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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prime Minister Cameron has come out in support for the Courts Draconian sentencing procedure.. but there now seems to be a public outcry against 'knee-jerk' terms being handed out..
Case in point.. two men in their teens were handed 4 years apiece, for inciting riot on Facebook.. while today another, charged with the same offence, was sentenced to a years curfew.. Two days ago, a man was sentenced to two years for stealing a bottle of water during the riots..
Now of course, the appeals against these sentences will see many of them reduced.. but at a casual glance, the Courts could save time, and millions of Pounds, by meting out a sentence which will stand..
The outrage of the country is still fresh.. but let us take a realistic stance when dealing with those involved.. Issues the likes of pleading guilty, thus saving the Courts time.. showing remorse.. offering compensation.. should be taken into consideration before we start swelling the numbers of those in custody, already at record levels..

Some unexpectedly bad figures concerning UK unemployment were released this morning..
The UK unemployment total rose in the three months to June, by 38,000 to 2.49 million.. This puts unemployment figures at their highest rate since February last year.. the jobless rate has risen to 7.9%.. according to the Office for National Statistics..
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance rose by 37,100 in July to 1.56 million, its biggest increase since May 2009.. and this makes it three months consecutively that the claimant count has risen..
The increase in unemployment came as a surprise to most economists, as many had predicted a further fall in the number of people without work..
The official figures also showed that between April and June.. the youth unemployment rate rose to 20.2%, up from 20% in the quarter to March.. there were 949,000 16 to 24-year-olds without work, a rise of 15,000.. the number of unemployed men increased by 18,000 to 1.45 million.. and the level of unemployed women rose by 21,000 to 1.05 million.. the highest figure since May 1988..
The number of employees working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 83,000 to 1.26 million.. the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.. and the unemployment rate remains the highest in the north-east of England, where it now stands at 10%.. the south-east of England still has the lowest rate of unemployment, with the rate now standing at 5.8%..
Employment Minister Chris Grayling admitted that the latest unemployment data was disappointing, saying the road to recovery "would be choppy..Clearly this has been a difficult few months, with a range of one-off factors and a slowdown in the world economy having an impact on the UK.."..
The unemployment rate in Scotland is 7.7%, in Wales it is 8.4%, and in Northern Ireland it is 7.3%..

London's police force says 1,000 people have now been charged in connection with the violence and disorder that rocked the capital for four days..
Acting commissioner Tim Godwin says while the milestone is significant, the investigation is ongoing.. and further charges will be forthcoming..
Godwin issued a statement today in which he said the public had been coming forward with information.. He urged people to turn in anyone involved in the disorder. As he put it.. "Don't let them get away with it."..
The authorities have arrested more than 3,000 people over riots that erupted Aug. 6 in north London and flared for four nights across the capital and other English cities..
Just what the effect of these charges and concomitant jail sentences will have on an already stretched inmate population, has yet to be noted..

World stocks ticked lower while top-rated government bonds rallied today as investors grew concerned that French and German plans for closer fiscal integration may be insufficient to stop the regional debt crisis from spreading further..
The Swiss franc surged against the euro after fresh measures announced by the Swiss National Bank to counter the franc strength did not contain drastic moves such as an exchange rate target which some had expected..
France and Germany unveiled far-reaching plans for closer Eurozone integration on yesterday.. but stopped short of increasing the size of the region's rescue fund and rejected for now the idea of a common 'EuroBond'.. Support for a common bond had been growing as it is increasingly seen as a way to allow highly indebted Eurozone countries to regain access to commercial markets while providing investors a safeguard through joint liability..
This, to all appearances, was a desperation move designed to give foreign investors a sense of security, when buying Bonds issued by particularly Germany and France..

Looking for something that will jolt this wilting economy, Barack will give a major speech in early September.. likely soon after Labour Day.. to unveil new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class..
The president's plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed.. It's being emphasized that all of Barack's proposals would be fresh ones.. not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports.. including his “infrastructure bank” idea to finance construction jobs..
On a significant and related front, Obama will also present a specific plan to cut the suffocating long-term national debt and to pay for the cost of his new short-term economic ideas..
His debt proposal will be bigger than the $1.5-trillion package that a new “supercommittee” of Congress must come up with by late November..
The President will then spend his Fall publicly pressing Congress to take action as the economic debate roars into its next phase.. Both the economic ideas and the plan to pay for them will be part of Obama's speech, although the address will focus mainly on the jobs components..
Best of luck with that issue..
It is amazing how we can pin our economic future on 'if-whens'.. Hoping against hope that some miraculous solution will present itself to lift us out of this economic hole we've dug ourselves into.. That industry will recover to the point it can begin significant hiring..
Good for a 'wish list'.. but not practicable in the light of today's economic prospects..

Still with North America.. this time it's Canada..
Quebec’s fertile political ground may be about to sprout yet another party.. one that threatens to further fracture the 'Independence Movement' and the ailing Parti Québécois..
Three of the four former PQ members of the provincial legislature who bolted from the party in the spring have signed up to attend next Sunday’s founding assembly of a new hard-line sovereignty movement..
The movement published a manifesto by 77 sovereigntists on Tuesday declaring the PQ worn out and confused under the leadership of Pauline Marois. Ms. Marois fired back, saying the new movement is showing nothing but disdain for committed sovereigntists and PQ members..
Quebec has spawned many such upstarts in the past 50 years..
What’s unusual this time is four sitting independents are openly shopping for a new home after rejecting the PQ and the go-slow approach to independence of Ms. Marois..
If the former PQ heavyweights support a new party.. they would create a fifth credible alternative in the crowded ranks opposing the ruling Provincial Liberals.. Four of the opposition movements profess varying degrees of support for Quebec independence..
One former péquiste independent, Lisette Lapointe, has expressed support for the new movement founded under the name 'Le Nouveau Mouvement pour le Québec'..
Bon chance..
The feeling throughout the rest of the country.. is that Quebec wouldn't be missed should it simply float away into the Atlantic..

Still with Canada.. an issue has been raised which will affect us all..
Canada's labour force continues to grow but retiring baby boomers will slow the rate of growth to a crawl over the next 20 years.. according to Statistics Canada..
The agency estimates there could be as many as 22.5 million people working by 2031.. up from 18.5 million last year..however, projections indicate the rate of growth will slow to between 0.2% and 0.7% a year from 2021 to 2026.. When the boomers were entering the job market in the 1970s, the labour force increased at an average rate of just over 4 per cent a year..
In 1981, there were roughly six people working for each retiree..
By 2031, the ratio will be three to one, according to StatsCan forecasts..
By that time, the entire baby-boom generation will have reached the age of 65..
The agency also projects that the participation rate in the labour force by 2031 could be as low as it was in the 1970s.. with less than 63% of Canadians over the age of 15 at work..
The 'Baby Boom' was a worldwide phenomina.. and the effects StatsCan has projected, will be equally applicable to any Western economy..
It is a subject causing our government particular concern.. as we have seen in the changes to come into effect for those working today..

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