By Ash Percival
By Daniel Welsh
With a stellar cast, countless memes and viral moments, loads of awards buzz and a script that mixes silly humour with genuine philosophy, ‘The Good Place’ has had plenty to brag about since its debut in 2016.
But with a new series about to begin streaming on Netflix here in the UK, the one face we’re most excited to see is actress D’Arcy Carden, who plays the afterlife’s trusty pre-programmed guide, Janet.
Janet quickly became the break-out star of ‘The Good Place’, and despite not actually being sentient, has somehow become the series’ most relatable character.
Here are 17 of our favourite Janet moments that verged on being too real…
The third series of ‘The Good Place’ debuts on UK Netflix on 28 September, with new episodes every Friday.
This September HuffPost UK is challenging readers to back away from their social media feeds for 28 days in order to find new balance in our relationships with technology. Coinciding with the Royal Society For Public Health’s campaign Scroll Free September, we’ll be delivering the tips and motivation you need via a daily email. And the best part? You can sign up to start the challenge at any point in the month. So what are you waiting for?
To hear people talk about internet friendships you would think it was one giant web of predators, catfishing and email scams: forget stranger danger on the dark street, the real people to be afraid of are hidden behind a profile picture.
While we all undoubtedly have to take measures to remain safe online, to assume every friendship or connection made on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, is fraudulent or insincere, would be a mistake.
As a woman of colour who works in the creative industry – not often surrounded by a lot of diversity – I have found real joy in seeking out a community I couldn’t find elsewhere, and making some great friends along the way.
My first online friendship was on Twitter with my (now) best friend, during the university exam period. We exchanged study notes in a few dozens direct messages, set a study date, and haven’t looked back since.
Drawn to each other by similar circumstances, friendships online are similar to offline in that they tend to begin because of shared interest or common ground – maybe they’ve read the post I’ve been raving about on Instagram. Maybe they have the same taste in food or politics. Or maybe they just love memes too.
If online friendships start similarly to other ones, they grow in the same way too. Often through mutual support: instead of calling a friend to congratulate them on that new job you RT (retweet) their jokes and compliment their Insta story.
Some people would cynically describe this set-up as an echo chamber or a bubble (everyone loving on the same stuff over and over again). But don’t real friendships exist in a bubble too? You don’t tend to hang out with people you hate and disagree with IRL in my experience.
Despite my positive experiences, when I tell people, most are still suspicious. Eyebrows are raised higher when I explain not only have I found a community online but have made friendships with people I actually meet face-to-face too.
People might be cynical (or pity me) but these are just as valid as other friendships, according to behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, who says online friendships can be real.
Hemmings tells me: “When you connect with somebody and they connect with you and what you’re saying, how they come across and what they stand for is the same as what qualities we look for in a friend in real life.”
Not only that but it gives you a chance to meet people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. I know what she means: I enjoy interacting with the community around Gal-dem magazine – a safe space online written by women of colour for women of colour. This gives me somewhere I can talk with likeminded people.
Although Hemmings does caveat her statement by saying that meeting people face-to-face seals the deal. “Though some may disagree with me, I do believe you need to meet someone to validate the friendship in some way and decipher between true friendship instead of just nice correspondence”
She adds: “With genuine friendship, people tend to know each other than what they see on their phone or desktop”. This is not to say any friendships made through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram where both parties have not yet met isn’t concrete but this is usually followed up by real life encounters or even actions to become more intimate i.e Facetime or phone calls.
So how do you know if people are there for the real you or just because you’re popular on Instagram? Hemmings has simple rules. She tells me: “You have to equally feel comfortable that you’re getting something of each other instead of being used to enable something that isn’t friendship”.
Therefore if all a ‘friend’ online is asking you to do is to promote their work or personal brand and rarely takes an interest in you, then there may be room to question the basis of the friendship.
On that note it is worth remembering that just because someone has a lot of followers, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a lot of friends.
I think a lot about how my personal brand might attract more people because it suits the visual nature of the platform I’m working with: I love bright fashion and fit European beauty standards (I’m slim, light-skinned and dress in western clothing). Therefore I’m in a position to attract friendships and kind comments instead of the many women of colour who push similar content but gain less traction simply because of how they look.
