2014年10月21日 星期二

State of the Nation 2014

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has published its second annual State of the Nation 2014 Report
The second annual State of the Nation Report which is published and laid before Parliament today from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (SMCP), shows that Britain is on the brink of becoming a permanently divided nation.
The Report says that while a strong economic recovery and a record number of people in work are welcome, the social recovery needed to get Britain back on track to abolish child poverty has not happened. Instead it predicts 2020 is set to mark the end of the first decade since records began without a fall in absolute poverty.
The Report warns that “2020 could mark a watershed between an era in which for decades there have been rising living standards shared by all and a future era where rising living standards by-pass the poorest in society.”
It warns that the link between effort and reward on which social mobility relies has been broken by changes in the housing market - with home ownership rates halving among young people in 20 years - and the labour market - with 5 million workers trapped in low pay.
When combined with cuts in welfare and public spending, these changes put Britain on track to become a permanently divided nation unless radical new approaches are taken by the next government to meet this 2020 challenge. It finds no political party is being honest about the impact of planned spending cuts or has sufficiently ambitious plans to tackle entrenched levels of low pay.
It comes to the reluctant conclusion that there is no way the government can meet the statutory target to eradicate child poverty by 2020. It calls on the next government to supplement the existing targets with new measures to give a more rounded picture of poverty and to publish a new timescale for achieving them.

The report advises the government to commit to the following objectives:

  1. For macro-economic policy, to recouple economic growth with earnings growth.

    Closing the chasm between low income households and the rest can no longer rely on tax credits to do all the heavy lifting – employers will have to raise wages and workers will have to increase their hours. The key recommendation is that the UK should commit to becoming a Living Wage nation by 2025 at the latest.
  2. For fiscal policy, to ensure future fiscal consolidation minimizes the impact on child poverty and social mobility.

    Tough choices will have to be made but the working poor will need to be better protected. The recommendation is that the Office of Budget Responsibility should publish an assessment of each Budget for its impact on social mobility and child poverty.
  3. For social policy, to ensure that young people are not left behind as the labour market moves ahead.

    Young people are losing out on jobs, wages and housing so the next government should commit to end long-term youth unemployment by 2020. The key recommendation is that half of all larger workplaces should offer quality apprenticeships.
  4. For housing policy, to ensure it contributes to more social mobility and less child poverty.

    This generation of young people is far less likely to progress onto the housing ladder than their parents’ generation. The key recommendation is to create new forms of housing tenure through expanded shared ownership schemes and reform of the private rented sector.
  5. For education policy, to ensure it closes the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their better off peers.

    Without a new focus the gap in attainment between the poorest children and their better-off peers will take 20 years to even halve. The key recommendation is that the best teachers should be paid more to teach in the worst schools to help end illiteracy and innumeracy in primary school by 2025 and to halve the attainment gap in secondary school by 2020.
  6. For universities and employers, to ensure they recruit from a broader range of talent. Universities and professions are poised to expand dramatically and this needs to bring with it a social mobility dividend.

    The key recommendation is for unpaid internships to be made illegal and for 5,000 more pupils from a free school meals background to be going to university by 2020.

Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Commission said:

“The circumstances are so different, the challenges are so great that the old ways of thinking and acting that have dominated public-policy making for decades will simply not pass muster. What worked in the past will not serve as an adequate guide for the future. A new agenda is needed.”

Contact Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission

Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
Sanctuary Buildings
20 Great Smith Street

2014年10月19日 星期日




(編譯:林杉 / 責編:躍生)

2014年10月17日 星期五

What really happened in the London Beer Flood 200 years ago?

London Beer Flood - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The London Beer Flood happened on 17 October 1814[2] in the parish of St. Giles, London, England. At the Meux and Company Brewery[1] on Tottenham Court Road,[1][3] a huge vat containing over 135,000 imperial gallons (610,000 L) of beer ruptured, causing other vats in the same building to succumb in…
Over one million litres in volume and in a tidal wave at least 15 feet high
An unlimited, free supply of beer – it sounds wonderful doesn’t it? But...

Cameron backs Hong Kong rights, China blocks BBC site

Cameron backs Hong Kong rights, China blocks BBC site
Prime Minister David Cameron said on...

