Tag Archives: economy

Regional pay: how to increase the North-South divide and weaken the ConDem coalition?

As anticipated following Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has now declared that ‘regional’ pay for health workers is on the agenda. Needless to say, those in the South-East will earn more under this arrangement than colleagues further North.  … Continue reading

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Britain’s railways are the worst in Europe for fares, efficiency and comfort.

Britain’s railways have been judged worst for fares, efficiency and comfort in a study of rail services in Europe.    It is estimated that the social, economic and environmental benefits of achieving a modal shift from road to rail – in terms of reduced … Continue reading

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The Economist: On one page, Havel and the Dalai Lama; on the next, Gingrich, Paul and Romney

The final Economist magazine of 2011 provokes complex responses for many, I’d think.  Pages 27-29 offer a painstaking obituary of the former Czech President, Vaclav Havel (1936-2011).  The following pages, 30-31, provide an analysis of the US presidential prospects of Republican … Continue reading

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Zeroing the deficit zoom, zoom: essentially a grim vanity project?

Is the frenetic rush to reduce the deficit in reality more about the Chancellor’s ego, than about the UK economy? It doesn’t take a great economist to see that when people don’t have a job, other working people are also vulnerable to unemployment.  … Continue reading

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A century so far: will the need for International Women’s Day ever be past?

Today is the one hundredth International Women’s Day.  Whilst I can’t speak for the first half of the past century, I recall fairly clearly most of the second half. And strangely – given that my early years were of necessity geographically … Continue reading

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Inside Job – the film we (and George Osborne) really, really need to study

We went to see the film Inside Job this evening.  A hit at the Cannes Film Festival last year, it was also an Academy nominee for the Best Documentary in 2010. Written and produced by Charles Ferguson, this film demonstrates beyond doubt that the 2008 meltdown … Continue reading

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Shifting state debt onto the most vulnerable is the ConDem way

What will it take for the LibDems to say enough? We learnt yesterday that the Coalition Government has decided it will no longer support the Financial Inclusion Fund and other services offering debt advice and help, all at a time when … Continue reading

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Rough sleeping? It’s all the Councils’ faults.

Today (25 January 2011) sees a Response column in The Guardian by Grant Shapps, Minister for Housing, in which he dismisses Patrick Butler’s prediction that ‘savage cuts will leave people sleeping rough on the streets‘. Shapps proclaims that the Tory-led … Continue reading

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Patronising paternalism about parental leave

Two articles in today’s Times (18 January 2011) remind me yet again why there is so far still for women in the UK to go.   In one article, ‘Extra paternity pay is needed to free women, says Clegg’, we learn … Continue reading

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In fear of livelihoods; or only of luncheon? Some inequalities do justify shroud-waving

‘Some of us are in fear of our livelihoods; others only of our luncheon.’ Thus, with beguiling directness, wrote Matthew Parris in his Times article yesterday (1 January 2011:  ‘Don’t kid yourselves. There must be victims’). ‘We are not … … Continue reading

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