Because of this, I take my friendships online with a pinch of salt. The ones that I have already I know are real, but I’m well aware that future potential friendships could be less successful. So before I gift you the digital equivalent of a BFF bracelet, I will want to know why I’m doing it.
By Jasmin Gray
A Labour government would spend £5 million a year covering the hospital travel costs of young cancer patients and their families in a bid to make sure “wealth never stands as a barrier to treatment,” Jonathan Ashworth will announce.
In his speech to Labour’s annual conference on Wednesday, the shadow health secretary is set to reveal the party’s plan for a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund for children in England.
Based on need, rather than income, the fund will allow the NHS to cover all the costs associated with travelling to and from hospital for cancer treatment, Ashworth will tell delegates.
According to research by children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, families can spend as much as £180 a month travelling to hospital and from while their child is receiving treatment, with parents facing an average journey of 60 miles.
“Childhood cancer already places a deep emotional and physical strain on families, without the extra worry of being able to afford expensive travel costs for treatment,” Ashworth is due to say.
“We should be doing all we can to support these vulnerable children and their families when they need it most. We must make sure that wealth never stands as a barrier to treatment.
“We will ensure that all children, regardless of background, have access to the best possible treatment and are supported every step of the way on their road to recovery,” the Leicester South MP will add.
Cancer Research UK estimates that around 4,450 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
But while a travel costs scheme already exists, CLIC Sargent believes only 6% of parents receive help under the programme, which is means-tested.
Ashworth’s announcement comes just days after he
Exclusive: Labour To Fund ‘Alcohol Care Teams’ In Every English District Hospital
By Rachel Moss
From paying for a stranger’s coffee to sending distant friends uplifting letters, Dani Saveker has performed an act of kindness every single day for almost three years.
We first met Dani
‘Hero’ Milkman Performs Random Acts Of Kindness On Milk Rounds
By Paul Waugh
Jeremy Corbyn will promise to replace “greed-is-good” capitalism with a green jobs revolution to make Britain a world leader in the fight against climate change.
In his party conference speech on Wednesday, the Labour leader will unveil a pledge to create 400,000 skilled jobs by building thousands more wind turbines, insulating millions of homes – and installing a solar panel on every roof in the UK.
Corbyn will also use the 10th anniversary of the 2008 financial crash to tell the gathering in Liverpool that voters are still paying the price for mistakes made by the ruling and financial elite.
In what will be seen as a swipe at Gordon Brown’s handling of the crisis, he will say that “the political and corporate establishment strained every sinew to bail out and prop up the system that led to the crash in the first place”.
The Labour leader will seek to build on last year’s radical general election manifesto and on the conference theme of taking wealth and power from the richest and redistributing it to ordinary Britons.
He will cite environmental policy as a key way to prove the party’s radicalism, promising to cut net carbon emissions by 60% by 2030 and to zero by 2050 through a major expansion of offshore and onshore wind turbines.
“There is no bigger threat facing humanity than climate change. We must lead by example,” Corbyn will tell the conference.
“Our energy plans would make Britain the only developed country outside Scandinavia to be on track to meet our climate change obligations. Labour will kickstart a green jobs revolution.”
A lifelong environmentalist, Corbyn has managed to attract support from both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats since he became Labour leader.
The planned home insulation programme will create 160,000 jobs alone, spread across the UK.
Aides said the new proposals were a ‘two term’ ambition, acknowledging that most of the work would have to take place between 2020 and 2030.
In a new analysis, the party vows to cut heat demand from buildings by almost one quarter, provide 85% of electricity demand from low- or no-carbon sources and deliver 44% of heating demand from renewables.
Labour would almost triple the UK’s installed solar PV capacity by 2030 to 35GW, with a combination of large and small-scale installations, “installing solar PV on all viable UK roofs”, its report states.
Corbyn’s green policies are being pitched as a key part of his wider bid to change the way the economy works and “rebuild and transform Britain” after years of Tory austerity.
