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The US it now seems will have a new president on the 20th January next year.

The petulance of Mr Trump is now fading and the vacillating support of Republican lawmakers and state governors is evaporating by the minute.

The last echo of this odd saga will once again be heard only in the fevored imaginings of the press and media.

The UK too it seems now has a new leader. Dramatic events over the last week are not confined to the dizzy heights of ‘The Hill’ in Washington DC but have occurred in the usually more sedate setting of 10 Downing Street.

The hardcore Brexiteers are on their way out, coincidentally — we can all be sure, with the departure of President Trump.

Two of the architects and driving forces behind the Brexit saga are also departing into what is unlikely to be political oblivion, but gone from number 10 they will be and it was not Boris that saw them off.

On both sides of the Atlantic the scourges of the liberal elite are in retreat again.

As President Trump drifts off into no doubt noisy retirement, here in the UK two of Boris Johnson’s advisors are being prized out of the corridors of power.

What is fundamentally different of course is the mechanism by which the three will be leaving.

Trump’s departure is by way of an election, not a normal election we would all agree but by a democratic process nonetheless.

He was voted in four years ago and he has just been voted out. For all the extraordinary song and dance about election fraud and voter suppression, conspiracy theories and deep states, the reality is he simply lost the election and the populist in chief will finish his term in traditional lame-duck fashion.

Back on this side of the pond, the departure of the populists is more nuanced, to use a word dearly loved by the press.

The two individuals here have never stood in an election, let alone won the popular mandate. Neither Lee Cain nor Dominic Cummings ever stood front and centre for the voter to make a choice about them, or we almost certainly would have never heard of them.

The PM’s advisors shunned the limelight for the real corridors of power, that of the grey eminence of the special advisor. Unelected, unaccountable and in many cases downright unacceptable in a democracy.

For well over a year now our press and interested members of the public have complained bitterly about the power of advisors and wailed about the undermining of democracy by the dark arts of people like Mr Cummings and Mr Cain.

Parliamentarians and political commentators too have ceaselessly criticised the machinations of advisors and their threat to democracy.

How wrong they have all been, how astoundingly ill-informed they have been. Since the referendum campaign began, since the Brexit vote was cast, these advisors have been seen as all powerful and untouchable.

Vast effort has been made by politicians and press alike to cause their downfall… all to no avail. Yet now they have fallen, not at the will of the voter, as Mr Trump did by by something all the more fundamental.

It seems that our PM, long seen as a member of the President Trump appreciation society, has been usurped too. Not by an election, not by a rebellion on the back benches, not even undermined by the Supreme Court or the House of Lords.

No, he has fallen at the whim of his fiancé in alliance with the PM’s new press secretary Allegra Stratton. It is they who have seen off Mr Cain and Mr Cummings where so many before had failed.

There will no doubt be many in the press and among the chattering classes who will be celebrating the demise of the PM’s controversial advisors.

The fall of Mr Cummings, a particularly disliked individual will no doubt at all be seen as a cause for good cheer. However, we should pause for thought before we crack open the champagne.

What kind of a system of government do we have where two unelected individuals whose influence extended far beyond that which is healthy in a democracy are apparently displaced by other unelected individuals, one of which holds no office or appointment of state at all?

In the last few weeks we have been told America’s democracy is in crisis. Democracy has in the United States however prevailed. It is now time we really need to take a very long look at ours.

Barry Turner is Senior Lecturer in Media Law and Public Administration at the University of Lincoln.

It has now been seven months since the start of lockdown and certainly the business world has experienced many changes in terms of responding to, and getting to grips with, the impact of the pandemic.  

The way we work, where we work, when we work and even the type of work we do has changed for most of us, if not all.

As is often the case with such significant changes and circumstances, it is not untypical for new words and phrases to come to the fore as we look to be able to communicate with each other on and around the situation.

Over the last few months or so there have been a number of words and phrases bandied about, some perhaps new words and some words and phrases that have gained increased use or used in a new context.

The following 10 words or phrases are the ones that seem to have had wider use and perhaps some of these provide a little light relief:

