2012年2月29日 星期三

RedBall comes to UK

這種撞擊傳統建築意象與視覺震撼的意象表現手法,過去也曾出現在台北市街頭,由美國藝術家舉辦的都市大紅球計畫(RedBall),風靡了許多世界級大都市,現在大紅球即將在今年夏天,到英國倫敦再度展開驚奇之旅。 由紐約藝術家波西(Kurt Perschke)發起的都市紅球計畫,橫 ...

RedBall comes to UK

Posted by Katy Cowan in News on Tuesday 28th February 2012.

This summer, New York artist Kurt Perschke brings his celebrated art project, the fifteen foot inflatable RedBall, to the UK for its first tour. Arriving on the streets of the English Riviera in Torbay in June, RedBall then tours to Plymouth, Exeter, Weymouth before ending its tour on London’s South Bank.

From Chicago to Barcelona, Taipei to Abu Dhabi, RedBall has intrigued and engaged people all over the world. The sculptural performance appears as a series of daily urban architectural interventions and the gigantic ball has been seen in unexpected locations worldwide - squeezed into alleyways and underpasses, inflated in town squares, and squashed into bus shelters and bridge arches. The playful and charismatic nature of RedBall sparks the imagination across cultures and continents.

The UK tour of RedBall is co-produced by Torbay Council and The Dartington Hall Trust. During the tour RedBall will visit each city, changing location several times. For a short while, neglected spaces become realms of possibilities as the ball literally squashes into place, at once occupying and celebrating our built environment.

As Perschke said: "On the surface, the experience seems to be about the ball itself as an object, but the true power of the project is what it can create for those who experience it. As RedBall travels around the world, people approach me on the street with excited suggestions about where to put it in their city. In that moment the person is not a spectator but a participant in the act of imagination. That invitation to engage, to collectively imagine, is the true essence of the RedBall Project."

Kurt Perschke works in sculpture, video, collage and public space. His most acclaimed work, RedBall Project has travelled to locations including Barcelona, St. Louis, Portland, Sydney, Arizona, Chicago, Toronto, Taipei and Abu Dhabi, and has received a National Award from Americans for the Arts Public Art Network. Perschke has also completed commissions for institutions including The Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, the Vienna Technical Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. Born in Chicago he lives and works in New York City.

Happy in adversity 英国人苦中感幸福

Leader_Happy in adversity

It would be logical to assume that with rising unemployment, a shrinking economy and an almost daily diet of euro crisis, Britain would be a deeply unhappy nation. Yet the government’s first attempt to measure the wellbeing of its citizens shows that despite all the bad news, the British are, in fact, a rather happy lot.

Roughly three-quarters of the 80,000 people surveyed in the depths of last year’s gloom gave marks of more than seven out of 10 when scoring their general satisfaction with life. The remarkable footnote is that the survey was taken at the very moment that Britain’s confidence was shaken by strikes, student unrest and youth riots in the cities. If anything it proves that happiness is relative. Things may be bad, but there is always someone worse off than yourself.

It may be that the British actively enjoy a good moan, despite their reputation for having a stiff upper lip. And if ever there was a lot to grumble about, it is surely now when public spending is being cut and unemployment stands at 8.4 per cent. Look at Northern Ireland, where the axe has fallen hardest. There, the population scores higher on satisfaction, fulfilment and happiness than in England, Scotland or Wales. Of course that could be due to a marginally better performance on employment and a relatively younger population.

Measuring a nation’s happiness has its uses. When government cannot splash out on creating jobs and new public services, and everyone has to tighten their belts, the feel-good factor counts. As Bobby Kennedy said in 1968, the cold calculator of gross national product “does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

There is also evidence to suggest that wellbeing is a good indicator of future healthcare needs. A survey by Gallup, the polling group, claims that countries with a happy population require less medical treatment than depressed nations.

But the science of how to measure wellbeing is still at such an early stage that its value as a policy tool remains unproven. Taking a loose reading of the British government’s subjective wellbeing data, the happiest category of person should be a white male with five or more adolescent children, who works fewer than 16 hours a week. He may be happy. But this is hardly the goal to which the rest of the nation can or should aspire.



去年危机深重之际,8万名受访者中,有约四分之三的人在生活总体满意度这一项上打了7分以上(满分10分)。值得注意的是,调查进行之际,正是英国 人的自信心因为许多城市里的罢工、学生骚乱和年轻人闹事而受到动摇之时。如果说调查结果证明了什么,那只能是:幸福是相对的。情况或许不如意,但总有比你 处境更差的人。

或许这是因为,英国人真心喜欢发牢骚,尽管他们有喜怒不形于色的名声。如果真有什么时候需要大大抱怨一下的话,那一定是现在——政府正在削减公共支 出、失业率高达8.4%。看看受影响最厉害的北爱尔兰,那里的民众在生活满意度、成就感和幸福感三项的打分均超过了英格兰、苏格兰和威尔士。当然,这可能 缘于该地区就业情况略好,人口结构相对较年轻。

衡量一个民族的幸福感是有用的。当政府拿不出什么招儿来创造就业和提供新的公共服务、所有人都必须勒紧裤腰带时,感觉好就成为一件有分量的事情。如 罗伯特•肯尼迪(Bobby Kennedy)在1968年说过的,冰冷的国民生产总值数字“既不考虑我们下一代的健康和教育质量,也不计算他们玩耍时的快乐。总之,它什么都计算,就 是不算那些使生活有意义的东西。”


不过,有关如何衡量幸福感的研究才刚刚开始,其作为政策工具的价值还有待证明。英国政府的主观幸福数据粗看之下可以得出,最幸福的一类人应该是这样 的:白种男性,有五六个正处于青春期的孩子,每周工作时间小于16个小时。这样的人或许确实很幸福。但这实在不是英国其他人群可以(或应该)追求的目标。



(柏克談法國革命: 沒有政治 只有政事激情)

Those who quit their proper character to assume what does not belong to them are, for the greater part, ignorant both of the character they leave and of the character they assume. Wholly unacquainted with the world, in which they are so fond of meddling, and inexperienced in all its affairs, on which they pronounce with so much confidence, they have nothing of politics but the passions they excite. Surely the church is a place where one day's truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.