But he will also use his keynote speech to signal that New Labour’s own ‘light touch’ regulation of the City, as well as Gordon Brown’s decision to pump billions into the banks in the 2008 crisis, was part of the problem.
“Ten years ago this month, the whole edifice of greed-is-good, deregulated financial capitalism, lauded for a generation as the only way to run a modern economy, came crashing to earth, with devastating consequences,” he will say.
“But instead of making essential changes to a broken economic system, the political and corporate establishment strained every sinew to bail out and prop up the system that led to the crash in the first place.
“People in this country know – they showed that in June last year – that the old way of running things isn’t working any more.”
At the peak of the banking crisis, the UK government had liabilities worth £1.2 trillion.
In Brown’s emergency bailouts, the taxpayer bought £45bn of shares in RBS and almost £20bn in Lloyds.
The National Audit Office estimated £850m was poured into the system by the Bank of England as it used so-called Quantitative Easing to ‘print money’ and buy up assets.
Last year a Bank of England policy chief said it should ‘think about’ winding down the policy, but Bank Governor Mark Carney has said that interest rates would have to rise before QE could be unwound substantially.
A Labour spokesperson said that Corbyn was not criticising Brown for trying to stabilise the system.
But he added: “The issue was about how that bailout was carried out. In relation to the financial easing, there are different ways to have that financial easing to avoid it having the effect that it did.
“In other words, it created bubbles in financial asset values and there’s more than one way to skin a cat in terms of pumping liquidity into the economy in such situations.”
The spokesman stressed that the United States’ bank bailouts were more damaging than the UK’s, but Britain had also helped fuel an asset bonanza for the richest.
“The way it was done, even more than America than here but here as well, led to greater inequality in an already unequal economic and financial system.
“The costs of the bailout were significantly higher than they needed be in terms of nationalisation of RBS and the stake in Lloyds.
“And then of course the huge sums that were committed to both quantitative easing and other forms of financial guarantees, were done in ways which in practice favoured asset owners and the wealthy in society and of course the austerity programme has been at the expense of the poorest.”
A Canada-style Brexit trade deal that broke up the UK would be worse than no deal, Theresa May has said.
Brussels has shown hope, expectation and desire for an agreement, the Prime Minister insisted.
But she said any move that would put a border in the Irish Sea would be a “bad” outcome.
And she accused Labour of being ready to accept any proposals the EU put forward regardless of how harmful they were.
It comes after senior Tory Leavers including David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg backed proposals calling on the Government to seek a “basic” free trade agreement for goods of the kind struck between the EU and Canada and pointed out such a move had already been offered by Brussels.
Downing Street later said the proposals would mean “Northern Ireland effectively remaining in parts of the single market and customs union”.
Speaking to reporters as she flew to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, May said: “First of all, I have always said no deal is better than a bad deal.
“I think a bad deal would be, for example, a deal that broke up the United Kingdom.
“We want to maintain the unity of the United Kingdom.
“What we have put on the table is a good deal, it’s a deal which retains the union of the United Kingdom, our constitutional integrity, it’s a deal that provides for no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, protects jobs and enables us to have a good trading relationship with Europe and also the rest of the world.
“When we get to the point of a deal – and as Prime Minister I do believe we can get to a good deal – we will take that deal back to Parliament and at that point MPs will have a clear choice.
“They will have a choice as to whether to support that deal.
“They will have to recognise looking at their vote that what we are doing is delivering on the vote of the British people in the referendum.
“What I do know is that we have a Labour Party whose position in this (is) clear.
“Labour will oppose any deal I bring back regardless how good it is for the UK.
“They will accept any deal the EU gives regardless of how bad it is for the UK.
“That is not in the national interest, what we are doing is in the national interest.”
WHAT IS THE CANADA-PLUS OPTION?
Canada agreed a free trade deal with the EU in 2016, after seven years of talks
It removes most trade tariffs on goods and allows Canadian firms ‘preferential access’ to EU markets without having to sign up to all EU regulations automatically
Some food products such as eggs and chicken are exempt and trade in services is only partially covered
Brexiteers want a ‘Canada-plus-plus-plus’ deal, with bits of similar EU trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and Switzerland part of the bespoke UK deal
A Canada-style deal would leave the UK free to strike its own trade deals with other countries, like the US, while handing back control of immigration.