China blocks BBC website as Hong Kong tensions rise

Corporation condemns ‘deliberate censorship’ as Chinese official claims foreign media are not reporting protests objectively
China has blocked the BBC website as protests in Hong Kong continue
China has blocked the BBC website as protests in Hong Kong continue. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images
Chinese censors have blocked the website of the UK’s national broadcaster, the BBC said in a statement late on Wednesday, coming as tensions rise in Hong Kong between pro-democracy protesters and police.
The broadcaster said that the move seemed to be “deliberate censorship”. It did not say what may have prompted the move by Beijing, which also blocks the websites of the New York Times, newswire Bloomberg and the BBC’s Chinese-language website.
“The BBC strongly condemns any attempts to restrict free access to news and information and we are protesting to the Chinese authorities. This appears to be deliberate censorship,” said Peter Horrocks, director of the BBC World Service Group.
The BBC’s English-language website was still inaccessible in China on Thursday morning.
In Hong Kong, police used pepper spray early on Thursday to stop pro-democracy protesters from blocking a major road near the office of the city’s embattled leader amid public anger over the police beating a protester a day earlier.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.
A Chinese official told foreign media in Hong Kong on Wednesday that China has seen interference in the city’s pro-democracy protests from outside forces and called on international journalists to report “objectively“.
Earlier this month a Chinese court issued new rulings clamping down on what “netizens” can say and do online, a reflection of Beijing’s desire to influence popular opinion, both online and offline.
This is not the first time the BBC has been blocked in China. In 2010, the broadcaster’s website was blocked for several days, which coincided with the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
According to China-based anti-censorship group Greatfire.org the BBC’s English-language website has been partially blocked in the last 90 days. It was only fully blocked on Wednesday.
“The BBC provides impartial, trusted news to millions of people around the world, and attempts to censor our news services show just how important it is to get our accurate information to them,” added Horrocks.

2014年10月14日 星期二

Mayfair, London

  1. Mayfair, London
  2. Mayfair is an area of central London, by the east edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster. The district is now mainly commercial, with many former homes converted into offices for major corporations ... Wikipedia


Top Destination of Prime Central London: Mayfair
對很多人來說,梅費爾(Mayfair)這個名字是以「大富翁」遊戲中倫敦地圖最昂貴的地址而被初次知曉的。對於那些曾經到過英國的人來說,更為生動的「梅費爾」印象或許是倫敦最繁榮的高檔購物街邦德街(Bond Street)和蒙特街(Mount Street)上熙熙攘攘的人群、各式各樣的精品店。不過,梅費爾並非只是世界級的零售和旅遊目的地,它同時還是倫敦最傳統的黃金地段與許多名人的家。
【大紀元2014年10月14日訊】(大紀元記者逸銘報導)對很多人來說,梅費爾(Mayfair)這個名字是以「大富翁」遊戲中倫敦地圖最昂貴的地址而被初次知曉的。對於那些曾經到過英國的人來說,更為生動的「梅費爾」印象或許是倫敦最繁榮的高檔購物街邦德街(Bond Street)和蒙特街(Mount Street)上熙熙攘攘的人群、各式各樣的精品店。不過,梅費爾並非只是世界級的零售和旅遊目的地,它同時還是倫敦最傳統的黃金地段與許多名人的家。
不過,梅費爾並非一直都能稱得上「倫敦最昂貴的地址」。在17世紀以前,梅費爾是塊僅有考古學價值的開闊田野。在1686年後,五月會集(May Fair)開始在這裡舉行,這塊日後的寸土寸金之地也因此得名。大部分的豪宅和花園廣場的建設始於十八世紀初,主要由格羅夫納先生及其家族(Grosvenor family,後來的威斯敏斯特公爵)作為倫敦上流社會的最高檔住宅區而建造。
除此之外,梅費爾還有大量的私人會員俱樂部、大使館、皇家住宅和高檔購物街。邦德街、皮卡迪利(Piccadilly)、伯靈頓拱廊(Burlington Arcade)和蒙特街都是設計師品牌、高端精品店和獨立零售商的代名詞。
根據萊坊(Knight Frank)公司的倫敦市中心黃金地段指數顯示,40年前價值25萬英鎊的梅費爾房產,當前將價值1,740萬英鎊。相比肯辛頓(1,620萬英鎊)、騎士橋(1,590萬英鎊)、切爾西(1,460萬英鎊)以及金價(260萬英鎊)的同期增長,梅費爾作為「大富翁」遊戲中倫敦地圖最昂貴的地址當之無愧。
梅費爾的大地主格羅夫納不動產和皇冠不動產公司(Crown Estate)也以注重奢侈品零售為原則來開發。前者正在整修擴建公園巷(Park Lane),以吸引高端時裝屋、珠寶商和餐館。後者正在投資5億英鎊把St James’s地區轉變成世界級商店和餐館所在地。
梅費爾的房產融合了歷史的宏偉與現代的奢華,戶型包括大型豪宅、幽巷房(Mews)和各種戶型的公寓。雖然不同的房型會點綴在不同的地區,但是房型分布仍有大體的規律可循:格羅夫納廣場和公園巷地區多為大型的平面公寓(Lateral Apartment)。小型公寓可以到蒙特街與南奧德利街(South Audley Street)去找。想找精緻的幽巷房,試試海斯馬廄(Hays Mews),卡爾羅斯街(Culross Street)或亞當斯行(Adams Row)。而切斯特菲爾德山(Chesterfield Hill)和公園街(Park Street)有很多規模較小的聯排別墅。