2012年2月28日 星期二

British Design: Not What It Used to Be/ 雙層紅巴士Routemaster


更新時間 2012年 2月 27日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間11:57






工黨、自民黨和綠黨異口同聲地批評屬於保守黨的倫敦市長鮑里斯·約翰遜(Boris Johnson)的新巴士計劃花銷太大。



約翰遜在2008年競選倫敦市長職位時宣佈了將用全新設計、符合環保的油電混合型大巴,採用傳統的在後部開「隨上隨下」(hop-on, hop-off)車門。



工黨國會議員戴維·拉米(David Lammy)給約翰遜寫信抱怨說,每一輛新車成本是140萬英鎊,而傳統的雙層巴士只要19萬英鎊;每輛車上62個座位,平均下來每個座位成本是22580英鎊。







6555萬打造 復古雙層紅巴再現倫敦 【2012/2/28 19:51】

〔本報訊〕耗資140萬英鎊(約新台幣6555萬元)打造的倫敦雙層紅巴士「Routemaster」終於上路,雖然倫敦市長包瑞斯強森(Boris Johnson)引以為傲,認為可以喚起市民對歷史的記憶,卻引來不少批評,指雙層紅巴是一個政府浪費公帑的「奢侈品」。

「Routemaster」又有「Boris Bus」的綽號,就是來自倫敦市長包瑞斯強森的名字,不過包括英國工黨、自民黨和綠黨等人士,一致批評包瑞斯強森鋪張浪費。一輛雙層紅巴成本是約新台幣6555萬元,啟用第一階段總計有8輛車上路,耗資超過新台幣5.2億。





British Design: Not What It Used to Be

Published: August 23, 2009

LONDON — Strikes. Disappearing letters. Shuttered post offices. Irritatingly long queues and suspicious smells in the survivors. There are (sadly) lots of reasons for the British to indulge in the popular national pastime of grumbling about the Royal Mail this summer.

The appearance last week of a new series of Royal Mail stamps to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the postbox should have struck a cheerier tone. Even the grouchiest grumblers agree that old-fashioned mailboxes are among the most popular symbols of Britain, and share many characteristics of the country’s other design icons.

One is that they come in a rousing shade of red, like the K2 telephone kiosk and Routemaster double-decker bus. Another is that they have the gutsy, no-nonsense engineering aesthetic of the K2, Routemaster and other national design gems, including the Concorde and Spitfire fighter jet. (The French tend to favor elegant icons, like the delicate Art Nouveau ironwork of the Paris subway and those dainty blue and white enamel street signs, but the pretension-phobic British prefer theirs to look pragmatic.) And like so many other jewels of Britain’s design heritage, the postbox is not what it used to be.

In fairness to the Royal Mail (not that I feel like doing it any favors in light of its other recent offenses), the design standards of mailboxes have not plunged quite as precipitously as those of phone booths and buses. The latest designs are unforgivably mediocre, but are neither as ugly as the shabby vandal-magnets that now pass for telephone kiosks, nor as dysfunctional as the lethally long “bendy buses,” which were imported to Britain from Germany to become objects of national hatred, alongside tax inspectors, bonus-grabbing bankers and expense-fiddling politicians. Why have so many British design treasures been so badly neglected?

There are some boringly obvious logistical reasons. The “change for change’s sake” syndrome among ambitious executives in an era of ever-decreasing corporate life expectancy makes them feel compelled to meddle with perfectly good designs to make an impact or, better still (in their eyes, at least), to replace them with something new. They then bungle the process of making modifications or choosing replacements by dint of any or all of the following: cowardice, laziness, lack of imagination, delegating decision-making to committees or focus groups (even though the result is bound to be compromised) and plain ineptitude.

None of these problems are limited to public design projects. They are routine corporate crimes that bedevil every area of design, and explain why we end up with other disasters, like inoperable cellphones, illegible instruction manuals, neurotically overstyled espresso machines and landfill sites bloated with indestructible, non-biodegradable rubbish. But their impact is greater when applied to public commissions, because mailboxes, phone booths and the like are so much more visible. Not only are there lots of them, they tend to be big and to be used by many people, not just individuals. If you analyze the design deficiencies of the average cellphone, they are depressingly similar to those of a Royal Mail postbox, but the latter will be seen by millions of people, regardless of whether or not they actually use it, while the phone will seem conspicuous only to its luckless owner.

All of this could, of course, be avoided, if the designers, and the people who commission them, were better equipped to do their jobs. Throughout design history, almost every national design coup was initiated by a stellar patron, not just in Britain, but other countries, too. Take Frank Pick, who made London Transport a model of modern design management in the early 1900s. Many of his innovations, like Harry Beck’s 1933 diagrammatic London Underground map and Edward Johnston’s 1916 roundel symbol, are still in use today. Pick oversaw everything, traveling around the network on rare “nights off” to check that it was perfect. Even the Routemaster, which was commissioned after his retirement, owes much to his legacy.

None of the people currently running London Transport come close to matching Pick’s dynamism, nor do their peers at the Royal Mail or British Telecom, and they tend to choose designers of their own mettle (or lack of it).

There is another problem, which is specific to public projects. An essential quality of a national design gem is that it reflects the country’s culture. The neo-classical dome of the K2 telephone kiosk symbolized Britain’s attachment to tradition and ambivalence toward modernity in the 1920s, just as the Routemaster’s can-do style captured the determination of the postwar era.

It was easier for designers to accomplish this then than it is today, when Britain’s national identity seems so much more complex, diverse and contradictory than it did in the 1920s and 1940s. Those eras had their complexities, too, but there was less inclination to recognize them, and it is simpler for designers to articulate a clearly defined message, than ambiguity.

This goes some way to explaining why so few new design jewels have emerged, although the shortcomings of the current postboxes, phone booths and most other flops are down to bad design, rather than doomed attempts to reflect the confusion of modern life. The achingly embarrassing London 2012 Olympics logo succeeds in doing that, but is also ugly and inappropriate.

And success is possible, as Matthew Dent proved with his designs for Britain’s new coins, which were introduced last year by the Royal Mint. The backs of the 50-, 20-, 10-, 5- and 2-pence and 1-penny coins bear fragments of the 14th-century Shield of the Royal arms. When those coins are placed together the shield appears intact, as it does on the back of the £1 coin. By fracturing an emblem of British history and reunifying it, Mr. Dent created a sensitive and appealing symbol of contemporary Britain, which has proved so popular that the Royal Mint has run short of coins, because people are keeping, rather than spending, them.

2012年2月27日 星期一

The Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue

The Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue: do you know your 'abbess' from your 'elbow shaker'?

It was a runaway success when published in 1811 by soldier Francis Grose, but now the Dictionary Of The Vulgar Tongue can be viewed online. Here is our round up of the best words:

mistress of a brothels were known as Abesses
The mistress of a brothels were known as Abesses Photo: Alamy

ABBESS: Mistress of a brothel.

BABES IN THE WOOD: Criminals in stocks or pillory.

BLIND CUPID: Backside.

BOB TAIL: Lewd woman. Also an impotent man or a eunuch.

BREAD AND BUTTER FASHION: One upon the other. "John and his maid were caught lying bread and butter fashion."