It’s unclear how a Canada option could avoid new border checks between Northern Ireland and Ireland
European Council president Donald Tusk mocked May’s negotiating strategy on Twitter after last week’s Salzburg summit, posting a picture of a cake with no cherries in reference to claims the PM is trying to “cherry pick” the best aspects of the EU.
Asked if she wanted an apology, she replied: “What I welcome is the fact we have seen Donald Tusk following our response, we have seen Donald Tusk actually clarify the position that they were taking and make it clear that actually the EU side does want to look at a deal.”
May said if the EU had concerns about her Brexit Chequers plan for future relations it should set them out along with any counter-proposals.
She added: “What he has clarified is that there is hope and expectation and desire for a deal on the side of the European Union and there are aspects of the Chequers proposal which they are comfortable with.”
The Cabinet backed proposals for EU nationals to be subject to the same rules as migrants from the rest of the world after free movement ceases to apply in the UK post-Brexit.
The PM said: “I have been very clear that one of the things that’s non-negotiable is an end to free movement and that is absolute.
“People voted to bring an end to free movement and we will do that.
“As we look at our future proposals for our immigration rules, what we want to do is ensure that we are recognising the concerns that people have about immigration, that we are working to continue to bring net immigration down but obviously we do that in a way that’s going to be good for the British economy and our future.”
By Jasmin Gray
The Labour Party must expel anti-Semites in the same way the infamous fascist Oswald Moseley was kicked out of Liverpool, Emily Thornberry has insisted.
In an impassioned and wide-ranging conference speech, the shadow foreign secretary told delegates that if Labour wants to tackle fascism, racism and hatred, it “must start with rooting it out of our own party”.
“We all support the Palestinian cause, we are all committed to recognise the Palestinian State when we get into government. And I stand here with no hesitation when I condemn the Netanyahu government for its racist policies and its criminal actions against the Palestinian people,” she told the packed conference hall, adding that she never thought she would have to call for a crackdown on hate within the Labour Party.
“But I know as well and we must all acknowledge that there are sickening individuals on the fringes of our movement, who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people, and their desire to see Israel destroyed.”
Thornberry – whose speech was watched over by Jeremy Corbyn – continued: “Those people stand for everything that we have always stood against and they must be kicked out of our party in the same way that we kicked Oswald Mosley out of Liverpool.”
Her declaration follows an anti-Semitism row within the party after Labour initially failed to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.
But Thornberry also called on Labour Party members to unite within their ranks and end the “pointless conflicts which divide our movement, which poison our online debate, and distract us from out job, which is fighting the Tories”.
Concluding her speech with a reference to the left-wing anthem ‘The Internationale’, the Islington South and Finsbury MP said the party has the potential to show “that the greatest achievements of our socialist movement lie not in our past, but in our future”.
“That is the kind of government we need for our country and that is the kind of Britain we need for our world,” Thornberry added.
By Ned Simons
Labour now has a set Brexit policy – sort of. This is what it is – for the moment at least.
The party has spent the week at its conference in Liverpool thrashing out how it will respond to events as we barrel towards the parliamentary vote on Theresa May’s Brexit.
But even though Labour has agreed on a policy, just what that policy actually means depends on which member of the party you ask.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer confirmed on Tuesday the party is all but sure to vote against the prime minister’s deal unless it meets “six tests” such as “delivering the ‘exact same benefits’ as we currently have as members of the Single Market and Customs Union”.
But given the widespread opposition to her current plan among both pro-EU and pro-Brexit MPs, it’s difficult to see how May could possibly meet all six.
This leaves May staring defeat in the face unless she changes course somehow.
Assuming the six tests are not met, Labour will then demand an immediate General Election.
If May refuses to call an election – to trigger one Tory MPs would have to vote in favour – Labour has left the option of demanding another referendum.
The key part of the policy as agreed over the course of six hours on Sunday and voted for by delegates on Tuesday afternoon is this:
“If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote”.
