UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Is everything “just too damn complicated?”


The trouble with banking, a private equity chief told a hearing of MPs this week, is that it has just become “too damn complicated” and needs to get back to basics.Many readers might agree with those refreshingly candid words — and they might think too that it’s not just banking that has become tangled up in glue.”It used to be so easy — now it takes for ever,” we sigh in unison.Maybe the Internet is partly to blame. It was supposed to simplify things but, for many, it has made whole areas of life vastly more frustrating. “Simply click” may be meant as a breezy invitation to a stress-free transaction — but in reality it is often the gateway to Hell.Need help? – simply phone our 24/7 advisers in Asia. (But let’s not go there…)Could the apparent growth of office bureaucracy also be playing its part? Commentators have frequently bewailed the growing tide of fussy, box-ticking procedure and the swelling ranks of email-happy bureaucrats with grand-sounding titles. Got any of those?Do you find any particular areas of home or office life more complicated than they used to be?If so, simply click on that “post comment” link down there. Easy eh?

Unpaid overtime anyone?


It’s widely acknowledged to be bad for your health but millions do it, even without getting paid for it. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said on Thursday the number of people working hours they are not paid for is at its highest level since 1992.

Five million worked unpaid overtime last year because of a “long-hours” culture and concern that the economic downturn is putting their jobs at risk. The largest increase in workers carrying out unpaid overtime occurred in London, followed by the east Midlands and eastern England.

Was super-mum always out of reach?


supermum1.jpgA major survey of social attitudes reveals that enthusiasm for equality between men and women is on the slide in Britain.

In the 1990s, around 50 percent of women and 51 percent of men said they thought family life would not suffer if a woman went to work. Now the figures have fallen to 46 percent of women and 42 percent of men.