CAT: Common prostitute.

Prostitutes such as portrayed by Romla Garai in The Crimson Petal and The White were known as cats

COLD PIG: Punishment inflicted on "sluggards" who lie too long in bed — pulling off all the bedclothes and throwing cold water on them.


DOCK: Lie with a woman.

DUGS: Woman's breasts.

ELBOW SHAKER: A dice player.


GLAZIER: Someone who breaks windows to steal goods for sale.


HEMPEN WIDOW: One whose husband was hanged.

HOYDON: Romping girl.


Breeches were known as inexpressibles

JOLLY: The head.

KING'S PICTURES: Coin, money.

LEFT-HANDED WIFE: Concubine. Based on an ancient German custom where, when a man married his concubine, or a woman greatly his inferior, he gave her his left hand.

NOISY DOG RACKET: Stealing brass knockers from doors.

OVEN: Great mouth.

PIECE: Wench. A girl who is more or less active and skilful in the amorous congress.

POISONED: Big with child.

QUEER PLUNGERS: Cheats who throw themselves into the water in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea.

RESURRECTION MEN: Persons employed by the students in anatomy to steal dead bodies out of churchyards.

Body snatchers like Burke and Hare were known as Resurrection Men

RUM DOXY: Fine wench.

SHOOT THE CAT: Vomit from excess of liquor.

SHY COCK: One who keeps within doors for fear of bailiffs.



TIT: Horse or smart little girl.


TWIDDLE POOP: Effeminate-looking fellow.

UNLICKED CUB: Rude, uncouth young fellow.

VAMPER: Stockings.

Stockings were known as vampers

WINDOW PEEPER: Collector of window tax.

XANTIPPE: Socrates's wife, a shrew or scolding wife.


ZEDLAND: Great part of the West Country where the letter Z is substituted for S.

2011倫敦十日談----第二天 (唐 香燕)

謝謝yy前幾天跟我說 唐 香燕的blog 有精彩的文章:2011倫敦十日談----第二天

天氣很好,13˙C ,晴朗乾爽,也不覺得特別冷。一夜好眠後,我跟兒子出門去吃早餐。

2012年2月26日 星期日

Campaign Promotes BBC America the Beautiful

Campaign Spotlight
Campaign Promotes BBC America the Beautiful

A new campaign, concentrating on New York, seeks to raise the profile of BBC America, already available in about 75 million American households.

Posters from BBC America's new campaign.

Posters from BBC America's new campaign.

2012年2月22日 星期三

The Times



泰晤士報》(英語The Times),英國的一份於全國發行的綜合型日報,是一張對全球政治經濟文化發揮巨大影響力的報紙。昔譯《太晤士報》。



公視午間 新聞的品質堪慮
它報導此則新聞 卻多用了CNN的名記者之照片 誤導我去查證
敘利亞炸死2記者 殘忍政府軍 轟火箭彈窮追不捨 2012年 02月23日 【陳家齊╱綜合外電報導】敘利亞政府持續血腥鎮壓反抗勢力,昨天再度砲轟反對派掌握的城市荷姆斯,至少19人喪生。罹難者中包括兩名西方記者,其中之一是 知名的獨眼戰地記者瑪麗柯文(Marie Colvin)。


Journalist pays price of truth with her life

Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times was courageous, dedicated and utterly determined to tell the world of atrocities committed by despotic regimes. Yesterday those virtues cost her her life. She was one of two journalists killed by Syrian forces in the city of…

2012年2月19日 星期日

Sun on Sunday to launch next week

Sun on Sunday to launch next week

Rupert Murdoch in the Sun newsroom The News Corporation boss offered his support to News International journalists last week

Related Stories

The Sun on Sunday is to publish for the first time next weekend, News International has announced.

An email to all staff said that Rupert Murdoch, boss of parent company News Corporation, would "be staying in London to oversee the launch".

Mr Murdoch flew in to the UK last week, and told Sun staff that a Sunday edition would be launched "very soon".

News International shut down its Sunday paper, the News of the World, last year amid the scandal over phone hacking.

There had been speculation about the possibility of a Sunday edition of the Sun since then, said BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas.

A gap in the market had been left by the News of the World's closure, he said, but as tabloid sales were declining it was unclear how much demand there was for the Sun for a seventh day a week.

'New dawn'

The internal memo from News International chief executive Tom Mockridge said: "As you know, News Corporation has made clear its determination to sort out what has gone wrong in the past and we are fundamentally changing how we operate as a business.

"The commitment of News Corporation to invest in a new edition is the strongest possible message of support we could wish for."

He went on: "This is our moment. I am sure every one of us will seize the opportunity to pull together and deliver a great new dawn for The Sun this Sunday."

A report on the Sun website quoted editor Dominic Mohan as saying: "This is a truly historic moment in newspaper publishing and I am proud to be part of it."

Speaking to BBC News, media commentator Steve Hewlett said: "Some of the plans have been in place for some time. If you are going to do it, you might as well just do it."

Former News of the World political editor David Wooding said: "The readership of the News of the World didn't want that paper to close."

They had wanted justice and for those whose phones had been hacked to be compensated, he said.

"The only people who don't want this new paper are the sort of people who didn't buy it anyway."


On a visit to News International's headquarters in Wapping, east London, on Thursday, Mr Murdoch pledged "unwavering support" for his journalists.

Since last November, 10 current and former Sun senior reporters and executives have been arrested over alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

Anger has been expressed by some Sun staff at the decision of News Corporation's management and standards committee - set up to investigate allegations of wrongdoing - to pass information to the police.

Last week, Mr Murdoch lifted the suspensions of the arrested workers, but said their detentions had been "a "great source of pain", adding: "Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated."

2012年2月16日 星期四

柴契爾夫人/尼斯嘉年華會King of sport

英王室人偶 嘉年華現身
一輛載有英國女王伊莉莎白二世(中)、威廉王子與妻子凱特(左),以及王儲查爾斯(右)等王室成員巨型人偶的花車,18日晚間參加花車大遊行。 (路透)法國知名的尼斯嘉年華會17日正式揭幕,今年的主題是「運動之王」(King of sport)。

柴契爾夫人堅持不給白吃的午餐- 小雜貨商之女 改變一個國家

柴契爾夫人堅持不給「白吃的午餐」-小雜貨商之女 改變一個國家.pdf柴契爾夫人堅持不給「白吃的午餐」-小雜貨商之女 改變一個國家.pdf
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How do you strip down the state?

How do you strip down the state?

Love this government or hate it, the consensus is that it is rolling back the state with a vengeance. Supporters agree with David Cameron’s pre-election diagnosis: “it is more government that got us into this mess.” Sceptics accuse the coalition of unnecessary cuts, fuelled by an ideologically driven love of small government.

