UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from MacroScope:

Rip-off Britain in effect

While most of the developed world frets about deflation, in Britain, inflation just won’t quit. 

The Bank of England has been forecasting a sharp fall in consumer price inflation for about as long as Britons have hoped for a summer of uninterrupted sunshine. But at least Britons are still betting on a fair amount of rain. 

UK inflation was 3.2 percent in June, a slight fall from the month before, but still 1.2 percentage points above the central bank’s target rate

 “Another big shocker,” said one economist. “Yet another depressing month,” said another. 

Britain’s 10 worst stations (only 10?)


RAIL BRITAIN STRIKEYes, I remember Clapham Junction, the name, because one rainy morning this week the (very) slow train drew up there unwontedly — and stayed for ages. Plenty of time to take in the dismal scene.

No blackbirds singing around there, just huge numbers of cross people huddling in door-aligned bunches on a forbidding station that seems in parts like a throwback to the days of steam. 

BAE, the SFO and time travel


rtxp5uiProsecute over bribes allegedly paid in far-flung lands years before you banned such practices?

That’s the bluff from Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and its biggest defence firm, BAE Systems, is having none of it.

from Commentaries:

Water down the tube in London heatwave

waterLondon's transport bosses are telling travellers on the tube system to beat the heat by carrying a bottle of water with them when they venture underground.

But how many of us are refilling our bottles with tap water rather than pouring money down the tube -- not to mention the cost of recycling the plastic bottles -- by buying a new bottle of water each day?

Is hitch-hiking coming back?


They say nostalgia isn’t what it used to be but there’s certainly a lot of it around at the moment.

All sorts of things are coming back as the recession forces us to cut back spending and, in some cases, change our habits quite radically.

from Environment Forum:

Ghost bikes appear with spring in London

Spring is making a cautious appearance in London now and with it a growing number of cyclists are venturing out onto the streets of the capital.

I also noticed, as I rode south towards the Smithfield meat market last week, another less welcome sign of the season -- a ghost bike. This one had only been there for a few days.

from Global Investing:

On Bankers and Busing

Bankers are having a rough time of it lately.  It is not just that their companies are collapsing beneath them and their bonuses are the subject of global hate and derision. They also have to put up with the barbs of journalists (who are very familiar with being at the bottom of the popularity pile).

The latest example comes from Tim Dowling, scribbling away for Britain's Guardian newspaper.  Mr Dowling has penned a useful primer for bankers who suddenly find themselves living in the real world.

RIP speed cameras?


speedcamera.jpgConservative Swindon council is planning to pull the plug on the 400,000-pound annual grant it makes towards running its speed cameras, saying the money could be better spent on other traffic-calming measures.

Its head of highways, Councillor Peter Greenhalgh, is widely quoted in newspapers as saying cameras are “a blatant tax on motorists.”