Let’s not stay silent

Claire, writing in The MJ, argues that while most of us will never have our lives threatened for our views, Cancel Culture can make cowards of us all… Public service is always impressive, a building block of democracy. It requires giving of yourself for the public good. In wake of the horrific murder of David … Read more

We need to move on

Writing in The MJ, Claire says vaccine passports for events would ‘cause immense harm, mainly to the fabric of society’ and it’s not clear if they would impact on virus spread… In a packed beer garden last week, I was surrounded by five hen parties. For once I was happy to have my sedate drink … Read more

Why choice is crucial

Writing in The MJ, Claire worries that making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for those working in a Care Quality Commission-registered care home in England is illiberal… When the Government recently announced that it is to make COVID vaccination a condition of employment for anyone working in a Care Quality Commission-registered care home in England, I was … Read more

Lockdown lessons

The chasm between the rule-makers and the ruled has been viscerally brought to life by differing attitudes to and experiences of lockdown restrictions, argues Claire in The MJ… There’s a lot to say on the Batley and Spen by-election; according to locals, the Matt Hancock saga was significant. Some traditional Tory voters were so outraged … Read more

Solidarity in a climate of fear

In the aftermath of a recent religious scandal involving a schoolteacher, Claire Fox, writing in The MJ, salutes the binmen who, she believes, have shown up how a climate of fear can make cowards of leaders – and threaten our democratic core values… Three cheers for the binmen. And not just because they have continued … Read more

Time to cut ties with the pandemic power grab

As the restrictions of the latest lockdown are eased, Claire asks whether councils are clinging to their new powers to override democracy, in her column for The MJ… Whether you think lockdown legislation was disproportionate or totally necessary, we can all agree that individual freedoms and rights have been suspended. Yet despite COVID restrictions slowly … Read more

In support of women’s refuges

Writing in The MJ, Claire warns that proposed legislation to help councils protect women facing domestic violence could end up with unintended consequences… The brutal and tragic murder of Sarah Everard has started a national conversation on violence against women. Some of this seems overblown and teeters on scaremongering. I do not recognise this picture … Read more

It’s time for councils to step up and give a lead on care home visiting

Writing in The MJ, Claire argues that the rapid rollout of covid vaccines shows what is possible when unnecessary bureaucracy is stripped away… One common argument given by for vaccine hesitancy is: how could the jabs be developed so quickly? In response, officialdom has been forced to admit that one key reason it’s been possible … Read more

Councils are the counterbalance

Local councils play a crucial democratic role pushing back against central diktats but they should remember that citizens need more than money to get through the COVID challenge, writes Claire in The MJ. “…shutting down society for long periods does far more damage than killing small businesses and hospitality outlets. What is lost is community, … Read more

Balancing the risks

Councils should ‘stop shaping all policies based on counting COVID cases and need to start balancing risks across a broader spectrum’, writes Claire Fox in the Municipal Journal It’s the first anniversary of my mother’s death. She died last October, aged 92. I spent hours with her the day before she died, in a nursing … Read more