不管你是喜欢还是憎恶本届政府,人们一致认同,它正拼命为政府机构瘦身。支持者赞同英国首相戴 维•卡梅伦(David Cameron)在大选前的判断:“正是政府过于庞大让我们陷入了当前这种困境。”怀疑者则批评联合政府施行不必要的削减措施,仅仅是源于意识形态上对小 政府的热爱。

All of which made me wonder: how big is the British state? It’s not a straightforward question. One could consider measures of regulation, or public sector employment. Then there are tax revenues, which since the mid 1990s have never been less than 36 per cent of national income, and never more than 39 per cent.


An alternative is to look at government spending. I prefer this as a measure of the size of the state, because – barring a default – all spending must eventually be paid for by taxes (or inflation). By this measure, the state is much bigger: total managed expenditure is more than 46 per cent of national income this tax year.


What’s more, according to “Green Budget 2012”, recently published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, expenditure would have stayed near that level indefinitely without action. That action was pencilled in by then-Chancellor Alistair Darling as the impact of the recession became clear, and has since been amplified by George Osborne. The coalition’s austerity measures – four-fifths of which are spending cuts rather than tax increases – will eventually push spending back below 40 per cent of national income, which is where it was for most of the time that Gordon Brown was chancellor of the exchequer.

另外,根据英国财政研究所(Institute for Fiscal Studies)最近公布的《2012年绿色预算》(Green Budget 2012),若没有采取行动,政府支出本将无限期地在这一水平附近徘徊。随着衰退的影响变得明显起来,时任财政大臣阿利斯泰尔•达林(Alistair Darling)拟定了这一紧缩行动,此后乔治•奥斯本(George Osborne)又予以扩充。联合政府的紧缩措施——其中五分之四为削减支出,而非增税——将最终让政府支出占国民收入的比例回到40%以下,这也是戈登 •布朗(Gordon Brown)担任财政大臣时期多数时候的水平。

So assuming Osborne gets spending back down to 40 per cent of national income, would he have succeeded in producing a small state?


That spending includes pensions and benefits – in other words, redistributing money to the unemployed, the retired and the fecund from childless people with well-paid jobs. Then there’s free healthcare, free education, the army, the police, the courts, and infrastructure such as roads.


This is a lot. Is it worth £40 of every £100 that you earn? You can be the judge of that. Many people would regard it as good value for money. But it certainly does not look like a vision of a stripped-back, “night-watchman” state to me. If the austerity is motivated by libertarian ideology, true libertarians will be unimpressed with the results.

这已经很多了。你每赚100英镑,就让你拿出40英镑是否值得?你可以有自己的判断。很多人会 认为物有所值。但对我来说,这看上去肯定不算是一个已回归最基本职能、“守夜人”式的政府。如果紧缩政策是受自由主义意识形态所驱使的,那么真正的自由主 义者不会为这一结果而感动。

This is not to say the austerity is timid. Many economists would prefer more of the spending cuts to be deferred for a year or two until the economy is stronger (that said, according to the IFS, the cuts are not well advanced: 12 per cent down and 88 per cent to go). And spending 40 per cent of GDP will feel like a smaller state in 2015 than it did in 2003 or 1995. This is because, thanks to an ageing population and a rapidly growing national debt, the cost of providing pensions, paying interest and funding the National Health Service will all rise substantially.

这并不是说这些紧缩措施有些胆小。很多经济学家更倾向于让支出削减再推迟一到两年,等到经济更 为强劲(尽管如此,根据英国财政研究所的数据,预算的削减并没有太提前:仅完成了12%,还有88%等待削减)。与2003年或1995年相比,2015 年政府支出占GDP的40%会让人感觉政府已经有所缩小。这是因为,随着人口老龄化以及国家债务迅速增加,提供养老金、支付利息以及为国民健康服务 (NHS)融资的成本都将大幅上升。

Is there an alternative? A Labour government would have cut more slowly and perhaps would have cut less, but it is hard to imagine closing the deficit through tax increases alone – that would require tax revenues as a percentage of national income to rise by about a quarter. Imagine VAT up to 25 per cent, income tax up to 25, 50 and 65.5 per cent, and 14p on the price of petrol, and you get a rough-and-ready idea of what sort of taxes might be needed. Such taxes could be paid, but would be a huge departure from how we have grown accustomed to organising our society.

还有其它选择吗?若是工党政府,削减支出的速度会更慢,或许削减的规模也会更小,但很难想象单 单通过增税来缩减赤字——这需要税收占国民收入的比重上升约25个百分点。设想增值税增至25%,收入所得税增至25%、50%和65.5%,油价上涨 14便士,你会得到一个关于可能需要哪些税的粗略想法。这些税不是不能缴,但将极大地背离我们已经习惯的社会组织方式。

There are good reasons to object both to the timing and the details of the spending cuts. But the idea that they will produce anything like a stripped-down state looks far-fetched.


Tim Harford’s latest book is ‘Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure’ (Little Brown).

本文作者的新书名为《适者生存:为何失败是成功之母》(Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure),由利特尔-布朗出版社(Little, Brown)出版


London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, For London Youth, a Down and Out Life

For London Youth, a Down and Out Life

The lack of opportunity is feeding a mounting alienation and anger among young people across Europe, threatening to poison the aspirations of a generation.

[cultolyvisual] Max McClure / Courtesy Situations

'Nowhereisland' in the High Arctic

It may become harder and harder to believe amid the increasing hype during the run-up to the Olympic Games, but there will be people who don't have much interest in the five-ring circus going on this summer. That group won't be confined to the beleaguered residents of the United Kingdom—spare a thought, too, for the poor husbands, wives, children and parents dragged to London by sports-mad relatives.

There is, however, one fortunate side effect of the fact that the Olympics have become an enormous commercial operation that would have been unrecognizable to the Ancient Greeks. It is that they are now surrounded by a huge range of diversions for those who cannot stand sports, or who simply fancy a change from watching people running about and throwing things. Music, dance, film, theater and literature all feature in what is grandly called the Cultural Olympiad (london2012.com/cultural-olympiad), but one of the most interesting and notable components is in the field of visual arts.

Andy Moore

Imagineer Director Jane Hytch steers 'Lady Godiva.'

This reflects the fact that art is a major draw, not only for visitors to Britain, and London in particular, but for its citizens: more people visit museums and galleries each year than attend league football matches, the nation's most popular sport. In part, that is down to the strength of the great national and provincial collections, and, in recent years, to the growth of blockbuster exhibitions. But it is also evident in the popularity of British contemporary art.

