2008年7月31日 星期四

Fire destroys Grand Pier

BBC NEWS | UK | Fire destroys Grand Pier



2008/7/31 上午 11:18:30

距離倫敦以西225公里的威斯頓(Weston-Super-Mare)海邊度假聖地,百年歷史的「大碼頭」(Grand Pier),本月28日因不明大火,不到一個半小時內付之一炬,令人錯愕。

建於1904年的大碼頭,至今已104歲,是英國國家二級歷史建築,亦為當地著名景點。大碼頭長約400公尺,除了商店、保齡球場、觀景摩 天輪、小型賽車場與大型遊樂場,更有音樂廳、戲劇院,每年吸引成千上萬喜歡戲水的遊客。原定下個月8/27日要在大碼頭表演的英國皇家空軍紅箭特技飛行小 組(The Red Arrows Air Force Aerobatic Team ARF),是否如期演出目前還未定。

英國四面環海,但畢竟國土比台灣大上許多,不是每個城市都靠海。著名的海邊度假聖地有倫敦以西的威斯頓、倫敦以南的Brighton海灘、 英國南部康沃爾郡Cornwall、Devon海灘與威爾斯的海灘Gower peninsula等。英國雖然不以海景做為主要觀光行程,少汙染的海岸線與沙灘,碧海晴空的滋味相當舒服。

2008年7月30日 星期三

Newsnight editor moves to Google

Newsnight editor moves to Google

Peter Barron
Barron's films on the arms to Iraq affair won a Royal Television Society award

The editor of Newsnight, Peter Barron, has resigned from the BBC Two programme to join internet search giant Google.

He has spent 12 years at the late-evening show, having worked behind the scenes for most of the 1990s before taking up his current job in 2004.

Mr Barron also had roles at Channel 4 News and Tonight with Trevor McDonald.

He will become Google's head of PR for the UK, Ireland and Benelux. "We are very sorry to lose Peter," said the BBC's director of news, Helen Boaden.

"His creativity and brilliant journalism have made Newsnight so impressive over the last few years," she added.

"However this is a unique opportunity for him and we wish him well as he moves to Google."

As well as his work at the BBC, Mr Barron was also the advisory chair at last year's Edinburgh TV Festival, an annual conference for the media industry.

The BBC said it hoped to appoint an editor for Newsnight "in the autumn".

Google could not confirm when Mr Barron would take up his job, but a spokeswoman hailed the "wealth of experience" which she said would make him "a great addition" to the company.

2008年7月26日 星期六

Foundation degree

Wikipedia article "Foundation degree".


课程是巴斯大学死亡与社会研究所(CDAS-Centre for Death and Society)同英国全国殡葬司仪协会(National Association of Funeral Directors)联手策划的,对象是已经在殡葬行业从业的人士。

CDAS主任卡伦•斯塔利(Caron Staley)说,这将是英国第一个授发本科学位的此类课程。



若参加全日班学习,课程可以两年完成,而若边学理论边就业实习,则需三年。毕业授予FDSc学位(Foundation Degree in Funeral Services – 殡仪服务基础学位)。


2008年7月23日 星期三

Hadrian: Empire and Conflict is at the British Museum,

July 20, 2008

Hadrian: Empire and Conflict at the British Museum

The BM’s Hadrian show couldn’t be more timely. His political problems were just like ours

The British Museum has always been a fabulous resource. Look what it owns. Not even the line-up of seven dwarfs who preceded St Neil MacGregor in the director’s chair could seriously damage the clout and width of this magnificent hoard of global treasures. Yes, much of it was stolen or inveigled from its rightful owners. (But when it comes to the acquisition of great art nobody, ever, has been entirely innocent.) Yet for all the splendour of its ill-gotten gains, the BM has had considerable difficulty finding a proper niche for itself in the modern museum world. “How to be relevant?” must echo around these splendid chambers nightly once the lights are switched off.

It is a great collection, but what is its greater purpose?

Earlier directors were too small of mind and stature to worry about it. But St Neil is a museum figure sent down to earth by God precisely to sort out stuff such as this. He would have realised that the colonial age was over, and that vacuuming up other people’s international goodies was no longer enough of a role: the BM needed a higher function. So he has given it one. Subtly, cleverly, MacGregor has turned the BM into a spectacular teaching aid that allows us to understand the present better by looking more closely at the past.

