Labels: United States
"Visiting wife of the British premier, Cherie Blair, stressed that investing in girl-child education and supporting women in business are the best ways to advance Uganda's economy".
"Being a woman, people may think I am biased. But there is plenty of evidence to show that investment in education of girls and women, or in their businesses, is actually the best any society can make," the successful human rights lawyer stressed....it's more important to involve women because they bring special qualities and characteristics to business which makes them successful entrepreneurs".
Because the latest eurostat figures have the Danes leading the EU for rating themselves both very happy (49%) and happy (97%). We are well above average (87%/26%) at 92% /39%, as are the Swedes, belying their reputation somewhat. Things are rather less fine and dandy in the Balkans, with only 39% of Bulgarians rating themselves as even 'happy'. Maybe they need whatever goes into the Copenhagen water supply, or are running low on Danish blue, watery bacon and non-descript lager.
Moving on, we are at risk of losing our reputation as a nation of moaners - 93% are satisified with their standard of living and 88% with their quality of life. The Bulgarians are the least satisfied with either, with the French and Portuguese the only western European countries falling below the average response for the first question and the Portos and Italians below par for quality of life. Worth mentioning that to
Incremental updates to follow.
Pensions are not being anticipated with much enthusiasm. The British are among the more optimistic, with half confident in the future of pension provision. Even the cheery Danes only manage 74%, and top the list. The French manage 32% and the Germans 25%. Mind you, a survey some years back showed that more Britons felt that they were in with a shot at winning the lottery than thought they would have a state pension that kept them comfortable.
88% of Nederlanders feel comfortable walking home at night, to two-thirds of us and a rather unnerving 45% of Latvians.
Health, family, friends and leisure rate as the most important things in the life of Euro man and Euro Woman. Work is rather more popular in
When troubles come, be they a need for advice, health or an attack of the miseries, we chaps bend the ears of our significant others disproportionately. They, however, call on family, by which I think we can assume mother. In terms of matters domestic, Greek women have the least helpful men folk - 91% do all the cleaning, 93% all the cooking and 95% all the ironing. Even in the three Nordic countries, women still do roughly two thirds of the three tasks.
An astonishingly high 30% of Britons judge childcare facilities satisfactory and 62% our schools. We are, naturally, near the bottom.
Elsewhere, what with 'volunteering' being all the rage with wonk groups and the like, watch out for the Austrians, Dutch and Swedes being held up as paragons of civic virtue: more than half volunteer, or else are good at lying to box tickers. 28% of us manage it (yeah, right...) , but the Latvians are having none of it 11%, probably because they do not fancy having to get home after dark.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money from the public purse (a) her Department and (b) its agencies gave to (i) the Smith Institute and (ii) its subsidiary SI Events Limited in each year since 1997; and for what purpose each payment was made. 
Mr. Lammy: On the basis of available information the Department has made the following three payments to the Smith Institute during the period in question relating to a new technology seminar and a cultural research project:
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the sprawling metropolis:
"Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the timetable is for the Charity Commission investigation into the Smith Institute; and if she will make a statement. 
Edward Miliband: This is a matter for the Charity Commission as the non-ministerial Government Department responsible for the regulation of charities in England and Wales. The chief executive of the Charity Commission will write to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library for the reference of Members". Source
Labels: EU fun and games
Labels: United States.
Labels: Where your money goes
Labels: United States
Firstly, the break down of the labour force by occupation.
We, along with the Irish are the most likely to work in companies with 250 plus employees, with the majority of Bulgarians and Romanians working in companies with 10 employees or fewer. I imagine the works / office parties are dire, although getting the boss to buy drinks all round is less of an ask.
On a pan-EU (plus accession candidates) basis, the hospitality trade shows the greatest skew to the under 24s and farming the greatest to the over 55s. Not a huge surprise. What they see fit to call real estate, which presumably goes beyond house pimping has the most even split between those two groups. Meanwhile, 80% of health workers are female and 90% of construction workers male, so pick your calling based on your proclivities for that all important workplace romance. Rather amusingly, models are classed as blue collar.
Returning to the T*C's figures from earlier, the Dutch have it the easiest for working hours at an average of 33 hours a week, and do not expect much quality time with the kids, TV, pub or whatever in Turkey - Turks average a 54 hour week. Some 30% of Italians work six-day weeks. Meanwhile, out of 31 countries tracked, Her Majesty's subjects come in 29th, just ahead of the Dutch and the Norwegians. I discovered this report from a very selective TUC press release earlier, which did not mention this fact. Fancy... Norwegians are keenest on moonlighting / portfolio careers, with more than 15% having two or more jobs. We, along with the French and the Cypriots are the least likely to at less than five per cent.
As to housework, men in the
By having two or more elected roles. Le Monde has a rather nifty graphic showing the breakdown of additional political roles for deputies and senators. It calculates that only 12% of deputies do not also act as mayors, regional, departmental, municipal councillors etc, while just over 20% of senators only sport one hat office wise.
To put this into perspective, the paper reckons that only 10 % of Bundestag members, 13% of UK MPs, and 15% and 16% of Spanish and Italian MPs only hold one elected office, and that the current 85% figure for the
Maybe it is all down to road and rail links now making it easier for deputies and senators to whizz between Paris and Clochemerle at speed than it was before.