It is this—the kind of large, specially commissioned installation work featured in biennales and public spaces—which for the most part dominates the culmination of the four-year Cultural Olympiad. Under the title "Artists Taking the Lead," and with a total budget of £5.4 million, each region or, in the case of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, nation, of the U.K. has selected a project to commemorate the Games. The projects exhibit all the virtues and vices, range and unpredictability of contemporary art—and, in some cases, may provoke the public incomprehensibility that often greets it.

Angela Catlin

Craig Coulthard on the site of 'Forest Pitch.'

Scotland's selection is the one that has the closest connection with sports, but also typifies the whimsy and playfulness prevalent in current work, as well as an interest in environment and landscape shared with many of the other projects. The artist Craig Coulthard plans to level an area of forest in the Scottish Borders and turn it into a football pitch where, on July 21, two matches will be played between teams made up of recent British citizens and nationalized residents (forestpitch.org). Thereafter, the playing area will be allowed to revert to nature.

Other exhibitions also concentrate on the elements and the natural world. One of the most spectacular—if it achieves its objectives—ought to be the gigantic column of steam that is being created at Birkenhead, in northwest England, and is intended to be visible from as far as 100 kilometers away. This is the work of Anthony McCall, an Anglo-American artist who began as a filmmaker and whose subsequent practice has concentrated on exploring fire and light.

Perhaps even more ambitious is "Nowhereisland" (nowhereisland.org), which has been created by Alex Hartley. A meditation on national identity, climate change and the environment, it consists of a floating island dragged from the Svalbard archipelago in the High Arctic to the coast of southwest England. Mr. Hartley is inviting people to become citizens of this imagined territory (so far, more than 4,000 people had signed up) and has also created a program of videos, texts and other work inspired by the project and presented by "Resident Thinkers," to run throughout the year.

Ian Conroy

A hot water bottle with a knitted cover, one of the thousands of donated objects that will form part of Brian Irvine and John McIlduff's project Nest.

Other work includes public participation—including the construction of a boat in southeast England, a walk in the Norfolk landscape and a warehouse of personal possessions and a new musical work in Northern Ireland. Not all the plans for public involvement have gone smoothly, though; Martin Creed's intention to have as many bells as possible rung across the country for three minutes at 8 a.m. on the opening day of the Games (www.allthebells.com) has run into difficulties with church bell ringers, who point out that it is impracticable to ring church bells "quickly and loudly," as his specification for the work (which is officially called "Work No. 1197," since Mr. Creed numbers all his projects) demands.

Judging by the previous success of events such as "The Sultan's Elephant," which was staged in London six years ago, I imagine that one of the most popular works will be the contribution of the West Midlands, a gigantic puppet of Lady Godiva (www.imagineerproductions.co.uk) that will eventually make its way to London.

For those who prefer a more traditional setting for their contemporary arts, the Tate Modern is staging a major retrospective of Damien Hirst's work (April 4- Sept. 9), while Tracey Emin, another enfant terrible from the "Young British Artists"—though she is now in eminently respectable middle age and professor of drawing at the Royal Academy—has a retrospective in her hometown of Margate (May 26-Sept. 23). And the National Portrait Gallery will be hosting a Lucian Freud retrospective (Feb. 9-May 27).

There ought to be plenty to divert those who find themselves in Britain this summer, but are more devoted to the Muses than the athletic inheritance that the Greeks handed down to the modern world. After all, Niké, the goddess of victory whose name will surely be one of the most prominent at the Games this summer, never managed to get a seat on Olympus, while Athene, goddess of the arts, had a secure berth there.

Carrying the Olympic Torch
Music, dance, film, theater and literature all feature in the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, but one of the most interesting and notable components of the program is in the field of visual arts. • All of Britain Will Be a Stage •

All of Britain Will Be a Stage

Paradoxically, though this Olympic year is going to be a bumper year for the performing arts in the U.K., the anticipated huge crowds in London may well mean that the arts fans who profit the most will be those who live outside the capital.

While dozens of plays, operas and other stagings will be linked to the 2012 Games, the labels are tricky to untangle. The Cultural Olympiad, in fact, refers mostly to community projects that will be completed by the time the Olympics and Paralympics end. And the Danny Boyle-directed Opening Ceremony, a production that will be seen by a gigantic world-wide TV audience and recently had its budget doubled to £80 million, weirdly doesn't come under the umbrella of "culture."

Angelos Giotopoulos

'Bamboo Blues' by Pina Bausch, part of World Cities 2012 season, is at Sadler's Wells and the Barbican.

The aspect of the Cultural Olympics (total budget: £97.6 million) we are most interested in, however, is the London 2012 Festival (festival.london2012.com), which will feature a program of mainly new works for the theater, concert hall, opera house and dance stage, running from June 21 to Sept. 9. (Confusingly, not all the venues are in London—but the Games are there, so the festival bears the capital's name.) Though many—perhaps most—of the performance events are new commissions, some, like the Globe's plays (except for a new "Henry V") and a good many of the exhibitions, are a matter of re-christening already-scheduled events.

Shivers went through the London cultural establishment last year when the Olympic Delivery Authority urged the city's residents not to use the Underground during the Games, to help reduce traffic on an already stressed transportation system. The West End was identified as one of the hot spots. Although one or two theaters in the area are "going dark" during the Olympics, or giving their casts and crews their holidays then, Society of London Theatre president Mark Rubinstein is optimistic. "We know things will be different, and that we will have to work harder," he said, but added that he is confident of pulling in a new audience of people who have come for the Games but "know that you haven't seen London if you haven't seen a West End show." The big event: Cast members from all of London's musicals will perform in "West End Live" at Trafalgar Square June 23.

Ruth Mackenzie, culture director of the Cultural Olympiad, offered a few of the top items on her list, including Handspring Puppet Company's "Crow," in which the British outpost of the South African troupe bring Ted Hughes's poetic masterpiece to a stage yet to be determined (June 21-Sept. 9). "Another hot tip," she says, "would be the commission for [Scottish composer] James MacMillan at Coventry Cathedral" (June 23).

Following Ms. Mackenzie's lead, here are my recommendations. The Royal Shakespeare Company has specially commissioned a stunning series of Shakespeare plays, adding to the nomenclatural fun by incorporating it in a "World Shakespeare Festival 2012" (worldshakespearefestival.org.uk), starting on the bard's April 23 birthday. "What Country Friends Is This?" is the RSC's take on the shipwreck trilogy—"The Comedy of Errors," "Twelfth Night" and "The Tempest." Other hot tickets will be the Iraqi National Theatre's "Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad" at Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon (April 26-May 5) and London's Riverside Studios (June 28-30), Calixto Beito's "Forests" at Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham (Aug. 31-Sept. 15) and the Wooster Group's "Troilus and Cressida" in Stratford-upon-Avon (Aug. 3-18). Sam Mendes, Rupert Goold and other luminaries will also mount special productions for BBC TV and Radio.