2014年10月11日 星期六

Did we know all about Arthur Conan Doyle's immortal detective? Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson's adventures in 21st Century London

We think we know all about Arthur Conan Doyle's immortal detective, with his pipes, dressing-gown and cocaine – but do we really, asks Sam Leith
We think we know all about Conan Doyle's immortal detective, with his pipes, dressing-gown and cocaine – but do we really, asks Sam Leith

Sherlock : "A Study in Pink"/ The Blind Banker

BBC One - Sherlock, Series 1

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson's adventures in 21st Century London. ... Martin Freeman interview - 221b Baker Street Duration: 01:47 The Blind Banker · Clip ...

about cycling in London

Chris Boardman: "There is a battle going on in central London right now which will decide its future, and perhaps the future of every other city centre in Britain. Officially, it’s about cycling – in particular, Boris Johnson’s plan for a new segregated cycle superhighway from Tower Hill to Hyde Park Corner. In reality, it is a battle about health, about noise, about pollution, about the kind of cities we want to live in – and the kind of politics we want to have"
The main political parties and 60 big employers support ‘Crossrail for...

2014年10月10日 星期五

the Brighton bombing three decades ago

What the Brighton bombing three decades ago informs us about Britain's political system.
Not only did Irish terrorists fail to kill Margaret Thatcher. Their movement...

2014年10月3日 星期五

The historic Wedgwood Collection

The historic Wedgwood Collection, a unique record of 250 years of British art and history that faced being broken up and sold to pay off part of a £134m pension debt, has been saved for the nation by donations from thousands of well wishers
Works including art, ceramics and paintings which faced being sold to pay...

2014年10月2日 星期四

fish and chips


(fish and chips)“炸魚和薯條”史

2小時 · 
Trace the history and development of selling chips, learn about fish battering and discover the intricacies of mushy peas here:http://bbc.in/ZrJGwv

Page last updated at 02:37 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

The unlikely origin of fish and chips

Fish and chips

By James Alexander
BBC News

Fish and chips are a national institution - and now chippies across the country are preparing to celebrate the 150th birthday of our most famous fast food.
Winston Churchill called them "the good companions". John Lennon smothered his in tomato ketchup. Michael Jackson liked them with mushy peas.
They sustained morale through two world wars and helped fuel Britain's industrial prime.
For generations, fish and chips have fed millions of memories - eaten with greasy fingers on a seaside holiday, a pay-day treat at the end of the working week or a late-night supper on the way home from the pub.
Few can resist the mouth-watering combination - moist white fish in crisp golden batter, served with a generous portion of hot, fluffy chips.

