UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Rate politicians on grassroots website


If you are among the 51 percent of eligible voters expected not to participate in the European elections you can still cast a ballot of sorts — online and from the comfort of home.

Rate Your Politician, billed as an “e-democracy” website for users in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales by its Belfast-based founders, provides a grassroots voting platform on politicians and political topics.

Users not only vote on the site, but are also allowed to set their own poll questions.

“It allows people to actively and in real-time rate politicians,” Patrick Lismore, 26, said in an interview. “People get to vote periodically, but this allows them to track politicians while they are in office.”

Scots favour traditional funeral hymns


While the English and Welsh are asking for more pop songs to be played at funerals, the Scots are bucking the trend and opting for more religious music.

Fifty-six percent of Scots chose hymns during the past 12 months, a rise of 2 percent on 2005, according to a survey carried out by Co-operative Funeralcare.

Saving a Titian for the nation: money well spent?


The National Galleries of Scotland and London’s National Gallery said on Monday they had raised the 50 million pounds needed to save a key work by Renaissance master Titian before it was put up for sale by the Duke of Sutherland.

Of the 50 million raised for “Diana and Actaeon”, the Scottish government pledged 12.5 million pounds, 7.4 million came from public donations, 12.5 million from National Galleries in London and another 10 million pounds came from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Brown’s Scotland likely to be hit worst in recession


The Labour Party may have won the Glenrothes by-election this week, partly on the back of the Prime Minister’s handling of the financial crisis, but Gordon Brown’s Scotland is predicted to suffer more than the rest of Britain during the economic downturn.

Scotland was named European Region of the Future for the second time in four years by the Financial Times’ fDi (foreign direct investment) magazine this year.