There's a Paralympic aspect to the London Festival, too, including a dance theater piece, "Ménage à Trois," at Southbank Centre (Sept. 1-9), which explores performer Claire Cunningham's 20-year relationship with her crutches. For children and consenting grown-ups, there's Punchdrunk's on-stage "Dr. Who" adventure, "The Crash of the Elysium," in Ipswich (June 15-July 8; ip-art.com).

Lovers of contemporary opera will relish Damon Albarn's "Dr. Dee" at the English National Opera (June 25-July 7; eno.org). Like the Punchdrunk production, this is a co-commission with—and already seen at—the Manchester International Festival. "Dr. Dee" consists of pop vocals plus "contemporary orchestral music played on 16th-century period instruments," in a staging by Rufus Norris.

"We are passionate about offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see work and artists who have changed the way we think about the world and/or about art," Ms. Mackenzie says. "Pina Bausch and Robert Wilson being two obvious examples. But the Beethoven/Boulez cycle at the Proms by [Daniel] Barenboim's East/West Divan and the George Benjamin weekend at the Southbank [May 12-13] also being good examples."

The tribute to Ms. Bausch, the late German performer and choreographer, "Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: World Cities 2012," is at Sadler's Wells (sadlerswells.com) June 6-July 9, while Mr. Wilson directs Philip Glass's four-act, five-hour opera "Einstein on the Beach" at the Barbican, May 4-13 (ticket holders are encouraged to leave their seats when called to by nature—or thirst or hunger). With choreography by Lucinda Childs, it might well be true that this rarely performed piece is "one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century." Mr. Barenboim is conducting his orchestra in the complete cycle of Beethoven Symphonies at this summer's BBC Proms (bbc.co.uk/proms), culminating in a performance of the 9th Symphony on July 27, the Olympics' opening day. The concerts will also feature works by Pierre Boulez.

The lion's share of festival funding for all this comes from the Lottery, plus the Arts Council and co-funding organizations; many programs are still to be announced. But this so-very-typical British way of pulling last-minute rabbits out of mysteriously acquired hats will, I've no doubt, result in some remarkable performances.

Write to Paul Levy at wsje.weekend@wsj.com

Olympic Posters Make a Leap

[cultolyside] London 2012

Rachel Whiteread 'LOndOn 2O12.'

[cultolyside] London 2012

Howard Hodgkin 'Swimming.'

A dozen of Britain's leading artists were invited to design official posters for the Olympics and Paralympics, and some of these are so fine that art lovers with deep pockets will want to invest in a boxed set of the complete, signed limited editions from Counter Editions (wwwcountereditions.com/london2012), at £11,805. The rest of us will have to make do with those available at £7 each from shop.london2012.com, or a trip to the Tate Britain, where they're all on display in a free exhibition that runs from now until the London 2012 Festival ends Sept. 9.

Some of the posters rise well above the level of something to tack on a student's dormitory wall, which is a tribute to the taste of the mystery commissioners (their identities are concealed somewhere in the labyrinth of Olympics-related committees).

Chris Ofili's "For the Unknown Runner" has a classical urn containing one of his generic African figures, whose gender is cleverly made ambiguous by a thick black line. Rachel Whiteread's "LOndOn 2O12" plays on the five Olympic circles in a random and colorful way.

Tracey Emin's "Birds 2012," depicting two small birds on a branch kissing, looks too much like Mary Poppins hanging on to her open umbrella, and bears the scrawled caption, "You inspire me with Your determination And I Love You." It's the most expensive of the limited editions at £1,800, and, I'd say, is the least interesting.

Michael Craig-Martin's wonderfully colored blue stopwatch, done with his characteristic black-outlined precision, is simply called "GO." Howard Hodgkin's "Swimming" is a masterclass in blue (disclosure: both are good friends of mine). Most of the artists commissioned have contributed images that are typical of their work. But Mr. Hodgkin has done something remarkable, in that his picture appears to be abstract swirls of blue laid on with a heavily loaded, very wide brush—but from the lowest suggestion of a wave emerges the dark form of the heroic swimmer.

—Paul Levy

2012年2月14日 星期二

Steles/ Godiva Chocolatier 等/ 超過100萬英國老人開車上路

更新時間 2012年 2月 15日, 星期三 - 格林尼治標準時間10:54






這件題為「圖騰柱」(Steles)的裝置作品出自東倫敦藝術家奇斯·威爾森(Keith Wilson)之手。




倫敦奧運公園的正式名稱是「伊麗莎白女王奧運公園」(Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park),今年夏季奧運期間又叫「南園」(South Park)。

這是英國倫敦科文特花園GODIVA巧克力店制作的情人節櫥窗(2月12日攝)。英國倫敦街頭的一些商店在情人節臨近時推出各種“愛意”濃濃的商品和廣告,烘托情人節的甜蜜氣氛。新華社發(唐詩攝) 2月12日,在英國倫敦攝政街,行人從挂有“倫敦之愛”字樣廣告牌的商店前走過。

Godiva Chocolatier, 17 Russell Street, London - Chocolatiers near ...

Godiva Chocolatier, 17 Russell Street, London - Chocolatiers near Covent Garden Tube Station - All In London.

2012年2月13日 星期一

高利貸'loan sharks'/ 一些著名的消失英國企業: ICI /Cable & Wireless

ICI 帝國化學最有名

Wiring for Help at Cable & Wireless
Cable & Wireless Worldwide has had a brief and unhappy history as a U.K. public company. Investors must now hope that Vodafone, which confirmed it is in talks over a possible bid, will put the company out of its misery.


Consumer Protection

British resort to 'loan sharks' for cash

Charities in the UK are warning of a personal debt crisis, as many in Britain take out "payday" loans to pay their bills. High interest rates are turning small debts into large debts in a hurry.

UK charities are warning of a growing personal debt crisis as thousands of Britons resort to short-term, high-interest loans to pay their bills. So-called "payday loans" aren't just being used for "life's little emergencies," like urgent car repairs or a child's winter coat.

New figures suggest that as many as seven million people in the UK have used such loans in the last 12 months - and they need the money to cover basic expenses, like paying for housing.

Payday loans are short-term lending facilities often for just a few days. Interest rates are kept high to encourage quick repayment. But unlike a generation ago when check-cashing services would advance consumers up to £50 (62 euros) until the end of the month, these days the stakes are higher. Payday lending starts at around £500 or £1000.

Mortgage arrears

According to the homeless charity Shelter, almost a million people use payday loans as the way to pay their mortgage or rent. After all, banks and card companies reduced credit and overdraft limits in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. That firmly put an end to a decade-long binge of cheap - often interest-free - debt.

