Free counter and web stats


..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This promises to be a hard winter to come..
One in four households and nearly 12 million people will officially fall into fuel poverty after British Gas said that it would increase domestic energy prices by 18 per cent, or an average of £180 a year..
With the rest of the energy supply industry looking certain to follow British Gas.. and the 19 per cent rise announced by ScottishPower last month.. Consumer Focus, the industry watchdog, said that millions more would struggle to pay their bills this winter..
The hike by British Gas means that 9.3 million customers will be paying on average an extra £116 a year for their gas.. and 6.6 million electricity customers will be paying £64 more for their electricity.. at £465..
Those who are on dual fuel with the company and pay by monthly direct debit will on average pay £1,209 per year. That makes British Gas, for now, the most expensive supplier in the land.. even ahead of ScottishPower. Family households will be paying significantly more than the average..
Not good news.. it's going to have a significant effect on this faltering economy..
And again, those who'll be effected the most, will be those on fixed incomes..
One mus wonder, how many years it's going to be, before we see a light at the end of the tunnel..

The news from Washington's what only be called 'dire'..
The job market is defying history..
A dismal June employment report shows that employers are adding nowhere near as many jobs as they normally do this long after a recession has ended..
Unemployment has climbed for three straight months, and is now at 9.2 percent.. There's no precedent, in data going back to 1948, for such a high rate two years into what economists say is a 'recovery'..
Workers' hourly pay fell in June.. simply because they worked fewer hours..
And 16.2 percent of those who wanted to work were either unemployed, forced to settle for part-time jobs or had given up looking for work. That figure was up from 15.8 percent in May..
The economy added just 18,000 jobs in June.. a fraction of the 90,000 jobs economists had expected and a sliver of the 300,000 jobs needed each month to shrink unemployment significantly..
The excruciatingly slow growth is confounding economists.. spooking consumers...and dismaying job seekers..
Friday's report forced analysts to re-examine their assumption that the economy would strengthen in the second half of 2011..
Employers have good reason to wait, says economist Ken Mayland at ClearView Economics.. A political standoff over the federal debt limit threatens to send the U.S. government into default next month. That would send interest rates soaring and might tip the economy back into recession..
Even if Barack and Congressional Republicans agree to raise the borrowing limit, the deal will likely require deep cuts in government spending and possibly tax increases.. Combined, those steps could slow the economy further..
The tax base has already lost 493,000 government jobs since the recession ended, most of them eliminated by cash-short cities and counties.. Now it faces the prospect of big cuts by the federal government as well..

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley told ABC television that Pakistan had "taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid"..
He said the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in May had affected ties but he insisted the relationship "must be made to work over time"..
The $800m (£500m) equates to about a third of the annual US security aid to Pakistan, according to White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley told ABC television that Pakistan had "taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid".,
He said the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in May had affected ties.. somewhat of an understatement there.. but he insisted the relationship "must be made to work over time"..
US officials say the $800m (£500m) equates to about a third of the annual US security aid to Pakistan.. it might be safe to say the rest of that aid could be tied to some agreement being reached between Pakistan and the US.. have been 'poor', to say the least.. the man on the street thinks his government is 'soft' on the US.. allowing an American covert operation to take out bin Laden..