The Sudan show here in 2004 illuminated the Darfur conflict more vividly than any number of reports on News at Ten. The First Emperor exhibition that wowed so many visitors had so much to tell us about China at a time when knowing about China was crucial. And now Hadrian has arrived.

Most of us know one thing about Hadrian: he built the wall that crosses the north of England. After that, his achievements blur. But the overall message of the historical mega-biogs the BM has taken to mounting is that one man can change the world. The First Emperor did it. Hadrian did it. Karl Marx, who wrote Das Kapital in these same rooms, did it.

When Hadrian ascended to the laurel in AD117, the Roman empire was in turmoil. His predecessor, Trajan, had overextended the imperial reach and uprisings at the edges of Rome’s holdings were threatening stability. Mesopotamia was revolting. Judea was exploding. Macedonia was bristling. And another rebellion had broken out in the troublesome province of Britannia. In other words, there was trouble in Iraq, Israel, the Balkans and here. Had Fiona Bruce been reading the news in Hadrian’s day, she would have been lamenting pretty much what she laments today.

Hadrian’s first meaningful act as emperor was to retreat from Mesopotamia — to pull the troops out of Iraq — thereby ridding the empire of a distant problem it didn’t need. In Judea, he ruthlessly put down the Jewish uprising and gave the province a new name: Palaestina. In Britain, he built a wall that marked the outer limits of the empire and symbolically separated Englishness from Scottishness, thereby creating a divide to which we seem to be returning.

All this the show tells us with an exemplary mix of maps, models, mementos and masterpieces. The BM’s storytelling skills have sharpened considerably since St Neil took over, and the brutal thematic clarity here is worthy of Hadrian himself. To prove how up-to-the-minute history can be, the opening object is a colossal head of Hadrian discovered in Turkey only last August. It shows him to have been the first emperor to sport a beard, perhaps to cover up some facial blemishes. With his fleshy cheeks and unruly mop of curls, Hadrian looked uncannily like a white marble Rory McGrath.

He was actually Spanish. And grew up in modern Andalusia in a privileged community of wealthy landowners who had made their fortunes supplying Rome with olive oil. A row of dusty amphoras stamped with Spanish initials seeks successfully to evoke the quotidian nature of these Iberian origins. The burial tablet of the wet nurse who brought him up adds another humanising touch. And we learn that Hadrian had an unusual crease across the top of his ear lobe, which features in all the authentic busts of him. It was probably caused by genetically inherited cardiac problems, and has proved an excellent tell in the hunt for fakes. Those of us who had always imagined that Roman portraiture was concerned solely with mass-producing the official image and never with the search for individual likenesses will have to re-examine our position.

Hadrian’s accomplishments as a war leader are darkly impressive. Having withdrawn from Mesopotamia, he was free to squash every hint of rebellion nearer home. His behaviour in Judea was outrageous. One contemporary report claims that 580,000 rebels were killed. A few precious possessions left behind by fleeing Jews in AD132 were rescued from a cave in a desert wadi and are now on show here, perfectly preserved. The rope attached to a gorgeous bronze bowl might have been knotted in Jerusalem yesterday.

Hadrian as warlord appears most memorably in a whopping great statue in full armour — imagine the Incredible Hulk in Bacofoil — in which he stamps on a tiny retreating scaredy-cat, probably a rebellious Jew. Can this really be the same Hadrian whose achievements as an international builder have left us so many monuments to admire in so many countries?

In AD122, he arrived in Britain to see for himself what was causing the constant bellicosity of the tribes and to initiate the building of his famous wall. When I was at school, Hadrian’s wall was explained as the last line of Roman defence against the invading Scots. It now seems that it was built to clarify the empire’s northern edges and to make easier the collection of taxes and suchlike. Everywhere Hadrian went, he built. But his finest construction achievement was surely in Rome itself, where his glorious Pantheon still stands, and is the model for every substantial dome that has followed it. The Castel Sant’ Angelo is still there too, originally built as Hadrian’s mausoleum; and outside Rome, in Tivoli, the fabulous villa complex he dreamt up remains as well in substantial fragments. What a legacy.

