Happy Friday, this week was busy and social and although I’m mentally ready for a holiday, in terms of actually being ready, I’m not sure! Here are this week’s links…
1) As I’m heading up North today (nearly to Scotland) I found this, about how the independence debate is changing attitudes, interesting.
2) Whatever happens in Scotland there does need to be some change in English governance. My solution would be to devolve the English government (putting it’s authority somewhere north of London, Birmingham is right in the middle of the country, and make Westminster a federal government. That way some of the regions will get more of a say and more attention. I love my city but we need to address the issues of investment elsewhere in the country, the lack of balance isn’t good for London or the rest of the country.
3) Barbara Ellen on how childless women are seen as less. The debate in the comments is truly appalling and devolves into fighting. The problem as I see it is that being single and childless seems to mean that I count less. I pay more council tax than a couple but use less services, my cost of living is a higher proportion of my salary. I don’t really mind that I’ll pay more in taxes than I’ll ever get out of the system because that’s what societies should do. I do mind that all political debate and policies seem to be aimed at ‘hardworking families’, because I work hard and I’m part of society and it would be nice for my contribution to be acknowledged. If political debate is biased, socially it’s even worse.
4) Finally some creative thinking about housing. And shame on Labour central office for not doing anything as interesting.
5) Israel and Russia are doing the same thing but the US only imposes sanctions on one of them. This.
Imagine having a landlord who did up your flat, chucked in a wetroom and some top-of-the-range white goods – then reduced your rent, so that he was really paying you to live there. You have just dreamed up Britain’s privatised rail network. Except it’s not all that private. Instead, you could call it the Great British Rake-Off: the state makes the investment; the train firms and their shareholders rake off the cash. And if the sums don’t work out, an operator can do the business equivalent of binning a runny baked Alaska by walking away – just as GNER did with the east coast main line
7) People who refuse to sell to developers. This turns into the story of Edie Macefield and it’s fascinating.
8) Holidays and what to do with your sourdough starter. Mine gets fed and put in fridge, so far I’ve never had an issue, but I’m pretty laid back about it and have rescued it from oblivion more times than I’d care to admit.