This is the first of what will be a weekly round-up of news stories, for which I will offer cheers or jeers (and sometimes even tears). The concept is a straightforward one - I hope you enjoy it!
Cheers to Lib Dems Zuffar Haq and Molly Rennie – not for receiving an MBE but for the decades of service for which they have rightly been recognised.
Cheers to Neville Southall, the former Everton goalkeeper who has been on twitter helping people with mental health-related problems feel better about themselves over the festive period – and working to raise awareness of mental health generally. Well done, Neville!
Cheers to Captain Lou Rudd, who has just become the first Britain to walk across Antarctica solo. And all to honour his friend’s memory.
Cheers to everyone in the last week who has helped homeless people at what is often a very difficult time of year. So much positive work goes on and we don’t always hear about it – so here’s a HUGE thank you from a former homeless person.
Jeers to the Home Office, which this week told 3million EU citizens living in the UK that they will have to apply for settled status by December 2020. Stella Creasy is absolutely correct, it’s a “pay to stay” policy.
Jeers to Gavin Williamson, who feels Brexit should be an opportunity to pursue some kind of fantasy neo-colonial vanity project.
Jeers to the Prime Minister for cynically nominating John Redwood for a knighthood. The honours system has been unfit-for-purpose for decades, but this particular nomination questions its very integrity.
Jeers to Fiona Onasanya MP, who used her column in the Peterborough Telegraph to issue a defiant statement immediately following her conviction for perverting the course of justice. Her constituents deserve better than this serial dishonesty. Some self-awareness, humility and perhaps even an apology would have been more fitting than a hypocritical promise to “fight against injustice”.
Tears for June Whitfield, the immensely gifted comedy actor who died this week, aged 93. Thank you for the memories, June.
Tears also for Georges Loinger, whose heroism saved hundreds of Jewish children during World War II. He too died this week, aged 108.