Hadrian the builder and Hadrian the war beast are joined by the third main imperial identity identified here: Hadrian the homosexual. Tales of his devotion to his Greek lover, Antinous, have come down to us in various nudgy and winky forms, and much is made in the show of the open-mindedness of the Romans in matters of gayness. Antinous, who died in a mysterious river accident in Egypt, was quickly deified by Hadrian and worshipped as a god around the empire. The resulting statues show a beautiful marble Adonis with softly feminine looks.

Yet something about this reading of the situation doesn’t quite ring true. The Hadrian who has hitherto been evoked is surely too clever and ruthless a political manipulator to have allowed his sexual preferences to be given this florid an airing. The public taking of Antinous the Greek as a lover makes more sense as a deliberate political manoeuvre designed to ingratiate himself with the Greek-speakers who still made up 50% of the empire. A gay marriage of political expedience?

Anyway, it’s an exemplary piece of storytelling, achieved with exactly the right mix of telling objects and great art. The show is not, and cannot be, as exotically intoxicating as The First Emperor, but does its job just as well. This franchise could run and run.

Hadrian: Empire and Conflict is at the British Museum, WC1, from Thursday until October 26

Quality and Outcomes Framework for UK GPs

《泰晤士報》報道,英國15萬名醫生將需要每年接受工作能力鑒定,測試他們是否勝任繼續行醫。這是英國150年來最大規模的醫療規則改革。 《泰晤士報》說,這是全世界第一個這類的制度,素質差的醫生將可能會失去醫生執照。 《每日電訊報》報道,根據更嚴格的規定,家庭醫生將不能隨便為感冒患者開抗生素藥物。專家指出,抗生素對喉嚨痛這類症狀未必有效,但抗生素的大量使用將導致抗藥病菌MRSA的個案不斷增加。








【2008/07/23 中央社】

general practitioner英國醫生的品質評審: Quality and Outcomes Framework(QOF),

general practice noun [C or U] UKthe work of a GP (= doctor) who treats the people who live in the local area and treats injuries and diseases that do not need a hospital visit
general practitioner noun [C] 英國制,類似「社區醫生」


Quality and Outcomes Framework for UK GPs

QOF stands for Quality and Outcomes Framework. In the UK, it is a voluntary set of targets that medical General Practitioners (GPs) can aim for.

The targets are set by the National Health Service (NHS) and each target has points attached to it. As Bruce Forsyth would say on Play Your Cards Right, 'What do points make?' The audience shouts back, 'Prizes!'

QOF points are worth about ?20 each to a GP practice with around 5,700 patients. As there are 1,000 points1 available, this can be seen as a way of making a pretty penny for the practice.

The targets cover the main areas of a GP's practice: Clinical, Organisational and Additional Services and Patient Experience. Each of these headings is split into sub-headings or 'indicators' so that specific targets can be volunteered for and then tested. This testing is carried out by a group of assessors that generally include a local GP from a different practice, a member of the local Primary Care Trust staff, a Pharmaceutical Advisor and an ordinary person.

Before the inspectors visit, the GP's practice will prepare its own evidence on how it has met the targets it has volunteered to achieve and will say how many points it is aiming for. By the time of the visit, the inspectors have this information and will have the opportunity to examine their own specific areas of expertise.

Clinical Domain

This covers items such as coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, cancer, diabetes, mental health, hyperthyroidism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and epilepsy. The GP assessor will look at anonymous patient records to ensure that the levels of work being claimed in the clinical domain are reflected in the work being done with patients. They also look at statistics available from one of the computer systems used by GPs to see that their levels of patient prevalence would fit in with the prevalence of the surrounding areas. In other words, if a doctor said 'We hardly have anyone with asthma round here,' he or she may be saying it because they didn't want to be penalised for not doing enough work with asthmatics and so lose points. However, if it is a true statement, the GP would not be penalised.

Generally speaking, this voluntary scheme encourages doctors to carry out the good practice that many of us would have thought doctors would do anyway.

Organisational Domain

This involves categories such as records and information about patients, information for patients, education and training, practice management and medicines management. The non-clinical assessors will look at how the practice manages much of its day-to-day working and its interface with the patients. Are the patients' records kept up to date? Are patients given information about specific health schemes being promoted by the NHS, such as smoking cessation?

Additional Services Domain

Some services are now voluntary for GPs to opt into. These include clinical screening, child health surveillance, maternity services and contraceptive services. If a doctor is claiming to offer these, then the assessors need to see that patients are being offered to a reasonable standard and may request proof of each item claimed and the quality of that service. Often this will involve the practice having a written policy which needs to be understood by all relevant staff and to have evidence that that policy is adhered to.

