Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 29 March 2023


Record low NHS satisfaction

Public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to a record low. The latest British Social Attitudes survey found that just 29% said they were satisfied with the NHS in 2022, seven percentage points down on last year and a drop from the 2010-high of 70%. After a winter of unprecedented strikes in the NHS, waiting times and staff shortages were the biggest concerns among the public. Responding to the findings, Healthwatch said “the public is clear that they support the principles of the NHS” and “services need to work hand in hand with people to create a healthcare system that is…designed around patients’ needs”.

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‘Unique’ O’Grady dies at 67

The broadcaster and comedian Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67, his partner Andre Portasio has said. In a statement, he said the star died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening. In a career that spanned more than three decades, he hosted The Paul O’Grady Show, Blind Date and For The Love Of Dogs. He also hosted a number of shows, including Blankety Blank, in his drag queen persona of Lily Savage. His long-time radio producer Malcolm Prince posted on Twitter that “we have lost a unique talent – and I’ve lost a dear friend”.


Migrants ‘to be moved to barge’

Migrants will be moved from hotels to an “accommodation barge” under government plans to deter people from coming to the UK. Ministers have acquired a barge capable of holding hundreds of people. It is thought it will be moored in a port rather than at sea. The Home Office intends the barges to be a “deterrent, not a magnet”, said The Sun, while The Times said the barge is “of a kind usually used for offshore construction projects” and it is “unclear how the government would deal with matters such as the safety of those on board”. Alongside this, the immigration minister is expected to confirm plans to transfer about 3,000 migrants from hotels to RAF bases.

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Guardian sorry for slave links

The Guardian said that its owner, the Scott Trust, has apologised for the role the newspaper’s founders had in the transatlantic slave trade. The Trust said it will invest millions of pounds into a decade-long programme of restorative justice after academic research revealed John Edward Taylor, who founded the Guardian in 1821, had links to cotton plantations through the textile industry. The newspaper is “facing up to, and apologising for, the fact that its first editor drew his wealth from a practice that was a crime against humanity”, said editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner.


Will Pence testify against Trump?

Mike Pence will be forced to testify before a grand jury on Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The sealed ruling from a US district judge on Tuesday sets up the “unprecedented scenario” of a former vice president being “compelled to give potentially damaging testimony against the president he once served”, said The Telegraph. Pence, 63, is also “inching closer” to announcing a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, which would put him in “direct competition with his former boss”.

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Amsterdam tells Brits to stay away

Amsterdam has launched a “stay away” ad campaign targeting young British men. The Dutch city council’s digital discouragement campaign, which targets men aged 18 to 35 in the UK, shows young men staggering in the street, handcuffed by police, finger-printed and having their mugshots taken. “For years people have complained of drunken Brits urinating in public, throwing up in canals, stripping off and engaging in drunken brawls,” said the BBC. However, critics said the targeted ad campaigns are based on unfair stereotypes.


Harry ‘concerned’ by Mail group

Prince Harry said is “deeply concerned” by the “unchecked power, influence and criminality” of the Mail newspapers. In a witness statement, disclosed as part of his privacy case against Associated Newspapers, he said: “I am bringing this claim because I love my country.” The Duke and six other claimants, including Elton John and Baroness Doreen Lawrence – the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence – claim their personal information was obtained illegally and used as material for Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday stories.

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Adidas objects to BLM logo

Adidas has asked authorities in the US to block an application for a Black Lives Matter trademark featuring three parallel stripes because the public could think products featuring the Black Lives Matter design were connected to Adidas or came from the same source. In documents filed this week, the German sportswear retailer said it has used its three stripe logo from as early as 1952, and that the design has since gained “international fame and tremendous public recognition”.


King Charles to visit Germany

King Charles and the Queen Consort Camilla arrive in Germany today for a three-day visit. It’s “second time lucky” for the King’s first overseas state visit, said the BBC, after riots in France meant it “became impossible for President Macron to host King Charles at Versailles, with the prospect of angry protesters outside the gates”. Meanwhile, the first portrait of King Charles since he took the throne has been revealed. Painted in oils by artist Alastair Barford, it portrays His Majesty wearing a blue suit, white shirt, pink tie and pocket square.

King Charles’s France visit postponed after pensions protests


Obama says Murdoch ‘polarises’ society

Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets have led to greater polarisation in western societies through news coverage designed to “make people angry and resentful”, said Barak Obama. Speaking about polarisation to an audience in Australia, he said: “This is global, this is not unique to the United States, and that is the shifts in the media and the story that is told to people.” He added that “there’s a guy you may be familiar with, first name Rupert, who was responsible for a lot of this”.



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