  1. Unprecedented – How many meetings or discussions are including this word and the use of the word ‘times’ to follow as we try to understand and assess the situation we are in and the conditions we face.  
  1. New norm – in a world turned seemingly upside down and with our pre-lockdown sense of the norm and routine gone, we are all trying to define and even shape what normal now is and looks like. Most of us want some sense of order, routine, processes and structure so that we can function and have a sense of purpose.
  1. You’re on mute – whilst the likes of Zoom, MS Teams and google hangouts existed pre lockdown the norm was still to have in person meetings, perhaps with the occasional virtual one. Virtual meetings though have given rise to its own language and typical behaviours. It would be interesting to know how many times someone has said ‘you’re on mute’ as someone attempts to re-enact a silent movie without the subtitles.
  1. Sorry I am late I had trouble connecting – with our roads less busy, stuck in traffic is unlikely to be something you hear from someone late for a meeting. It now seems either as a genuine or less so excuse we seem to blame our connectivity or this has become an acceptable excuse.
  1. Pivot – whilst some businesses may have considered the need to respond to lasting change brought about by the pandemic, others have been more focused on short-term survival. In doing so they have chosen to ‘pivot’ their business looking at business models or practices conducive to survival.  According to the Harvard Business Review, pivoting is a lateral move that creates enough value for the customer and the firm to share.
  1. Repurpose – whilst sounding like a word you might here in a spoof business comedy as some form of management speak, many business leaders and managers have had to either look for alternative markets for their goods or services or look to different business models and processes. The skills and role of those able to repurpose are likely to be in demand for some time – perhaps with businesses even looking to appoint Repurposing Officers (ROs).
  1. Blursday – a new made up word being used to describe the situation when lockdown and working from home has got to the point that you have no real idea what day it is, even that you didn’t realise it is a non-working day.
  1. Quranteams – a term being used to describe your virtual work bubble – we do like to have a name for everything.
  1. Worklife blend/balance – even before lockdown greater consideration was being given by individuals to their work-life balance. Though for those working and perhaps surprisingly those furloughed, greater consideration and importance is being placed on one’s worklife balance, wellbeing and mental health.
  1. Embracing technology – whilst technology, its use and application has accelerated the pace of change it has never been as fast as it has been since lockdown. The term embrace technology has possibly been used to describe the situation where we all, whether in our work, personal or family life, have had to get to grips with and use more technological applications. For some this may have been easier than for others, however it has highlighted issues around skills and proficiency and the need for training, support and investment.

No doubt more words and phrases will come to the fore over the coming months, some will be lasting in terms of vocabulary and some new words may even make the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. 

James Pinchbeck is Marketing Partner at Streets Chartered Accountants, a top 40 UK accountancy practice. James, as a specialist in marketing professional services, is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm's strategic marketing as well as its engagement in the community it which it works and serves. His role allows him to capitalise on his broad interest in the national and local economy as well as his passion for enterprise. As part of his wider interest in enterprise, marketing and education, James is a board member of NBV – the East Midlands Enterprise Agency, an FE College Governor and a board member of the University of Lincoln’s Business School. He is also an Institute of Director’s past Branch Chairman.

We know that many people have been struggling recently with their mental health and may have also found gaining or retaining paid employment difficult.

In fact, 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental ill health in their lifetime and this can significantly affect their work and personal lives.

Maintaining a rewarding job and having a supportive employer can make a real difference in improving mental wellbeing, and that’s why our Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Service is here to help.

Working as the Occupational Therapy Vocational Lead and Service Development Manager at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has allowed me to lead the IPS team in supporting people with mental health problems to find and retain paid employment.

We accept referrals from the adult Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), the Early Intervention in Psychosis team, and from consultants within adult CMHTs who see outpatients.

Individuals who express an interest in paid employment will be matched with one of our Employment Specialists, who will then provide personalised support and guidance to find them an appropriate role.

We are passionate about helping others to find the ‘right’ work as this can help someone to develop social networks, build self-esteem, gain purpose in their day, develop new skills, improve their financial situation, and increase physical and mental activity.

So far this year, the team have been successful in placing over 60 service users in paid employment.

This includes Brian, who successfully joined LPFT as a peer support worker within the Louth adult CMHT in August 2019.

He has since obtained a place on the mental health nursing course at the University of Lincoln and is excited to start this October.

Brian had previously been unemployed for over 15 years due to illness and felt anxious about looking for jobs and returning to work.

Michelle from the IPS Employment Service helped with CVs, applications, interview preparation, reducing anxiety, building confidence, and providing general support.

Without the help of the IPS team, Brian said he would never have had the confidence to start his new career and added that his mental health is the best it has ever been.

We are thrilled for Brian and would like to say that it is never too late to build your skills and pursue your passions in a new role.

During the pandemic, our team have had to adapt to new ways of working and be creative to ensure that the people who access our service still receive support that meets their needs.

Our service continues to work closely with local employers across Lincolnshire to find suitable employment opportunities, which is a crucial part of the work that we do.

We are currently searching for more businesses to engage with us so that we can continue to help the people that we support, in addition to the local economy and employers themselves.

Employers using our service have benefited from finding new dedicated employees who have been expertly matched to the role by our team.

We also provide advice to these businesses, educate about mental health conditions, and explore the reasonable adjustments that may be required to aid individuals in their new positions.

If you are an employer with vacancies in the county and would like to be involved or find out more, please contact the IPS Employment Service via Sara at [email protected] or visit our website at www.lpft.nhs.uk/thinking-about-work.

Sara is the Occupational Therapy Vocational Lead and Service Development Manager at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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