Patient Experience

To get paid for these points, a GP's practice has to conduct an annual patient survey. The questions need to follow a preset formula fairly closely. The practice then has to meet to discuss the results of the survey and to set itself an action plan to cover the next two years, taking into account the points raised by patients.

After the Visit

The assessors report their findings to the practice and give them a pat on the back for what has been done well and encourage them to try harder on the things they are slipping back on. They may also warn the practice that it may have funds withdrawn if it is clear that they have previously claimed money for points that they have no evidence of achieving.

This informal report is turned into a formal paper report and a copy is sent to the practice for comments before it is sent off to the NHS coordinators. Over the next year, auditors come out and check a sample of GP practices to ensure that the general standard of assessment is accurate. They will also penalise GPs who are not honest about their points attainment.

The overall aim of this is to improve health services locally. If your GP doesn't seem to be coming up to scratch in any of these areas, you might want to advise your Primary Care Trust about it.

2008年7月20日 星期日

London Walks 倫敦的北京烤鴨

"......創立於1960年的「倫敦漫步(London Walks)」,是全世界最早推出城市漫步之旅的專業旅遊公司。該公司開發了上百條漫步路線,周一到周日天天出發。只要到定點集合、付五到七英磅的費用,就有導遊帶你上路。












2008年7月19日 星期六

look to the sea, take to the sea

look to, take to

Look to the island, take to the island.--我記錯

No results found for "look to the sea, take to the sea.
英國為島國 其國防在海洋 其生存亦在海洋

C. Y. TUNG,《董浩雲日記》與《董浩雲的世界》頁51

2008年7月17日 星期四


簡單來說,YOTEL就是將日本膠囊旅館的“小空間”與客機頭等艙的高檔設備,舒適體驗結合在了一起。YOTEL的客房只有10平米,按照設施情況分為標準間和豪華 ...



 Yotel是倫敦Heathrow機場嵌入的偉大建築發明,外貌如《2001太空漫遊》的機艙,訂四小時共 六十五歐羅,住一晚則只需八十。我並非貪幾星級酒店的典型客,就是上趟到台北與弟同睡三百呎的西門町飯店,正門像後門,大堂需自行亮燈,才亮起二百呎的空 間。儘管在倫敦睡滿一晚,等同巴黎六晚Hostel價錢,我還是覺得值得的:「太空機艙」有我夢寐以求的玻璃浴室,象徵毫無保留的開放設計,透明得讓人咋 舌的大膽構思,我只在地產雜誌見過。是為速遊觀光的精緻部分。

 海關少女聽了Yotel一字後,搖了搖頭,我理解為「巴黎有甚麼了不起」。稍有歷史常識的人也明 白英法關係,我這後殖民餘孽無意為英人的侵略史借他人之矛刺它一把,換來一口暫時的國民意氣,花數千買來直航機票的我只怕被扣查、搜身,數亂我玩物喪志的 時日。海關少女最終還是放過(懶得理)我,眼也不抬,舉手要下位入境者前來。

 順利入境,心裡哼著Glen Hansard的folk。Heathrow除了以疏於保安見稱(最著名的有環保者闖入機場,爬上機翼示威),還有離兩三公里遠的四站和五站,就連本地人 也弄不清楚。君不見那位爬著行李車的老婦前來問路,我竟回答得頭頭是道。諷刺的是,我所回答的,通通自網上覓得;機場詢問處只有一人站崗,其餘答問者全都 是輕觸式屏幕,高科技的無人駕駛是場生硬多餘的盲婚啞嫁,老人最無辜。

 升降機上升又下降,我依我的「頭頭是道」走到月台,按路標所示,這程機場快線費用全免。「優惠」 非空穴來風,只因四站與五站一東一西,各是胡同。五站著陸,Yotel置於四站。我須先到那邊安頓行李,才正式跑到市中心。月台自動售賣機有「馬莎」糖: 兩歐羅一包Maynards Wine Gums,我毫不猶豫,拿出面值三十港元的歐羅來,人吃糖,糖也吃人。人糖兩忘,是為我初嘗倫敦滋味一二。(八之一)"

Rise in Knife Crimes Among Britain’s Youths

等紐約時報報導它 世界許多地方都知道英國青少年玩刀完玩命的歪風

Officials Struggle With Rise in Knife Crimes Among Britain’s Youths

Flowers left at the spot where Ben Kinsella, 16, was stabbed during an argument.

