Friday Links

Happy Friday! I’ve worked 2 and a half days this week, so I’m glad it’s the weekend, next year I’m taking the time between Christmas and New Year as leave! Let’s get to the stuff I’ve seen since last Friday that I thought was worth sharing.

1) How to Live in Britain without getting your American head kicked in! Funny, not quite true (all our food is not beige!) but true enough

All the food is beige, the underground system is ludicrously hot all year-round and culture shock turned out to be a very real, very disorienting thing. I wish some wizened ex-pat had taken me by the hand pre-flight and explained to me how OK it was to be falling-down drunk at work functions, why Friends is constantly on television, the concept of “dogging”, what Cheryl Cole’s whole deal is and about four million other uniquely British phenomena that have been slowly revealed to me over my time in the country

2) How lucky do you feel?

A moment’s honest thought, that’s all it takes. I wager that you’ll agree, because I wager you have them yourself. It would take an inhuman, almost sociopathic degree of arrogance and lack of imagination not to. So, dear leaders, if you could give us that moment – pop it in the national stocking, why not? – it would be the best present ever. Merry Christmas.

3) The French are beginning to warm to Cheddar. Good cheddar is a thing of beauty!

The French were always nationalistic about their cheese, said White, reluctant to eat anything made beyond their borders. But they are now getting a taste for artisan cheddars – particularly West Country farmhouse cheddar, a protected product that by law has to be made by hand in south-west England.

4) The Sun covers NicsFight. I didn’t know Nic, I do know how much there is to do practically and emotionally when a young father dies, if you haven’t already and would like to sign the petition, you can do so here.

Graphic designer and lecturer Nic took out critical illness cover in 2009, hoping it would provide for his family if he became seriously ill or died.

But after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011, Nic, 44, was stunned to find his claim was refused.

Friends Life say they are not paying out £100K because Nic did not disclose he had “pins and needles” — symptoms doctors stress would not have been a sign of the cancer that killed him

5) Zoe Williams asks us to cheer up. On a side note, I’ve been banging on about the importance of building more social housing and the difference it would make to the economy for about 15 years!

The housing crisis is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. We need more social housing, we need a more vigorous construction industry, and we need things for a government to invest in, rather than rounds of quantitative easing, delivering money into the hands of the top 5% and eroding pension annuities. We could climb out of recession on the back of this “crisis” at the same time as halting the hegemony of the private landlord, which is perverting wage spending-power and intensifying inequality. This is one of the few levers the government could actually pull to influence the economy.

About nicdempsey

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