1910: c25,000
1929: c35,000
2009: c10,000
Sources: seafish.org and Fish and Chips and the British Working Class, by John Walton

Everyone has their own preferences and tastes vary from one part of the country to another. Cod or haddock? Salt and vinegar? Pickled onion? Scraps?
Like Morecambe and Wise or Wallace and Gromit, fish and chips are a classic double act - and yet they started life as solo performers. And their roots are not as British as you might think.
The story of the humble chip goes back to the 17th Century to either Belgium or France, depending who you believe.
Oddly enough, the chip may have been invented as a substitute for fish, rather than an accompaniment. When the rivers froze over and nothing could be caught, resourceful housewives began cutting potatoes into fishy shapes and frying them as an alternative.
Around the same time, fried fish was introduced into Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain.
The fish was usually sold by street sellers from large trays hung round their necks. Charles Dickens refers to an early fish shop or "fried fish warehouse" in Oliver Twist (1839) where the fish generally came with bread or baked potatoes.
North or south?
Who first had the bright idea to marry fish with chips remains the subject of fierce controversy and we will probably never know for sure. It is safe to say it was somewhere in England but arguments rage over whether it was up north or down south.

1. Burgers 748m
2. Chinese/Indian food 569m
3. Chicken 333m
4. Pizza 249m
5. Fried fish 229m
Source: NPD Crest market research, Oct 2009

Some credit a northern entrepreneur called John Lees. As early as 1863, it is believed he was selling fish and chips out of a wooden hut at Mossley market in industrial Lancashire.
Others claim the first combined fish 'n' chip shop was actually opened by a Jewish immigrant, Joseph Malin, within the sound of Bow Bells in East London around 1860.
However it came about, the marriage quickly caught on. At a time when working-class diets were bleak and unvaried, fish and chips were a tasty break from the norm.
Outlets sprung up across the country and soon they were as much a part of Victorian England as steam trains and smog.
Italian migrants passing through English towns and cities saw the growing queues and sensed a business opportunity, setting up shops in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
To keep prices down, portions were often wrapped in old newspaper - a practice that survived as late as the 1980s when it was ruled unsafe for food to come into contact with newspaper ink without grease-proof paper in between.
Morale booster
It has even been suggested that fish and chips helped win World War I.
According to Professor John Walton, author of Fish and Chips and the British Working Class, the government made safeguarding supplies a priority.

Cod 61.5%
Haddock 25%
Others (including hake, halibut, plaice, pollock, sole) 13.5%
Source: seafish.org

"The cabinet knew it was vital to keep families on the home front in good heart," says Professor Walton. "Unlike the German regime that failed to keep its people well fed and that was one reason why Germany was defeated.
"Historians can sometimes be a bit snooty about these things but fish and chips played a big part in bringing contentment and staving off disaffection."
George Orwell in The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) put fish and chips first among the home comforts that helped keep the masses happy and "averted revolution".
During World War II, ministers bent over backwards to make sure fish and chips were one of the few foods that were never rationed.
These days, fish and chips are no longer king of the takeaway. Burgers, fried chicken, pizza, Indian and Chinese dishes all now outsell fried fish.
Cost is part of the problem. Strains on stocks of cod and haddock have pushed prices up, while health concerns about deep-fried food have turned many consumers away.
But - despite the recession - sales are rising, according to Seafish, the official authority on all things seafood. Their researchers reckon fish and chips are not as bad for us as many other takeaways, containing fewer calories and less fat.
'Tricks of the trade'
At the Leeds headquarters of the National Federation of Fish Friers, they say the downturn has boosted business as people seek "comfort food" in tough times.
The three-day course it runs for newcomers keen to join the profession has seen a doubling in demand for places. Here trainees can learn the tricks of the trade.
Among them is Bill Bradbury, who has travelled from Canada just to come on this course and get hands-on experience.

Friers in Leeds
Demand for training places in Leeds has doubled

Under the tutor's careful gaze, Bill tentatively lowers a carefully-battered fish into the hot chrome fryer. As it touches the bubbling oil, it sizzles furiously.
Bill was recently made redundant from a steel company in Alberta and is planning to sink his savings into a fish and chip shop back home.
"There's definitely a market for it. There's a big British army base nearby and loads of ex-pats who are desperate for a good chippy.
"Friends were all offering me money to come. They were saying 'please, it would be great if someone could make proper fish and chips.'"
The pupils break for lunch. No prizes for guessing what is on the menu.
There are smiles all round as super-sized bottles of salt and vinegar are passed from one student to another.
Bill grabs a small plastic fork and grins as he spears a hunk of golden haddock and a piping hot chip. A burst of steam rises as he tucks in: "Delicious."
A century and a half on, this great British staple still goes down a treat.