However there are still disagreements of course because nothing is ever that simple and the phrase “on the table” does not mean all Labour members and MPs agree it is even desirable.
There is even disagreement about what should be on the ballot among those who have signed up to the idea of the party pushing for another public vote.
It is a fudge.
Starmer received a standing ovation today for declaring “nobody is ruling out” the option of EU membership being on the ballot.
But that has not gone down well with powerful figures in the trade unions.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey has said he wants to “rule out” Remain as an option.
His deputy Steve Turner said despite what Starmer claimed, any referendum must be just “a vote on the terms of our departure”.
Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the PCS union, said there should be “no second referendum on the principle” of EU membership. “Any vote that is then campaigned for by our movement should not be a vote to revisit the question of in or out,” he said.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also suggested on Monday that he did not think any second referendum should include stopping Brexit.
Starmer’s applause line in his speech today was not included in the text first distributed by the party press office. Senior allies of Jeremy Corbyn were, HuffPost UK understands, “not amused” by the ad-lib.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow home secretary, made clear today the party’s focus should be on forcing an election to have Labour manage the UK’s exit from the EU.
Asked about the possibility of another referendum reversing the Brexit vote, she said: “I think there are deeply anti-democratic forces around the world. I am not going to be part of that.”
She said MPs promised to respect the result of the 2016 referendum and should “stick to” that.
Thornberry also highlighted another potential split in the party – whether or not to delay Brexit.
She said Labour’s manifesto should include promise that the Article 50 process would be “extended”. She argued the current leave date, of March 29, 2019, was too soon given the progress of negotiations.
Starmer said “I don’t know if Article 50 will need to be extended” but argued if it was that would be “utterly the fault” of the government.
Jeremy Corbyn said today the decision to extend Article 50 was “not in our hands” as “Article 50 can only be extended by the agreement of the entirety of the European Union.”
To top it all off, Corbyn also refused to say whether he would vote Remain or Leave in another referendum. “It’s a hypothetical question,” he told the BBC.
By Chris York
Large numbers of police were called to a secondary school in Sheffield after a disturbance among pupils escalated when scores of adults arrived outside.
At least 15 police vehicles – including a dog team – a number of ambulances and a helicopter arrived at Fir Vale School following reports of an incident on the premises just before 1pm on Tuesday.
People who gathered later in the afternoon said hundreds of people arrived at the gates of the school after hearing about fighting between students which started in the dining room.
They said people were trying to get over the fence and some were carrying weapons, including a baseball bat.
Witnesses said the problems outside the school were rooted in longstanding tensions between Slovak Roma people and other communities in the Page Hall area.
Many of the police vehicles left the school late on Tuesday afternoon but a high-visibility police presence remained on the streets of Page Hall.
South Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “At around 12.55pm this afternoon, police were called to Fir Vale School on Owler Lane, following reports of an altercation between a group of students.
“Officers were deployed and on arrival found that a large number of people had gathered at the gates.
“The crowds have now dispersed and officers remain in the area, liaising with the school. No-one is believed to have been injured.”
The Yorkshire Ambulance Service said two people were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
There were conflicting reports about the size of the crowd which gathered outside the school and what they were doing.
One man, who did not wish to be named, said: “There were hundreds of people, a thousand people outside the fence. They were carrying all kinds of things – baseball bats, pieces of wood.
“They were trying to get over. It was chaos.”
He said: “I went in and got my daughter out. The police threatened to arrest me but I was going in.”
Another man said: “The police told me every available copper in Sheffield is here – every single one. They’re just worried it’s really going to kick off.”
Tensions in the Page Hall area of Sheffield hit the headlines four years ago when the then local MP David Blunkett said he feared problems could escalate into violence.
The school was opened by the Queen in 2003.
Earlier this year a car drove into the school car park and crashed through the front doors in the foyer.
A notice on the school’s website said: “An incident in school has meant we will be closing at 2pm.
“All pupils are safe.
“Any child who should not leave early will be supervised on site in our library.”
The inquiry into the infected blood scandal should learn from the “chilling” lessons of the Hillsborough football disaster, a lawyer representing almost 250 victims has said.
