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The Covid-19 Pandemic: An Outline for a Public Inquiry

Public opinion polls show that all over the world, governments in the early months of the pandemic enjoyed an increase in their popularity. This happened in the UK with Boris Johnson. In April 2020 Johnson had an approval rating of 66% (it had only been 42% in January 2020). The reason for this that in a crisis people want to believe that their government can protect them. For example, Neville Chamberlain was prime minister on the outbreak of the Second World War. Although the war was the result of his failed foreign policy, public opinion polls in September 1939 showed that Chamberlain's popularity was 55 per cent. By December it had increased to 68 per cent. When it became clear in the early months of 1940 that he was not up to the job, his approval rating declined dramatically and he was forced to resign in May 1940.

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John Simkin

In September, 1997, Spartacus Educational founder and managing director John Simkin became the first educational publisher in Britain to establish a website that was willing to provide teachers and students with free educational materials.

According to a survey carried out by the Fischer Trust, Spartacus Educational is one of the top three websites used by history teachers and students in Britain (the other two are BBC History and the Public Record Office’s Learning Curve). The Spartacus Educational website currently gets up to 7 million page impressions a month and 3 million unique visitors.

As well as running the Spartacus Educational website John Simkin has also produced material for the Electronic Telegraph, the European Virtual School and the Guardian's educational website, Learn. He was also a member of the European History E-Learning Project (E-Help), a project to encourage and improve use of ICT and the internet in classrooms across the continent.

We have published six e-books, Charles Dickens: A Biography (October, 2012), First World War Encyclopedia (October, 2012), Assassination of John F. Kennedy Encyclopedia (November, 2012), Gandhi: A Biography (December, 2012), The Spanish Civil War (December, 2012) and The American Civil War (December, 2012). He also contributed an article to the recently published book, Using New Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Learning in History (December, 2012).

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