With no signs of a quick turnaround in the fortunes of the British economy or in the short-term health of some of its banks, payday loans are increasingly the only option for many consumers.

“There's been rent rises, pay freezes, people are potentially at risk of losing their jobs, the number of people out of work is going up,” said Belinda Turffrey from Shelter.

The charity's campaigns manager added: “People are generally finding it more and more difficult to keep their head above water. And as soon as they get into this situation, the spiral can start quite quickly,” she said, pointing to figures that suggest that one loan is not always enough.

'Dubious' tactics

If a consumer takes out an advance to cover a short-term cashflow problem and then returns unable to pay the first loan, “they'll often happily give you more cash," says Paul Crayston from the Money Advice Trust.

Crayston, whose charity offers free debt advice hotline, told Deutsche Welle: “You'll often be encouraged by the lender to take out a second payday loan. "They'll say: 'Don't worry, we appreciate your problem, pay us back at the end of next month.'"

“By the end of three or four months, you are in a position where you have taken out five or six payday loans and you end up paying thousands of pounds in interest.”

Preying on the poor

Those from poorer socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to take out payday loans. Campaigners say they often have a poor credit history and traditional lenders won't touch them.

But the rise in middle-class borrowers whose income won't cover the monthly mortgage has got many charities worried that many personal finances are on an unsustainable path.

Money Advice Trust

Money Advice Trust says it gets up to 200 calls a month about payday loans

Around 18 months ago, the Money Advice Trust was receiving around 150-200 calls per month about payday loans. Crayston told us: “Now we're receiving between 1000 and 2000 calls a month, so the growth is exponential. There's really nothing growing at this sort of rate in the consumer credit market.”

Annual interest rates are as high as 4,000 percent and many promise the money will be in a borrower's bank account within minutes. Britain's Daily Mail newspaper recently reported how some borrowers ended up receiving demands for the equivalent of 15,000 percent when their finances hit the skids.

Quick cash

The lenders say their loans are not meant to provide long-term credit solutions.

One of the largest, wonga.com - named after a British slang word for money - said that they're completely transparent with customers about interest rates and any penalties for late payment.

Payday lenders expect the number of UK customers to reach 3.5 million in 2012, up from 2 million last year.

And while charities despair at their lending tactics, they concede that there is still a huge demand for access to emergency cash.

“Nobody chooses a payday loan, or very few people choose a payday loan,” said Paul Crayston from the Money Advice Trust. “Its normally their only option to save them from some form of financial difficulty.”

Tighter regulation?

While politicians say it'll be impossible to ban them, they do point to growing support to prevent payday lenders from advertising so predominantly.

A dozen British lawmakers are supporting a backbench bill to ban their commercials from TV and radio, which will be heard in parliament in next month.

But charities say consumers need to know that using payday loans for housing is totally untenable.

They expect thousands more in Britain to end up homeless when their payday loans snowball, leading to repossession or eviction.

Author: Nik Martin / ji
Editor: Gabriel Borrud

Ten of the best political documents

這十大 半數以上與英國相關

Ten of the best political documents

The reports, acts and manifestos that defined the world we live in today

The title page of  the Communist Manifesto
The title page of the Communist Manifesto Photograph: The British Library Board

Magna Carta

The Great Charter of Freedoms, signed reluctantly by King John in 1215, is the foundation of constitutional law across the globe, enshrining what became the writ of habeas corpus and protecting individuals from unlawful imprisonment. English barons, enraged by John's arrogance, forced the document upon him to rein in his powers and shelter their own privileges. Among a wide variety of provisions, such as the removal of all weirs and a ban on men being imprisoned on the testimony of a woman, it established the supremacy of the law over the king's will, allowed for a fixed law court, later the chancellery, and created an independent council that became a prototype parliament.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The second world war had ended three years previously, leaving nations scarred, traumatised and determined to make a better fist of things. The document recognises that respect for human dignity is the surest platform for peace and justice and it proclaims four fundamental rights: freedom of speech and belief, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. It isn't legally enforceable, but it defines the freedoms and rights set out in the United Nations Charter, which is binding, and its provisions – including a ban on torture, slavery and discrimination – have found their way into most constitutions since 1948.

Slavery Abolition Act 1833

The slave trade had been illegal since 1807 when the Slave Trade Act levied penalties of £100 a captive on defiant British captains, but slavery itself continued unmolested, while importers found ways to get round the ban. This second act abolished the practice throughout most of the British Empire and freed nearly 800,000 African slaves. For its time, the act was costly – the Exchequer had to find £20m (40% of the government's annual expenditure) to compensate disgruntled plantation owners. However, only slaves aged under six were liberated; the rest had to serve "apprenticeships" with their owners for four to six years, and unfortunates enslaved in lands owned by the powerful East India Company were ignored by the legislation.

United States Declaration of Independence

The second sentence – "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" – is one of the most famous in the English language. The point of the statement, drawn up by Thomas Jefferson, was to declare American independence from the British Empire. It also outlined an uplifting definition of human rights, including the right to revolution, which Abraham Lincoln reckoned should be guiding principles in interpreting the US Consititution.

Rights of Man

Thomas Paine's tract, published in 1791, so inflamed the conservative powers in England that he was sentenced to hang, but he nipped over to revolutionary France where his inflammatory style was more admired. Paine declared that revolution is permissible when the rights, interests and safety of the people are at risk. Since the sole purpose of government is to preserve the above, he believed that all men should have the vote, and that the monarchy, the nobility and the military are illegitimate. He proposed a written constitution, the elimination of primo­geniture, a progressive income tax to squeeze wealthy estates, and subsidised education for the poor.

Beveridge report

The cornerstone of the welfare state and a reinterpretation of the role of government. In 1942, in the midst of the second world war, this white paper sketched the practicalities of a brave new world and was hailed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as "the first time anyone had set out to embody the whole spirit of the Christian ethic in an act of parliament". Its author, economist William Beveridge, pinpointed five "giant evils" in modern society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease. The reforms he proposed grew, after the war, into the NHS, social security, redistributive taxation and state pensions.

Representation of the People Act 1867

Its catchier name is the Second Reform Act. The groundwork was achieved 35 years earlier when the Reform Act 1832 cleaned up various unwholesome aspects of the electoral system by eliminating some of the whiffiest of the rotten boroughs and enlarging the electorate by 60%. However, that still left most of the population unable to vote, so the successor act enfranchised a swath of the working classes. At first only "respectable" workers were to be privileged, but political oneupmanship led to the Conservatives venturing more drastic reforms that made most urban householders eligible (provided they were male, naturally).

