliance

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On 1st December, Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Olney won the Richmond Park constituency back for the Liberal Democrats after Conservative incumbent Zac Goldsmith had vacated the seat to contest the by-election as an independent to signal his opposition to the government’s support for the third runway at Heathrow airport. Continue reading

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“But you’re looking so well!”

Down With the Sickness

The number one thing I’d suggest never to say to a disabled or chronically ill friend, relative or acquaintance is “But you’re looking so well!” or, worse yet “Everyone was saying that you’re looking so well!” “You’re looking so great!” is slightly better, but has a lot of the same issues.
I genuinely get it. When you see someone that you probably don’t see a lot of, especially when what you hear from them is a lot about illness, you want to tell them how pleased you are to see them, how glad you are that they’ve made the effort to come out to this occasion (even if it’s just for coffee), and how glad you are that they’re not a heap of tubes and limbs in the corner. You may wish to say that you can see the effort they’ve put in to dressing and presenting themselves well and…

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Yes, Work Must Pay

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by Chris Napier

Over the past few days, I’ve seen a lot about the government wanting to change the way that it treats long term illness with reference to things like fit notes, sick pay and benefits assessments.

Some of the ideas floated seem positive and some seem negative, but the overwhelming narrative is the promotion of the idea that work is fundamentally healthy and that being out of or away from work for extended periods and living off benefits is not good for you.
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