On 30 June 2020 Compassion in Politics hosted a discussion for parliamentarians on why we need to put public health and wellbeing at the centre of the government's Covid recovery plan and how exactly that can be done.
We were delighted to be joined for the event by fantastic panellists:
- Dr Daisy Fancourt, University College, London
- Lord Layard, LSE
- Louise Aston, Business in the Community
- Dawn Austwick OBE, National Lottery Community Fund
- Prof Michael Marmot, University College, London
Below you can see clips of each of the speakers as well as a recording of the event in full.
(Image shown above is not of a hotel used in the scheme)
Following a campaign by Compassion in Politics and Southall Black Sisters (SBS) the Mayor of London has agreed to open up 82 hotel rooms in London for domestic abuse survivors who would otherwise be trapped indoors with an abuser.
Compassion in Politics and SBS had called on the government to make hotel rooms available nationally but their response was to increase funding for domestic abuse charities. The two organisations have argued that this money, while welcome, is not what is needed right now - safe spaces for those who might be trapped indoors with an abuser.
Evidence from across the world has shown that domestic abuse rates increase during a lockdown and it was for this reason that the campaign was launched by Compassion in Politics and SBS at the start of the lockdown measures in the UK.
While both organisations are disappointed that a national solution has not yet been found, we are both very pleased that 82 rooms are being made available in London. They will continue to campaign together for more regional schemes like London's to be created even as lockdown is gradually lifted.
You can read more about the scheme here. Anyone in London who needs to access these rooms should contact the national domestic abuse hotline on 0808 200 0247.
Together with the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Climate Change and Renewable Energy we hosted a panel discussion for parliamentarians looking at how we can build back better after Covid. On the panel was:
- Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology at University College, London
- Sir David King, former Chief Scientist to the government and profess at the University of Cambridge
- Professor Mariana Mazzucato, professor in economics at University College, London
- Professor Tim Jackson, professor in sustainable development at the University of Surrey
The discussion was chaired by the Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy and covered three main questions: what are the prospects for recovery, is the debt from Covid sustainable, and how do we build a better future?
Below are the highlights from each of those questions.
What are the prospects for a healthy recovery?
- Sir Michael Marmot on how existing inequalities have determined who is most affected by Covid
- Professor Tim Jackson on the lessons we can learn from the 2008 crash
- Professor Mariana Mazzucato on why we need to change government approaches to handling crises
- Sir David King on the predictability of Covid
Is the debt from dealing with Covid sustainable?
- Professor Mariana Mazzucato on why we shouldn't be talking about numbers but about purpose
- Professor Tim Jackson on why there are many ways the government can continue to pay for the cost of dealing with the crisis
- Sir Michael Marmot on what the crisis is teaching us about what we really value
How do we build a healthier, happier society?
- Sir David King on why the recovery must put climate front and centre
- Professor Tim Jackson on why we need a much broader definition of "green" jobs
- Professor Mariana Mazzucato on how governments can use their resources to improve people's lives
- Sir Michael Marmot on the indicators he would prefer the government used
You can also watch the full video here:
Video highlights from our panel discussion with Sir Michael Marmot, Baroness Brown, Professor Carol Propper, George Ferguson CBE, and Dr Ewan McGaughey on how we move from a war-footing to improving public wellbeing.
Doctors and nurses are held to a very strict code of honesty and transparency. Should our politicians be subject to the same standards?
- Sir Michael Marmot on how we could revolutionise politics overnight with a new cultural standard in politics.
- Dr Ewan McGaughey on how we can make politicians act honestly.
- Dr Carol Propper on the problems of lobbying
- George Ferguson CBE on why he is hopeful positive change can come despite the Covid-19.
What have we learned from this crisis and how do we avoid returning to business as usual? How will the government afford to make investments in dealing with climate breakdown?
- Baroness Brown on the policies that need to be at the centre of the recovery
- Sir Michael Marmot on why improving health and tackling climate breakdown go hand in hand
- Dr Ewan McGaughey on the changes we have to make to our financial system
- George Ferguson CBE on how we can implement a revolution in food production
How should we be measuring economic “progress”?
- Baroness Brown on the need to embed the principle of fairness in the economy
- Sir Michael Marmot on why we should measure health, not GDP as a marker of success
- Dr Ewan McGaughey on alternatives to GDP
Hotels and over 30 charities have issued a joint call on the government to help women and children escape domestic abuse as the latest statistics suggest the rates of abuse are rising.
It comes after Women’s Aid reported a 41% increase in users visiting its Live Chat between 26 March and 1 April compared to the previous week, as well as a marked increase in visitors across all its digital support services .
MPs Jess Phillips and Carolyn Harris and 33 women’s rights organisations have written to major hotel chains asking them to offer their beds to women fleeing domestic abusers who would otherwise be trapped with them during the Coronavirus lockdown.