Marcus Smith orchestrates Harlequins' dismantling of Wasps

Wasps 17-49 HarlequinsQuins get season back on track with six tries

Harlequins threw off the shackles to begin life after Paul Gustard with a thumping six-try win over Wasps and breathe new life into their season.

Inspired by the fly-half Marcus Smith, who finished with 17 points, the visitors ruthlessly dismantled last season’s finalists in a manner that left you wondering why they cannot perform like this every week.

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We need to show voters what we stand for – and that Labour is on their side | Angela Rayner
My party should learn the lessons of last week’s elections and reconnect with the people it was founded to fight forLabour has ‘talked down to voters for too long’, says Angela RaynerThere’s no getting away from the need to learn the lessons of last Thursday’s elections. As the dust settles, it’s clear that sitting governments in Wales, Scotland and England received a boost and there are undoubtedly other significant factors at play – the vaccine bounce has helped the Tories in England, and former Brexit party voters were decisive in many of Labour’s losses.There was good news too, though. The Welsh Labour government was handed a renewed, increased mandate. Across England, of the 13 mayoral elections, Labour won 11, including two gains in the former Tory strongholds of West of England and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.As a party, we must learn from both our challenges and successes to turn this situation around, so that people feel we speak for them again, and trust us with their votes. That is the lesson from places like Wales, where the first minister, Mark Drakeford, set out policies that will transform people’s lives – like a pay rise for care workers and a guarantee of work, education or training for all under-25s. That is the lesson from Greater Manchester, where Andy Burnham showed the difference that Labour makes in power: he connected with people and showed that he was on their side.Politics is not about the language of parliament or party processes. We need to show those who have lost faith what we stand for that we are on their side and that we will stand up for them.We will show the difference between Labour and the Tories when it comes to the economy. That means jobs, opportunities, pay and rights at work. This is not about tweaking a failing system, but changing it so that it works for working people. As a starting principle this means a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and good, well-paid jobs in every community.Over the past few decades, in large parts of the country, the jobs that you can raise a family on and that provide a sense of identity and dignity have been replaced by insecure, zero-hours and agency work that offer only poverty wages and the exploitation and mistreatment of workers to squeeze out every last penny of profit. Labour is, and always will be, the party of workers and our trade union movement. For us, the future of work will mean shifting the balance back towards working people, ending fire and rehire and building an economy out of this crisis that works for everyone, not just Tory donors or the health secretary’s pub landlord.The recent scandals are not just about ministers’ mates. They go directly back to the bigger scandal of taxpayers’ cash wasted by outsourcing. So the difference between Labour and the Tories is also about our public services being run by the public sector – and in the public interest. Continue reading...
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The Guardian view on Super Thursday: Boris Johnson is unmaking a nation | Editorial
The prime minister prefers to centralise power rather than give it away. That is bad news for BritainNations are not born; they are made. Whether nations last is entirely up to the people who manufactured them. This provides one important reason to pay attention to the results of last week’s “Super Thursday” elections. In Scotland, the Scottish National party, which has been in power for 14 years, increased its representation in Holyrood. In Wales, Labour upped its vote share by 4% this year, having won 27 general election victories in a row and triumphed six times in devolved polls. Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford will remain first minister of their respective nations.Boris Johnson’s first response was the right one: to ask the two leaders to work with him. Had he refused to make direct contact, the prime minister would have looked like he could not come to terms with his opponents’ success. As the political scientist Roger Awan-Scully has pointed out, Welsh Labour campaigned for more powers. Mr Drakeford wants to embed the devolution settlement so it cannot be “pulled back by the whim of a prime minister”. Compromise should be possible. But Mr Johnson prefers to centralise power rather than give it away. Continue reading...
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The Guardian view on early years education: England’s toddlers need attention | Editorial
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