Happy Friday! I’m so happy to see the end of this week! Here’s this week’s links.
1) A valentine to big govt. Ok this is about the US but I think it applies over here too!
2) Communicating science clearly. Alan Alda is my hero!
4) Pictures of the flooding in Somerset.
5) Pound shops are an asset to the high street? Mmm. I can see his argument, the problem I have with it is that I shop in West Ealing and have done since before the 2011 riots. It’s looks pretty much the same as it did then. West Ealing has a three indian supermarkets, 4 or 5 charity shops (including a furniture shop, a pawnbrokers, an Iceland, a Wilkinsons, a Lidl, a Greggs and a Brighthouse. There’s a betting shop, a ‘Cashino’ which is one of those shops just filled with fruit machines and a Cash converters. It also has two banks, a Boots, a Costa, a BHS, a fishmongers, a Sainsburys and behind the main drag a massive Waitrose. Two types of shops, the ones you walk to and the ones that you drive to. Want to take a guess at which ones serve the well off? Pound shops haven’t really improved West Ealing and given that they pay minimum wage on zero hours contracts, they aren’t really helping with getting people out of poverty.
6) Patrick Steward is being awesome again!
7) Ma sent this to me last night. Immigration and London. I find Frank Field difficult, I accept that his heart is in the right place but that his attitudes are about 40 years out. The working class has changed and honestly the idea of young working class people being able to live at home and work their way up as I’m sure used to happen isn’t actually all that possible in the days of bedroom tax and student loans and zero hours contracts. I used to have this argument at the job centre, even if I could get a job earning £20k a year, my rent is £16k and I don’t qualify for council housing or any other form of state assistance so it doesn’t make economic sense to take a job on that salary. Sometimes the problem is lack of jobs, sometimes wages and cost of living. He’s right about one thing though, immigration always hits the working class negatively because it puts pressure on the services they need to get by. I know that’s not PC but we do need to start having a conversation about it.