Published: July 17, 2008

LONDON — Every day, it seems, there are more victims. Shakilus Townsend, 16, stabbed to death by a masked gang. Ben Kinsella, also 16, fatally stabbed during an argument outside a pub. Victims in Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow. Four people fatally stabbed in London in one 24-hour period alone last week.

Skip to next paragraph
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Imagse

Jimmy Mizen, 16, was stabbed in London. His brothers carried his coffin in June.

In a country where few people have guns or access to them, a spate of knife attacks, many involving teenagers, has forced the issue to the top of the domestic agenda. The Metropolitan Police are so concerned, they said recently, they have made knife crime their top priority, along with terrorism. Government and law enforcement officials are scrambling to produce plans to allay public fears.

On Monday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a series of measures that he said would make it “completely unacceptable to carry a knife.” The plan includes automatic prosecution for anyone over the age of 16 caught with a knife and doubling the maximum sentence for knife possession, to four years. It also sets up a $6 million advertising campaign to discourage young people from committing crimes with knives and a program to force perpetrators to confront their actions by, for instance, attending courses that describe what happens to stabbing victims.

The prime minister also said the government would intervene directly with as many as 20,000 families whose children were considered at risk of turning to violence because “the mother or father have lost control of their children and their whole life is actually in difficulty.” Parents who refused to accept the government intervention, he said, would be threatened with eviction from their homes.

“Too many people, young and old, do not feel safe in the streets, and sometimes even in their homes,” he said, speaking at his monthly news conference.

But opponents of the government complained that the plans were merely warmed-over versions of past initiatives.

“Jacqui Smith is coming up with the same half-baked ideas because the government has been in denial about the scale of the knife crime problem,” Chris Huhne, the home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democratic party, said, referring to the home secretary, who has offered a number of proposals recently.

Knife crime, most often involving weapons like simple kitchen knives, has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, with reports of fresh cases every day. But statistically, the picture is more murky. Violent crime over all has actually decreased by 41 percent from a peak in 1995, according to the British Crime Survey, in which citizens report their exposure to crime.

Yet the survey accounts only for people 16 and older, and evidence suggests that young people in poorer areas are increasingly likely to carry knives, and increasingly likely to use them. The Daily Telegraph, which examined data from three-fourths of the police forces in England and Wales, reported recently that nearly 21,000 people had been stabbed or mugged at knifepoint so far this year.

Doctors in busy emergency rooms say they are seeing a steep increase in patients admitted with injuries caused by violence, often involving sharp objects like glass bottles or kitchen knives. A recent study by the Center for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University found that the number of people admitted to hospitals after arriving in the emergency rooms with injuries caused by violence had increased by 30 percent across England in the last four years.

According to the study, rates of admission as a result of violence were six times higher in the poorest fifth of the country than in its most affluent areas. “The difference between the experience of violence between the wealthier and poorer communities is quite dramatic, even for children as young as 14,” said Mark Bellis, director of the center and an author of the study.

The government’s plans, part of a $200 million program to combat youth crime, are the latest in a series of measures meant to address the country’s problem with knife crimes.

In May, Ms. Smith, the home secretary, announced a $10 million knife-crime-reduction program in problem cities.

In London, where 20 teenagers have been killed with knives so far this year, the police embarked on a six-week blitz in May. About 27,000 people were searched, 1,200 were arrested and 500 knives were seized, the authorities said.

The Conservative Party said the government’s plans did not go far enough and called for steeper penalties. The party’s leader, David Cameron, told reporters: “If you are carrying a knife and you are caught, you should expect to go to prison. Plain, simple, clear.”

But Mr. Huhne of the Liberal Democrats said that approach was the wrong one. Young people in Britain — who regularly score at the bottom of charts that measure relative deprivation, poverty, educational attainment, health and general well-being in Europe — have been subject to “mass criminalization,” he said.

“By dragging more and more young people through the criminal justice system, they have reduced the fear of a criminal record and contributed to the problem,” he said.

Roger Grimshaw, research director of the Center for Crime and Justice Studies at King’s College London, said little was known about how many people carry knives and under what circumstances. “We need to look at the violence itself instead of focusing on the instrument, because clearly knives are very available,” he said.