The News of the World is closing amid a major scandal over phone hacking and alleged payments to police officers, but once upon a time journalists went even further to get the ultimate story, writes Neil Root..
There was a time when everything and anything was done in pursuit of the perfect crime news story..
The allegations being made about dubious journalistic practices at the News of the World are shocking and immoral if proven to be true..
But the current row takes us back to the 1940s and 1950s when hacks on that very same tabloid and other even more prestigious papers were just as clandestine in their methods, and with even fewer legal restrictions..
The three serial killers Neville Heath, a "charmer" who murdered two or possibly three women.. John George Haigh, who murdered at least six people and disposed of their bodies in acid.. and John Christie, the monster of Rillington Place who killed seven or eight people, and watched Timothy Evans hang for one of those murders..
These dangerous men were made into macabre pin-ups by the popular press of the time, the immediately post-war world where London and other cities were cratered and scarred by Hitler's bombs..
The practices of two legendary Fleet Street crime reporters - Norman "Jock" Rae of 'The News of the World' and Harry Procter of 'The Mail' and later 'The Sunday Pictorial'.. stand out from the rest of their peers..
With the chequebooks of their editors in hand, these hardened and tenacious hacks chased down the stories of these murderers, and tried to get them at any cost..
These were the days when 'The News of the World' sold more than 8 million copies every Sunday, and every effort was made to get a crime scoop.. the more grisly the better..
Fleet Street's crime reporters were star journalists then, and became known as the Murder Gang, with incredible contacts amongst the police, judiciary and legal system..Payments were made without a second thought, and papers such as 'The News of the World' and 'The Sunday Pictorial' got the best inside morsels of information for the simple reason the Sunday papers paid more than the dailies..
Incredibly, these hacks got the full inside stories on Heath, Haigh and Christie, and in return paid their legal defence costs.. in two cases, they made substantial payments to the families of two of the killers after they were executed..
Sunday's crime confession scoops were always tomorrow's fish and chip paper, but copies were sold on the day, and that was all that was important. Today laws and media regulations prevent criminals profiting from their crimes, but in 1946-53, there were no such restrictions..
Rae and Procter were highly regarded by their editors.. as their crime stories produced great spikes in circulation.. When a rival paper bought a helicopter to get to stories faster in the late 1940s, Procter's editor said: "They may have a helicopter, but we've got a Harry Procter."

South Sudan has formally declared its independence in front of thousands of citizens singing and dancing in celebration and international dignitaries.. including the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.,
“We, the democratically elected representatives of the people, based on the will of the people of South Sudan, and as confirmed by the outcome of the referendum of self-determination.. hereby declare South Sudan to be an independent and sovereign nation,” said James Wani Igga, speaker of the new country’s parliament, reading the formal proclamation in its capital, Juba..
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir unveiled a statue of civil war hero John Garang, the man who signed the 2005 peace deal which ended decades of hostilities with the north which killed at least two million people..
We'll be discussing the economics of this division over the next few weeks, as it becomes clearer what factions the new government will favour..
Meanwhile, insurgencies continue in regions of Darfur and Southern Kordofan. The United Nations Security Council voted yesterday to establish a force of up to 7,000 peacekeepers for South Sudan..
Many of South Sudan’s nine million citizens lack the most basic services.. The country is home to all but one of the world’s deadly diseases.. vaccination rates are the world’s lowest.. almost half the population has no access to clean water, while more than a third go hungry even when the harvests are good..
It has the world’s worst maternal mortality rates and one in seven children who survives birth will die before the age of 5..
Illiteracy is rampant.. even among civil servants and legislators..
Only one in ten children finishes primary school and the rate for girls is even lower..
This separation of the countty was brought about through inequality.. the vast gulf between the depths of poverty, and stolen assetts..
Yet the country is rich in oil.. and it's now up to the government of this new country to build an infrastructure which will see an end to endless fighting.. a beginning of public projects the likes of irrigation and farming techniques.. and education..
With the interest already shown by foreign investors, this should be easily achieved.. even taking the traditional 'baksheesh' into account..

A strong earthquake jolted on Sunday the same area of northeastern Japan that was hit by a massive quake in March, but there was no sign of further damage along the coast or to the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, according to officials..
The Japan Meteorological Agency lifted a tsunami alert for the region before noon today after initially urging residents in the disaster area to stay clear of the coast..
The U.S. Geological Survey estimated the magnitude of the earthquake at 7.0 and said it had occurred at a depth of 18 km (11 miles) off the northeastern coast of Japan just before 10 am local time..
This is the second quake to hit that area this week..

We began with mentioning the difficulties who winter will pose for some.. How inflation, a frozen bank rate, will affect many of those among us who live on fixed incomes..
We end with the same theme..
As the numbers of those without work increases.. as the numbers of those who dream of a lifestyle which disappeared decdades ago when there was still hope.. as the numbers of those who still live in the past when there was a work ethic and dream of a return to those ways.. for those who still believe in a chicken in evey pot and a car in every driveway..
The best of British luck to all.. for those are the attitiudes we want, and need..
And are sadly lacking..

No comments:

Search This Blog

Blog Archive