The Communist Manifesto

"A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism," begins Karl Marx's 1848 exposition on communist belief. History, asserts the manuscript, is all about class struggle between those who own the means of production and those who toil to produce for wages, and one day the latter would overthrow the former. Self-interest and exploit­ation are the chief currency of capitalism and among proposed measures to vanquish these were a confiscation of private property, progressive income tax, free education and nationalisation of transport, credit and communication. However destructive the political results, Marx's analysis contains social truths still relevant today.

Summa Theologica

Thomas Aquinas, one of the fathers of western theology (1225-74) describes the circumstances under which a just war may be declared. This, he says, requires: a legitimate authority, ie a legal ruler; a just cause and a right intention. A second set of criteria were traditionally added, relating to the conduct of war. These emphasise proportionate use of force and immunity for non-combatants. Modern events, in particular the war in Iraq, have raised the question of what constitutes a legitimate authority, while many have questioned whether, by these criteria, any war can be justified.

Cyrus Cylinder

One of the world's first charters of human rights, or cynical propaganda, depending on how you look at it: it's a fat clay cylinder detailing the virtues and achievements of the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great following his conquest of Babylon in 539BC. Whereas most invaders took pride in detailing their destruction of conquered lands, Cyrus curries favour by pointing out how he has restored peace to Babylon, repaired his subjects' houses and temples, restored their cults and allowed displaced peoples to return to their homelands. Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi hailed the charter as "one of the most important documents that should be studied in the history of human rights".

2012年2月12日 星期日

allegations of corrupt payments (the Sun newspaper)

新聞集團負責人梅鐸趕到倫敦處理危機,明確表示不會關閉太陽報。 根據中央社倫敦12日報導,英國警方共逮捕8人,之後獲保釋,其中5人是太陽報(The Sun)的員工、1名警官、1名軍方人員及1名國防員工。 媒體報導,被捕的太陽報員工包括副總編輯韋布斯特(Geoff Webster)、 ...

Sun newspaper 'will continue' says Rupert Murdoch

Five journalists at the Sun newspaper have been arrested by detectives investigating allegations of corrupt payments to the police

Related Stories

News International owner Rupert Murdoch has said he is committed to publishing the Sun newspaper, following the arrest of five of its employees.

They were among eight people arrested - and later bailed - over alleged corrupt payments to police and public servants.

A Surrey Police officer, a member of the armed forces and a Ministry of Defence employee were also arrested.

Sun editor Dominic Mohan said he was "shocked" by the arrests but pledged to continue to lead the paper.

The BBC understands picture editor John Edwards, chief reporter John Kay, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker, reporter John Sturgis and associate editor Geoff Webster were arrested as part of the Operation Elveden probe into payments to police.

The arrests marked a widening out of the operation to include the investigation of evidence in relation to suspected corruption involving public officials who are not police officers.

News International chief executive Tom Mockridge issued a memo to Sun staff, which said: "The Sun has a proud history of delivering ground-breaking journalism.

The Sun newspaper picture editor John Edwards The Sun picture editor John Edwards is understood to be among those arrested

"I have had a personal assurance today from Rupert Murdoch about his total commitment to continue to own and publish The Sun newspaper."

Mr Murdoch is expected to visit staff in London later this week.

Mr Mockridge also told staff that "today we are facing our greatest challenge" following the arrests of five of its staff, which was "difficult for everyone on The Sun and particularly for those of you who work closely with those involved".

A News International spokeswoman confirmed the memo set out News Corporation and Mr Murdoch's position.

However, a News International employee told the BBC's Matt Prodger that staff felt "absolutely furious" and "betrayed by management" in light of the arrests.

Mr Mohan said: "I'm as shocked as anyone by today's arrests but am determined to lead the Sun through these difficult times.

"I have a brilliant staff and we have a duty to serve our readers and will continue to do that. Our focus is on putting out Monday's newspaper."

'Total support'

News Corporation confirmed five Sun employees been arrested.

Operation Elveden

  • Running alongside Metropolitan Police's phone-hacking investigation, Operation Weeting
  • Elveden launched after police were handed documents suggesting News International journalists had made illegal payments to officers
  • Documents were handed over by News International on 20 June 2010
  • Investigation is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission
  • More than 20 arrests have so far been made as part of Operation Elveden

Five men aged between 45 and 68 were arrested at their homes in London, Kent and Essex on suspicion of corruption, aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office, and conspiracy in relation to both offences.

A Surrey Police officer and a Ministry of Defence employee, both 39, and a member of the armed forces, 36, were also arrested at their homes on suspicion of corruption, misconduct in a public office and conspiracy in relation to both. Two were arrested in Wiltshire and one in Surrey.

All five journalists - aged 45, 47, 50, 52 and 68 - the Ministry of Defence employee and the armed forces employee have been released on bail until May, while the policeman was bailed until March.

Their homes were being searched and officers were also carrying out searches at the offices of News International in Wapping, east London.

News Corp said its Management and Standards Committee (MSC) had provided information to the Elveden inquiry which led to the arrests.

The company said in a statement: "News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news-gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated and last summer authorised the MSC to co-operate with the relevant authorities."

Mr Murdoch has previously appeared before the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

Tom Watson MP, who sits on the committee, told Channel 4 News that Mr Murdoch and other senior News International staff could be recalled for further questioning in the light of the new arrests.

"If they've got evidence of a reasonable suspicion that the police were paid by News International then Parliament needs to know - I would hope they give us written evidence but if not we might have to drag them back," he said.

Start Quote

If you have a police force or military or officials in the civil service who are so terrified to have contacts with journalists, that will not serve the public interest”

Paul Connew

"Today's developments show this is no longer only about phone-hacking. It goes to the very heart of corporate governance of the company led by Rupert Murdoch.

"Experience shows the company were aware of wrong-doing before it was forced into the public domain by police or civil action but there are now more questions that must be answered."

Low morale

Media consultant and former deputy editor of the now-defunct News of the World, Paul Connew, told the BBC that morale at the Sun would be "rock bottom".

Mr Connew said he was intrigued to see where the line would be drawn between whistleblowers who provide information for public interest purposes and those whom the establishment disliked.

He said: "If you have a police force or military or officials in the civil service who are so terrified to have contacts with journalists, that will not serve the public interest."

The National Union of Journalists has condemned the latest arrests.

General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "Journalists are reeling at seeing five more of their colleagues thrown to the wolves in what many sense to be a witch-hunt.

"They are furious at what they see as a monumental betrayal on the part of News International."

Media analyst Claire Enders said the Sun's future should not be in doubt as it "hasn't experienced any specific loss of sales as a result of the arrests that occurred earlier in the year".

News Corporation is the parent company of News International which owns the Sun and the Times.

Last month, four former and current Sun journalists and a Metropolitan Police officer were arrested as part of the inquiry and released on bail.