“Many of these people come from disadvantaged districts in which there is a buildup of fear,” he said. “We have to think about the circumstances in which young people are tempted to use violence, where they have few resources and a law-abiding lifestyle is not a rewarding one.”

Professor Bellis of the Center for Public Health said that the authorities should be “intervening far earlier, before violence erupts” in problem areas.

“For certain communities, violence dominates,” he said. “We have to provide education and support for those families that need additional support, and we have to tackle inequalities. Many people are growing up in environments where they feel they have very little to lose.”

2008年7月16日 星期三

聖公會正面對分裂危機: Why the Pope is not rejoicing at the split

BBC 2008 年的 Reith Lectures第一講的 問答討論 不少經宗教頭目參加
可知這數白百年來的發展 只能漸微


Paul Vallely: Why the Pope is not rejoicing at the split

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Change font size: A | A | A

The Pope might be expected, privately, to be rejoicing at the splits in Anglicanism. He might be expected to issue an open invitation for disgruntled Anglicans to join the Church of Rome. Instead, he is trying to bolster the beleaguered Archbishop of Canterbury.

Why is he doing this? Rome is playing a very long game here which began in 1966 when Pope Paul VI took off his ring and gave it to Dr Williams' predecessor Michael Ramsey. It was a gesture of huge symbolic importance.

In the past four decades, the relationship between Rome and Canterbury has markedly deepened. Years of talks, despite a setback on women priests, have produced joint statements on the eucharist and authority which laid the basis for healing the rift of the Reformation.

The Pope now fears this is at risk. He worries that the Church of England, which for centuries has prided itself on being both catholic and reformed, could mutate into hardline Protestantism.

He is at one with Dr Williams on this. The two leaders have a strong personal empathy and share a deep and sophisticated theology. Both emphasise the importance of reason as well as faith.

The Pope feels more in common with him than he does with theologically primitive and doctrinally ideological evangelicals who share his objections to homosexuality or women bishops. Both men see preserving unity as key and the Catholic bishops in England have warned Rome about the deeply factional nature of Anglican politics. A number of the Anglicans who moved to Rome when women were ordained brought with them a rancorous divisive mentality.

Which is why those Anglican bishops who recently approached the Vatican to ask if traditionalist C of E parishes could migrate en masse to Rome, under an Anglican liturgical rite, were sent off with a flea in their ear.

2008年7月10日 星期四


第一次引 此台新聞


俄新網RUSNEWS.CN倫敦7月10日電 英國廣播公司(BBC)在不久前播出的節目中指責俄羅斯當局與亞歷山大·利特維年科被害案有牽連,英國當局拒絕對此發表評論。

英國BBC電視節目"Newsnight"星期一播放有關"利特維年科案件"的時候稱,俄聯邦安全局前軍官利特維年科神秘死亡案件中有"國家染指的痕跡 "。昨天俄羅斯駐英國大使尤里·費多托夫在接受俄新社記者採訪時說,俄羅斯有權要求英國官方人士對此發表評論,因為這個節目依據了正在英國反間諜部門任職 的人員的消息。








俄新網RUSNEWS.CN倫敦7月10日電 俄羅斯在等待英國政府對不久前英國廣播電視公司(BBC)節目中傳出的關于對俄羅斯政府參與亞歷山大·利特維年科死亡案和謀殺鮑里斯·別列佐夫斯基一案的 指控做出評述。俄羅斯駐倫敦大使尤里·費多托夫在接受俄新社記者採訪時做出了這一表示。


費多托夫指出:"在前天和昨天的電視節目中,傳出了對俄羅斯作為一個國家在背後操縱利特維年科死亡案和預謀謀殺別列佐夫斯基一案的指控。這些指控是 援引英國國家反情報局在職工作人員採訪稿時做出的。我認為,我們有權等待英國政府做出說明。"他解釋說,發表評述的可能是英國外交部,也可能是首相辦公 廳。




2008年7月3日 星期四

Bristol named as 'cycle city'

Image: Bristol named as 'cycle city'

Bristol has been named England's first cycling city in an attempt to get more people onto bikes.