David Lock QC told the Infected Blood Inquiry that his clients “believe that there are lessons” to be taken from the investigation into the deaths of 96 Liverpool football fans.
His firm, Leigh Day, is representing 241 core participants as the inquiry examines how people were treated with blood products contaminated with HIV and Hepatitis C in the 1970s and 80s.
The inquiry has heard the number infected could go “far beyond 25,000”.
Memories and messages. Each bottle contains a private and personal message written by the infected or affected. pic.twitter.com/Nz6KYBC2MR
— Infected Blood Inquiry (@bloodinquiry) September 24, 2018
Lock said initial investigations into Hillsborough struggled “because of inadequate disclosure of the records”.
He added that it was the persistence of the families which eventually resulted in justice.
He said: “Those who were closely involved with the events knew that the ‘official’ account was far from the whole truth, and yet many also knew that the real story of the events which led to the Hillsborough tragedy had not yet been told.
“The families of the 96 also knew the truth had not yet been told and were a thorn in the side of the establishment for year after year.
“But – and this is the chilling lesson we invite this inquiry to focus upon – the families were repeatedly right and the establishment was repeatedly wrong.”
Lock concluded: “My clients are entitled to believe that there are lessons that this inquiry can learn from that process.”
The inquiry has pledged it will consider “whether there have been attempts to conceal details of what happened” through the destruction of documents or withholding of information.
Also, on Tuesday more victims of the scandal gave statements to the inquiry.
Michelle Tolley, 53, contracted Hepatitis C from blood transfused in 1987 and 1991 after childbirth.
By Ash Percival
A rare beluga whale has apparently been seen swimming in the River Thames in Kent – and conservationists warn it could be “in trouble.”
The animal was first spotted by ornithologist Dave Andrews, who posted footage to Twitter.
“Can’t believe I’m writing this, no joke – BELUGA in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort,” he wrote.
— Dave Andrews (@iPterodroma) September 25, 2018
Andrews added that the whale appeared to be feeding around barges and had stayed in the same area for several hours.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue, which helps with rescues of stranded cetaceans and other marine animals, said they were sending their area coordinator down to the river to monitor the situation.
A spokeswoman for the organisation said it was a “very rare occurrence”, and urged people not to go out in boats to get a close look at the whale, but to watch it from the shore.
While the report of the animal prompted excitement on social media, conservationists warned that the beluga whale, normally found in the High Arctic, was lost and could be in trouble.
Danny Groves, from Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) said: “This is a High Arctic species thousands of miles from where it should be in Greenland, Svalbard or the Barents Sea, they are usually associated close to the ice.
“He or she is obviously very lost and quite possibly in trouble.”
He urged people to give the whale “space and minimise disturbance”.
Groves said it was not the first time a beluga has been spotted in UK waters in recent years.
“In the summer of 2015 two were spotted off the Northumberland coast and one in Northern Ireland,” he added.
In 2006, a whale died after it swum up the Thames into central London despite efforts to rescue the animal.
An RSPCA spokesman told HuffPost UK: “The RSPCA is aware of reports of a whale – possibly a beluga – in the Thames. We are working with other agencies to monitor the situation and ready to provide appropriate assistance if requested.”
According to the National Geographic, beluga whales are smallish, ranging from 13 to 20 feet in length. They are social and generally live together in small groups known as pods. Though common in the Arctic Ocean’s coastal waters, they are found in subarctic waters as well and migrate southward in large herds when the sea freezes over.
In the cool of September it may feel like a distant memory, but this summer’s deadly heat waves, forest fires and unbearable levels of pollution in our cities brought home once and for all the reality of the environmental crisis, and above all climate change.
If we continue on our current path, the UK is predicted to face a trebling of heat deaths by 2050.
The injustice of climate change is that its impacts are felt most acutely by working people. We understand that as with libraries, it is working people that benefit most when our common spaces flourish. It is also working people that are hit first when the air in our inner cities is polluted, or when flooding pushes up the price of food.
It cannot be right that the few who are profiting from climate change are shifting the consequences onto the many.