Labels: South America
Labels: Truly the Apocalypse is upon us
Annette Brooke, Lib Dem for Poole and co-owner of 'Poole's premier Gem, Mineral and Fossil shop' (doubtless in the face of cut throat competition) is most exercised by degenerate gamblers in choky:
Annette Brooke (Mid-Dorset and North Poole) (LD): "What programmes he plans for those serving prison sentences to tackle gambling addiction?.....One of my constituents has now been in prison for six months without receiving any treatment. Given the increase in online gambling, the proposed new casinos and the fact that a proportion of compulsive gamblers are likely to commit crimes to feed their habit, should there not be a coherent plan in place before the problems become any greater?".
Unless I have not been paying attention, there are comparatively few roulette wheels, chemin de fer tables etc in the nation's big houses, especially those allowing payment by credit card and I imagine such problems as come about from unpaid debts from cell poker games are settled in a fairly robust fashion. I imagine she is just as pointlessly concerned with alcoholics in stir too. Might it not be reasonable to suggest that a lengthy bout of enforced cold turkey would be a fairly effective way of confronting any form of addiction? Similarly, one does have to wonder what La Brooke's constituency post bag is like if this is the burning issue for her after a week's Parliamentary recess.
Labels: Lib Dems
Senior civil servants at the Cabinet Office, presumably those belonging to the ludicrously named First Division Association have been quizzed on attitudes to leadership in the civil service etc etc. I was going to make the usual joke about how they really ought to call themselves the Coca-Cola Championship these days, but showing the world shortage of acronyms, abbreviations and the like they are now the FDA - which to me is the US Food and Drug Administration. I would link to the full report, but the Cabinet Office's site throws up a page of gibberish rather than the promised PDF. Disgruntled techies, perhaps? However, Dizzy informs me it is a MIME problem and has duly sent me a version that works. I hope that a non-linked version will be taken on trust.
So, what does the Mandarinate think of itself:
5% did not answer yes to 'I am committed to seeing my department succeed'. Time servers or deliberate wreckers?
19% considered 'change is managed well in this department'. That many?
36% claim they will be seeking a job outside the Civil Service within the next 2-3 years. Presumably those seeking jobs now would have replied no... Especially as elsewhere only 71% were prepared to say they would still be with the Cabinet Office in a year's time.
57% 'feel a strong sense of belonging to the senior civil service'. So much for the Mandiranate being a calling.
21% think that poor performance (who by?) is dealt with well.
Rather bizarrely 78% claim to have discussed with a line manager how long they will be staying in their current post. Meaning 'I'm on the next train outta here', or 'I want your job'? Both sound like really great career moves....
And what do they think of each other? 73% could not give the nod to 'the SCS can make tough decisions when needed’, nor 48% to 'is effective in delivering results'. 30% do not think 'the system of career progression is fair for everyone'. Meanwhile, they must be in clover as 71% are 'comfortable with the level of pressure' placed on them'. I wonder what they would say at Magic Circle Law firms, Big 4 Accountants etc etc....
Labels: Odd press releases
Labels: Truly the Apocalypse is upon us
Labels: Eastern Europe
Labels: 18 Doughty Street
Labels: Truly the Apocalypse is upon us
Conservative forty-two year old Felipe Calderon won the presidency of
Calderon, the outgoing conservative President Fox and other senior members of the PAN (National Action Party), knowing the damage such disruption of the swearing-in could do to Mexico’s image overseas, and the damage it could do domestically in light of the tiny majority, arranged for President Calderon to be sworn in, in a secret ceremony, at one minute past midnight on 1 December, 2006. It was a legitimate ceremony, with well-respected witnesses, the most important of whom was President George W Bush’s father, President Herbert Walker Bush. The presence of Mr Bush signalled a drive to greater unity with
This ceremony meant that if Obrador tried to pull anything during the official Inauguration later that day, Calderon was already chief executive of the country and could order out the military. And would. The man is not a ditherer.
Calderon, who has two Master’s degrees, one from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico and the other from
Since Canada finally elected a conservative prime minister last year, the entire N American continent – around 440m people – is now governed by conservative principles. Calderon has pledged to President Bush that he will be an ally in the war on drug dealers, and he has already proved it.
Mexico and the US have problems on the border, but they are working together to solve these. (It doesn’t hurt, by the way, that President Bush’s sister-in-law – Florida governor Jeb’s wife – is Mexican and that his nephews and nieces are Mexican-Americans.)
NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Association brought in under President Fox – has been a powerful engine for economic development. Drive into a Wal-Mart, or Home Depot parking lot in a Mexican city and you would think you were in the United States with row upon row of shiny new cars and full shopping trolleys.
Capitalism and conservative management are working. A friend tells me that as little as 10 years ago, it was against the law to criticise the Mexican government, and anyone heard doing so would be arrested. Today, anyone can voice any opinion they like about the government.
Who would have dreamed, seven years ago, that a Mexican president would win an election in 2006 by promising “to take Mexico further into the global economy”? When President Calderon leaves office, that will be 12 years of conservative government. That means an entire generation of young Mexicans who have never known anything but capitalism and conservative government.
Labels: Lib Dems