Which?’s campaign for greater protection for passengers

I support @WhichUK’s call on the UK government to clarify the rights of passengers whose holidays have been affected by coronavirus. The protections linked to refund credit notes must be clear so that passengers are confident their money is protected. #RefundPassengers  


Greenock Telegraph 19th June 2020

Brave New World

My favourite book is Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. It is a savage critique of the fallacy of a man made, genetically controlled perfect society. The reason the book works is that Huxley has created a world without worry. It subtly seduces the reader with the idea of a comfortable stress-free existence where everyone conforms and “everyone is happy now”. And let’s be honest in real life individuals can be really annoying. Covid19 has highlighted this. New rules have been created to help us all get through a health pandemic and yet some folk will not conform. This ranges from senior government advisers and ministers exuding the superior than thou attitude that they can interpret rules to suit their needs, to folk ignoring distancing, refusing to wear a mask, visiting family and friends when it is inappropriate and generally picking and choosing their version of what they can do with no respect for others.

But just as in the book, individuality is crucial to us as human beings. If you remove choice, then we are all poorer. There will always be people who abuse their rights as an individual and transform that into a selfish disregard for everyone else’s feelings. But if we allow those people to push us into a society where conformity is everything then we all lose. Individuality and all the complexities and frustrations that entails used responsibly and mixed with a compassion for the common good will stand us in good stead through this crisis, and after it, when we adjust to the new normal. A normal where we respect individuality within a new society where we need to respect each other’s space.

APPG on Gambling Related Harm report

A new report by a cross-party group of MPs is published.

The expansive report outlines a number of recommendations for the UK government to consider, including:

  • Introduce a £2 stake limit online
  • Ban all gambling advertising – as was the case pre-2005
  • Ban VIP schemes
  • A complete overhaul of gambling regulation in the UK

Due to the staggering inaction of this hapless Tory government at Westminster, the gambling industry has grown exponentially while individuals’ lives have been ruined.

The UK government cannot continue to ignore a problem that is multiplying right under its nose. The Gambling Commission is not fit for purpose – it’s time for decisive action to be taken before more families are torn apart by the scourge of gambling-related harm.

It’s astonishing to think that since the ban was lifted in 2005, we have become desensitized to the overwhelming amount of advertisement by gambling across all mediums.

This report is the wake-up call that the Tories need. Rather than pandering to the multi-million pound industry, Westminster must finally put people before profit and act now.

Click to access Online-report-Final-June-16-2020.pdf

Written question – Finance [11/06/2020]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support his Department is providing to people who require access to offline or face-to-face banking during the covid-19 outbreak. (55083)

Tabled on: 05 June 2020

John Glen:

Banks, building societies, the Post Office and credit unions are working closely with the Treasury and the financial regulators to maintain branch access for essential services while balancing the needs of their customers with the safety and welfare of staff. The vast majority of branches are open, though many are open for reduced hours.

Banks, building societies and credit unions are keeping their websites up to date and we would encourage customers, wherever possible, to use online services for their banking. If customers are not able to use online forms of banking, they may choose to use telephone banking rather than using a branch. The Government advises any customer who has questions or concerns about their banking to contact their provider.

Bank customers can also use the Post Office for essential banking services as an alternative to their branch and can continue to use ATMs or cash machines as normal for cash withdrawals and balance enquiries. Furthermore, several retail banks have in place solutions for vulnerable customers who may be self-isolating, including making payments through a trusted person.

Furthermore, several retail banks have in place solutions for vulnerable customers who may be self-isolating, including making payments through a trusted person.

The answer was submitted on 11 Jun 2020 at 11:47.