I hope this finds you well today, and enjoying what should be a couple of days drier weather. We’ve had a frost, and I’m looking forward to the dogs being a bit less muddy.
It’s Day 253 of Lockdown, and many children will be opening their Advent Calendars for the first time today (if they’ve been able to wait). If you are old enough, like me, you may remember when Advent Calendars contained pictures rather than things, and were often reused for several years until they wore out, and the picture for 24th December was of the baby Jesus.
The plethora of modern Advent Calendars certainly makes life easy for those of us with relatives who have birthdays today. My two relatives who fall into this category have received a miniature jam Advent calendar, and a cheese Advent calendar respectively, (the latter because her husband is diabetic).
Of course, Advent is traditionally a season of penitence and preparation for Christmas, and fasting occurs in some Christian traditions, for example: https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/spiritual-life/fasting-for-advent.html and https://northamanglican.com/a-call-to-fast-in-advent/.
Coronavirus Tiers vote
There is due to be a vote in the House of Commons today about whether the Tiers proposed by the Government for after the Lockdown in England should go ahead.
Keir Starmer (the Leader of the Opposition) has ordered his MPs to abstain, which may allow Conservative backbenchers to vote these measures down, see https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9003371/Boris-Johnson-faces-major-revolt-dossier-tier-systems-economic-impact-slammed.html .
However, even if the vote goes against the Government, it is possible that they may still go ahead anyway, under the enormous powers they took to themselves under the Coronavirus Act, voted through at a time when MPs were very afraid of the effects of the virus which we did not understand.
If you are interested in the Coronavirus Act, you can find it here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/contents/enacted (which includes an very wide range of measures, including the power to postpone elections), and there is also a “status table” showing which bits have been implemented, and other laws which have been suspended by it, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-act-2020-status .
Follow up from HSE webinars on Brexit and chemical regulations
Heather Thomas of BEIS writes:
Just to let you know that the Q&A from the 2 and 12 chemicals and REACH/CLP webinars was published today, apologies for slight delay from Friday’s target date – https://www.workcast.com/AuditoriumAuthenticator.aspx?cpak=7024853778548317&pak=5860605030241968# (the checklist is in the ‘resources’ section of this link, top left, under ‘information’). (JG note – I couldn’t get that link to work, so have attached the Q&A document as well, 94 pages long, with a lot of practical advice: Chems webinars consolidated questions PDF for publication – November 2020.pdf).
You will see that there are a few questions that we need to follow up on, most notably on poison centres where guidance will be published shortly which I’m assured should cover all the questions asked. There are also a few responses where more detail/practical advice would be helpful – we are already working on adding to those, as well as generally keeping the Q&A under review and updating it as appropriate clearly marking where updates have been made.
Separately BPDG have launched a Transition Traders Online Forum – https://transition-forum.service.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/
Attached is today’s BEIS Business Readiness Bulletin which hopefully you’re all signed up to receive direct, : Business Readiness Bulletin – The UK Transition – 30 November 2020.pdf .
And finally, a number of you have been asking about UKCA – there is an on demand webinar you can sign up to watch here https://www.workcast.com/register?cpak=2550126622343547 – but I’ll keep my eye open for other opportunities and Q&A etc. (JG note – this link is working).
Supporting your local pub through coronavirus
Mick Wragg of Lubrizol writes:
Good mention of the Tom Kerridge programme and the loss of pubs, basically one of the things that makes living in the UK so unique.
Ordinarily I’m not a fan of the beers that multi-national breweries produce and in particular the huge American conglomerates like AB InBev but perhaps this Christmas I’ll hold my nose and give a toast with a bottle of Bud. This is because they have launched a scheme where they will match the purchase of a gift card for any pub that has signed up to this scheme with an equal amount (basically a ‘drink out to help out’ scheme that the taxpayer isn’t paying for). I encourage your readers to take a look at this because in practical terms it will cost you nothing to participate. This is because whatever you spend on a gift card for your local you get the same amount back from Budweiser. You can find all the information about the Budweiser “Save pub life” scheme at https://savepublife.com/ including which pubs in your locality have signed up.
This is a genuine scheme and not a scam in case anyone is worried/cautious. They ran a version of this during last lockdown where they gave double the amount you spent on a gift card direct to the publican. I participated last time and my local benefitted. I don’t think this scheme has been widely publicised but deserves to be. And Budweiser deserves to be congratulated for trying to reverse the wholesale desolation of UK pub life and the wider hospitality industry by this government.
I’ve also asked my local MP for the government’s risk assessment demonstrating that visiting pubs and restaurants is a greater risk for transmission of the virus than any other activity where people may occupy the same building in a socially-distanced way (e.g. schools, universities, shops, gyms, churches, parliament etc) but I’m not holding my breath waiting for such a document.
Reasons to be cheerful
This week’s funny clips are all from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (after yesterday’s “Knights who say Ni” clip, Sarah and I realised it is a good follow-up to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade from last week).
Today – Horse, or Coconut?
And Paul Bell writes: Nicola Sturgeon tribute to Maradona.pdf
I hope you have a lovely day today, whatever you’re doing.
TT Environmental Ltd