英國交通部長凱莉(Ruth Kelly)進一步將布里斯托(Bristol)設為英國的首座單車城市,並宣布其他十一個單車示範城鎮。



布里斯托之所以雀屏中選,是因為過去十五年來它主辦了單車界盛事「布里斯托年度最大單車遊行」???(annual Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride)。第十五屆活動在上月底登場,吸引了上千人一同為布里斯托慶祝獲選的這份殊榮。

「英格蘭自行車協會」(Cycling England)會長達爾頓(Phillip Darnton)表示:「我們效法荷蘭等歐洲鄰國的策略:要使更多民眾能享受騎車所帶來的多樣好處與效益,關鍵就在增加資金並持續投資。


英格蘭自行車協會是致力於協助英格蘭地區單車化的國家機構,由地方運輸部長於二○○五年三月創辦,前身是國家自行車政策委員會(National Cycling Strategy Board)。










Minimum living standards: public consultation

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Under embargo until: 22.00hrs 1 July 2008

Minimum living standards: public consultation shows what people find acceptable

According to members of the public, a single person in Britain today needs to earn at least £13,400 a year before tax to afford a basic but acceptable standard of living. This “minimum income standard”, based on the extensive deliberations of ordinary people supported by experts, shows the cost of covering basic goods and services for different household types.

A minimum income standard for Britain: What people think, published today (1 July), by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, captures the consensus reached among ordinary people (on a range of incomes) about what they feel is needed to achieve an acceptable standard of living today. Thirty-nine groups from different kinds of household (such as families with children, pensioners and single people) had detailed discussions about the necessary elements of a household budget for each family type. Experts looked at these budgets to ensure that they provided an adequate diet and met basic needs like keeping a home warm.

Participants in this study were clear that a minimum living standard should provide for more than mere survival. One older woman taking part in the research summed up this view: “Food and shelter keeps you alive, it doesn’t make you live.” Findings from this extensive consultation with members of the public showed that:

  • A single person without children needs to spend £158 a week, and a couple with two children £370 a week, not including rent or mortgage.
  • To afford this budget on top of rent on a modest council home, the single person would need to earn £13,400 a year before tax and the couple with two children £26,800.
  • For families with no adult working, state benefits provide for less than half the minimum budget for single people and around two-thirds for those with children. The basic state pension provides a retired couple with about three-quarters of the minimum, but if they claim the means-tested Pension Credit their income is topped up to just above the minimum income standard.
  • The minimum income is above the official “poverty line” of 60% median income, for nearly all household groups. This shows that almost everybody classified as being in poverty has income too low to pay for a standard of living regarded as “adequate” by all members of the public who took part in this research.

Julia Unwin, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “This research is designed to encourage debate, and to start building a public consensus about what level of income no-one should have to live below. Of course, everyone has their own views about what items in a family budget are ‘essential’. But this is the best effort to date to enable ordinary people to discuss and agree what all households should be able to afford.

“Naturally, people’s circumstances and preferences vary, and this research does not dictate how people should spend their money. But it does start to pin down how much people think is needed to be able to afford basic opportunities and choices that allow proper participation in society.”

Co-author Jonathan Bradshaw, Professor of Social Policy at the University of York, said: “Until now, poverty assessments have been largely based on rather arbitrary measures of relative income, which are helpful for monitoring trends but leave unanswered the question of how much income is enough. Based on these public assessments, almost everyone defined as living below the official poverty line falls short of what people judge to be adequate for their fellow citizens – sometimes by quite a long way.”

Co-author Noel Smith, from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, said: “This study has allowed us to engage in detailed and productive discussions with people from all walks of life about what anyone should be able to afford. These groups have taken their task very seriously, in lively and thoughtful discussions about all aspects of a household’s spending. This is not about what ordinary people would like to have, but about what they consider to be basic needs.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The full report, A minimum income standard for Britain: What people think, by Jonathan Bradshaw, Sue Middleton, Abigail Davis, Nina Oldfield, Noel Smith, Linda Cusworth and Julie Williams is published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. More information is available at www.minimumincomestandard.org
  2. The whole consultation process with members of the public was based on the following definition which was agreed by an initial set of groups: “A minimum standard of living in Britain today includes, but is more than just, food, clothes and shelter. It is about having what you need in order to have the opportunities and choices necessary to participate in society.”
  3. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is one of the largest social policy research and development charities in the UK. It supports a research and development programme that seeks to understand the causes of social difficulties and explore ways of overcoming them.

Issued by Nasreen Memon, JRF Head of Media: 01904 615 919 / 020 7278 9665