UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from FaithWorld:

Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London resigns over Occupy protest

(A demonstrator directs questions to the Dean of St Paul's, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, as he meets with demonstrators camped outside St Paul's Cathedral in London October 30, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett)

A second senior British cleric resigned on Monday over accusations that Church of England authorities were dithering in their handling of an anti-capitalism protest camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in central London. The Cathedral Dean, the Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, said in a statement that he and colleagues had been under considerable strain and his position had become untenable.

Reverend Giles Fraser, Chancellor of the cathedral, quit on Thursday because he opposed planned legal action against the camp that he said could result in violence being done in the name of the Church.

The protesters, inspired by similar 'Occupy' protests around the world, have been demonstrating for the past two weeks against the excesses of free market capitalism and for greater financial equality -- among a wide range of disparate issues. They wanted to pitch their tents outside the nearby London Stock Exchange, a symbol of the city's status as a global financial centre, but it is on private land and they were not allowed to rally there.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

United speculation grows as Solskjaer secures first Molde title

By Phil O'Connor

No sooner had Molde stumbled across the finish line to win their first Norwegian league title in their hundred-year history than the speculation had started.

Would Molde coach and former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer be the man to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at the English champions when the 69-year-old finally decides to retire?

from FaithWorld:

London Anglican cleric quits over “occupy” protest at St Paul’s cathedral

(Anti-capitalist demonstrators and a dog camped outside St Paul's Cathedral in London October 25, 2011, in a protest inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

The Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral in London has resigned  after a row among church and local authorities over whether to try to evict a 200-tent protest camp occupying the square outside. Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser had made clear his sympathy with the aims of the anti-capitalist protest camp and asked police to leave the Anglican cathedral's steps early in the occupation. He said on Thursday he had gone with "great sadness."

from The Great Debate:

The perils of protectionism

By Gordon Brown
The views expressed are his own.

Next week's 2011 G20 meeting has the power to write a new chapter in the response to the economic downturn. But every day, as nations announce currency controls, capital controls, new tariffs and other protectionist measures, the G2O’s room for maneuver is being significantly narrowed. Already the cumulative impact of a wave of mercantilist measures is threatening to turn decades of globalization into reverse, returning us to the economic history of the 1930s, and condemning at least the western parts of the world to a decade of low growth and high unemployment.

Three years ago when the financial crisis first hit, the G2O communiqués were explicit in warning of the dangers of a new protectionism. Led by the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pascal Lamy, we embarked on a forlorn attempt to use the crisis to deliver a world trade deal -- and were frustrated by an irresoluble dispute on agricultural imports between two countries, India and the USA. But now, in the absence of any co-ordinated global action, member countries have been retreating into their national silos -- and the trickle of protectionist announcements threatens to become a flood. Switzerland led costly action to protect its overvalued currency and has been followed by currency interventions in Japan (with perhaps more to come), India, Indonesia, and South Korea. Brazil, which had itself warned of currency wars, then imposed direct tariffs on manufactured imports -- a hefty car tax designed to protect its own native auto industry against emerging market imports. Other countries are now considering mimicking them. Capital controls are also now in vogue, and of course the U.S. Senate has just voted to label China a “currency manipulator.”

from Reuters Investigates:

Fridge Fires

Last Friday’s special report about faulty refrigerators started with a fire in a London tower block. After oil and gas correspondent Tom Bergin read about the fire he started to investigate the actions of Arcelik, a Turkish company that made the fridge the London Fire Brigade pointed to as a possible cause. There seemed to be inconsistencies in the company’s version of events.

“What I found interesting was uncovering who knew what, when. As soon as one constructed a timeline, it was evident that the EU guidelines had not been followed, even as those involved claimed to be guided entirely by these guidelines,” said Bergin. “That was probably the most interesting and rewarding because the rules were designed to protect people.”

from Breakingviews:

Rupert Murdoch’s sham governance on full display

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Rupert Murdoch still gets a kick out of the “fair and balanced” slogan used by his Fox News channel. He had a good laugh about it only last week at News Corp’s annual shareholder meeting. The results of a vote conducted at that gathering, released Monday, show that everyone’s now equally in on the joke about the company’s shameful corporate governance as they are the conservative bias of his TV news operation.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Have City knocked United off their perch?

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was quick to say that his team’s 6-1 mauling of arch-rivals United meant little more than another three points in the bag, but the Italian must surely be hoping it could signal a shift in the balance of power.

Having knocked Liverpool off their perch when they won a record 19th league title last season, United now face the prospect of playing second fiddle to City in England and Manchester, should their heaviest defeat to their neighbours in 56 years prove to be more than just a temporary setback.

from FaithWorld:

“Occupy” protests force London’s St Paul’s Cathedral to close

(Demonstrators camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London October 20, 2011/Toby Melville)

London's landmark St Paul's Cathedral closed its doors on Friday because of hazards posed by hundreds of protesters encamped in front of it in a demonstration inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Dean Graeme Knowles, a senior Church of England cleric, wrote an open letter to protesters asking them to leave the square peacefully, which they have occupied since last Saturday after initially targeting the nearby London Stock Exchange.

from Business Traveller:

(Un)Packaging Britain for Chinese travellers

The Chinese are coming, but not as fast as some would like. How can we make them feel at home?

It is enough to get Great Britain’s travel and luxury retail industry salivating. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Europe is expected to grow from 3 million in 2010 to 4.5 million by 2015 and around 8.6 million by 2020.

from John Lloyd:

Yes, thank you, we’re more courteous than ever

“Rudeness is just as bad as racism”: thus David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, when he was leader of the opposition in April 2007. It was a remark he should know better to make now: not because it is politically incorrect (usually a bad reason for doing, or not doing, anything) but because it’s crass.

Rudeness is being uncivil. Racism can be murderous.

But there is some excuse for the future Prime Minister’s confusion. The two are linked: the common denominator is respect. Racism is a radical lack of respect for an ethnicity which you have convinced yourself, or brought up, to despise. Rudeness is a milder lack of respect for others you meet in your journey through the day – or through life. Further link: one of the reasons why there’s less rudeness is that, in the past couple of decades, casual racism has largely disappeared from public discourse in most advanced societies -- though some of that is because it has gone underground.

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