At some point during the last 10 years or so, the idea that everything that can be taken for free has become widely accepted. The most intriguing thing about the 2009 parliamentary expenses scandal was not the relaxed set of regulations governing the expenses process, but rather the widespread assumption by MPs that if it was possible to put in a claim for something it would be fit and proper to do so – the morality of the claim itself being a moot point.
Six years ago, the BBC ran an extensive campaign to promote its brand. Unlike those of other broadcasters, the budget of this project wasn’t blown on paying C-list celebrities to stand in front of a camera and beg viewers to watch programmes.
The Daily Mail have printed yet another horror story. This time it involves sex, parents and children too. Any headline containing these three subjects might sound sinister, but this one is not. “A third of Swedish mothers admit to having sex while their babies are in the SAME bed” read the headline.
Next year will be crucial for the UK’s international development policy. With the UK in the G8 chair and David Cameron co-chairing a UN committee that will oversee the setting of new global development goals, the UK once again has an opportunity to shape international action against poverty.
After plans to scrap the GCSE were leaked to the Daily Mail last week, I tweeted: “Can anyone anywhere tell me why it’s massively right wing to believe in an academically rigorous education for the poorest students? #Gove”.
There is a story retold by historian, Robert Darnton, about a series of ritualistic murders of cats in the printers’ district of pre-revolutionary Paris that shocked and horrified its residents. It turned out that the cats were killed by the apprentices as revenge for the ill treatment, low pay and little chance of career advancement at the hands of their masters and their masters’ wives.
45 years ago this week, an innovation which brought the British banking industry into the modern age was installed in Enfield, north London – the cash machine. Truly innovative for its time, the ATM was the brainchild of one man, John Shepherd-Barron, after a brainwave when noticing how technology behind vending machines could be applied to banking.
As disgusting as it is to say this, in our ‘consumer capitalist’ society, advertising is everywhere. And so often the job falls to those most recognisable.
In the first of a series of blogs this week looking at the politics of class, Alastair Campbell discusses Laura Wade’s Posh. The play, which, if any comparisons with the notoriously elite Bullingdon Club are drawn (of which Conservative trio David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson were all members) opens a more disturbing concern than our political leaders not knowing the price of milk. Last year the Prime Minister denied that there were similarities between the club he was famously a member of, and the destructive behaviour witnessed in the summer riots.
These were the astonishing words uttered by Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai in an interview recently in which he outlined the Israeli government’s view of African migrants.
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