Britain’s politics for the old, strangling its young

One in three of Britain’s houses has two or more spare bedrooms. Yet overcrowding (as measured by the number of people relative to the number of bedrooms) is rising. With grandparents hogging the bigger, better properties, their children struggle to move up the housing ladder.

The way council tax is levied also gives elderly folk less incentive to downsize. It was last updated in 1993 and the priciest homes are taxed lightly.

A little-noticed change in Britain’s housing market spells trouble for everybody, August 8, 2017 at 09:50AM

Irene’s Law – Estimating Tube Journey Times

If you want to get an estimate of how long a journey will take on the London Underground, you count the number of stations and multiply by two, before adding five for every interchange.

Irene’s Law – Estimating Tube Journey Times, April 2, 2017 at 11:37AM

End of an empire?

This is probably what it felt like to be a British foreign service officer after World War II, when you realize, no, the sun actually does set on your empire,” said the mid-level officer.

‘They Really Want to Blow This Place Up’: Scenes From Trump’s State Department, March 11, 2017 at 06:59 PM

Policing by consent

The Metropolitan Police, which covers most of London, was founded in 1829 on the principle of “policing by consent” rather than by force.

Giving everyday police officers guns sends the wrong message to communities, so this thinking goes, and can actually cause more problems than it solves.

Why London doesn’t arm most of its police officers, March 23, 2017 at 05:09PM

Austerity Britain

… local authorities have been forced to embark on an epic economy drive. Their spending on public services will be 22% lower this year than in 2010.

Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, says that, even if he closed all 19 libraries in the city and its nine sports centres, stopped maintaining its 140 parks, halted all highway repairs and street cleaning and switched off 50,000 streetlights, he would save only £68m—which is £22m short of what he must cut by 2020. So there will have to be a further 10% reduction in the social-care budget, he says.

Britain’s local councils face financial crisis, January 28, 2017 at 12:33PM

In other news, firms are already planing to move their European employees and businesses out of Britain. And not just any employees:

… the prize is a share of the 1.1m people who work in financial services in Britain (rising to 2.2m if jobs in supporting industries are included). These workers pay 12% of Britain’s taxes and generate an annual trade surplus of £55bn ($69bn).

Firms consider upping sticks from Brexit-bound Britain, as foreign capitals mount a charm offensive, January 27, 2017 at 11:44PM

Since we’re coping so well with the deep, enforced austerity, the government decided the best course of action was to give the economy another jolt with a hard Brexit. Who needs social services and functioning economies when knee-capping your own economy will win you votes?

Multiculturalism vs Assimilation

“… away from multiculturalism and towards assimilation”

Segregation scars parts of Britain, some immigrant groups remain poorly integrated and minorities within them are hostile to liberal values.

Britain’s genius is its ability to integrate newcomers, January 13, 2017 at 06:03PM

Continue reading Multiculturalism vs Assimilation