Climate change cannot, and will not, be tackled by relying on the actions of individuals or markets, however well intentioned. In the past, the role of government has been limited to adjusting price signals, with the hope that this will change the behaviour of consumers and business. It’s now clear that this isn’t working.
Climate change is an existential risk, and it needs radical and structural change to deal with it.
The UK has committed to reducing its emissions by 80% by 2050. Unsurprisingly, the Conservative government is not up to this job. They have failed to invest in our public transport, cut subsidies for renewable energy, created barriers to onshore wind and expanded fracking.
I know that if we are to meet the Paris Agreement and ensure a healthy environment that allows the economy and communities to flourish, the UK needs to go much further. This is why I was proud today to announce Labour’s plans to introduce a target for net zero emissions before 2050.
To put us on course to meet that target, Labour will ensure that 60% of the UK’s energy comes from low-carbon or renewable sources within twelve years of coming to power, and will invest in a publicly owned, flexible energy network capable of supporting a transition to decentralised renewable energy.
We have been working with an independent team of energy professionals and engineers whose early findings suggest that to meet our 2030 target, we will need something on the order of a seven-fold increase in offshore wind by 2030, a doubling of onshore wind and a tripling of solar power. That’s enough to power over 19million homes, and would be combined with a home insulation programme to cut energy demand and eliminate fuel poverty.
I look forward to working with colleagues over the coming months to set out how we can turn this radical vision into reality. Crucially, this transition won’t leave any workers behind. Our transition to net zero emissions will involve working closely with energy unions to ensure that we tackle climate change in a way that delivers good jobs.
The potential benefits of transitioning to a sustainable economy are enormous and we want to make sure these are shared by everyone.
The Labour movement has a long tradition of environmental protection, from the establishment of the national parks after the Second World War, through to the pioneering Climate Change Act. And it is a Labour government that is ready to step up today to reclaim our future and protect our planet.
Rebecca Long-Bailey is the Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary and Labour MP for Salford and Eccles
Riding a bike can be a speedy – and healthy – option for getting to the school gates on time, but students at one school in south London won’t be able to cycle in unless they’re using number plates.
Pupils at Stanley Park High School, a mixed, Government-funded school in Carshalton, will soon be issued with number plates that “must be displayed when riding to and from school” as part of a new registration scheme that will allow members of the public to report any irresponsible cycling by the children.
The school’s headteacher Amit Amin said the new scheme is in response to children cycling in a way that “endangers themselves and others”.
“Students without a number plate will not be permitted to cycle to school, or lock their bicycles on school grounds,” he wrote on the school’s website.
While the measure will make it easier for the public to report the children behaving badly on their bikes, it is part of a wider scheme being introduced on 1 October aimed at encouraging cycling, which includes subsidised bike lights and maintenance workshops.
“Our absolute priority is the safety of our students, and the aim of this initiative is simply to ensure their safety as they travel to and from school,” the school said in a statement.
Stanley Park High is not the first school to implement strict rules around pupils’ bike use. Students at some schools in Coventry, Surrey and St Albans have to adhere to guidelines about what they can wear while cycling, such as high visibility vests, and have been threatened with having their bikes confiscated if they contravene them.
But critics of the number plates scheme say it is an example of headteachers taking on responsibilities outside of their remit.
Charity Cycling UK says that putting restrictions on children cycling “could have a negative effect” on the number of them who choose to ride to school.
Duncan Dollimore, road safety and legal campaigns officer at the charity, questioned why the Carshalton school wanted to “make cycling to school more difficult”.
“They should be looking to make active journeys easier and more attractive. Worryingly, this behaviour seems to be part of a trend of headteachers trespassing on parental responsibilities,” he said.
He said that encouraging local authorities to adopt 20mph speed limits and traffic calming measures around schools would make cycling safer for children, “not number plates on bikes”.
Additional reporting by Press Association
By Daniel Welsh
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By Daniel Welsh
‘The Nightly Show’ Bosses Dealt Another Blow As Mel And Sue Talks Fall Through
Mel And Sue Hit Back At ‘The Generation Game’ Detractors, Ahead Of First Episode
Paul Hollywood Insists All Is Rosy Between Him And His ‘Dysfunctional Bake Off Family’