As Britain gears up for a general election with polls pointing toward a hung parliament, pundits are not only speculating on how the political landscape of the future might look, but they are also taking stock of the past.
In his new book “Broonland, the last days of Gordon Brown“, Christopher Harvie, a former colleague of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and an SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for mid-Scotland and Fife in Brown’s Kirkaldy base, takes a turn at surveying the lay of the land.
A study of constituency-level campaign techniques undertaken by Brunel University ahead of a general election expected in early May shows that direct mail is by far the most common method of contact used by politicians to reach potential voters.
Of the 27 percent of the electorate contacted by one of the three main political parties in February, about 90 percent received some form of communication through the post via direct mail, the study shows. Some 92 percent said they had been reached through mailings from the Liberal Democrats, 89 percent from the Conservative Party and 81 percent from the Labour Party.
Businesses and employees embroiled in conflict are tapping into a free conciliation service to avoid expensive employment tribunal claims at a rate that has doubled since September 2009, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service reports.
Acas, governed by an independent council funded by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, fields about 87,000 tribunal cases a year to sort out disputes between employers and employees.
The cost of tax collection in the UK is almost 20 billion pounds per annum, according to a recent report from Britain’s Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market lobby group.
The amount reflects the cost of compliance and administration as well as Britain’s handicap of having the longest tax code in the developed world, co-authors Francis Chittenden, Hilary Foster and Brian Sloan write in “Taxation and Red Tape”.
Amid a stand-off between British Airways and the Unite union, the Labour Party’s main financial supporter, Prime Minister Gordon Brown called a planned strike by BA cabin crew workers “unjustified and deplorable” last week and said both sides should return to talks.
The BBC World Service tested its capacity to produce large-scale social media events by hosting an ambitious global conversation in multiple languages from Shoreditch Town Hall in London on Thursday.
For the six-hour event, billed as “Superpower Nation Day“, the public broadcaster used television, radio and the Web to connect with people around the world.
Direct, real-time communication among politicians and the public through social media platforms is reshaping democracy and the news media, but questions remain about how the fabric of society might change as a result, argued a panel at an event hosted by the BBC on Tuesday evening at Westminster.
The Web provides a de-centralised opportunity for users to communicate from various points on the political-economic spectrum, but gatekeepers are emerging who try and curtail the dissemination of information they find objectionable, suggested panellist Aleks Krotoski, who recently completed work on the BBC series “Virtual Revolution“.
As the three main UK political parties vie for positioning ahead of a general election to be held by June, the Conservatives unveiled their “Technology Manifesto” on Thursday in London outlining the key issues they would address if they form the next government.
Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude presented ideas on everything from improving broadband speeds to making government data accessible online.
In a speech at Thomson Reuters in London on Wednesday Prime Minister Gordon Brown discussed the state of Britain’s economy and laid out the steps he would take to protect the economic recovery if he wins a general election due by June.
He said the next few years would not be without pain, but vowed to protect the recovery for families and business, and to preserve healthcare and schools from cuts.
Setting up Biocon, Asia’s largest biotechnology firm, was not a straightforward task for the woman who is now India’s wealthiest businesswoman.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw chose the biotechnology sector as a fallback position after she realised at the age of 25 that India was not ready to accept a woman master brewer.