Wednesday, 23 April 2008


The Tories have issued a St George's Day rallying cry against plans by Brussels to "wipe England off the map" and create a United Europe.

As Gordon Brown hoisted the English national flag over 10 Downing Street to celebrate St George's Day, it was revealed that EU officials had revised a map wiping out the country and the Channel. The change splits England into three and lumps those parts together with chunks of

other countries to create "transnational regions".

The UK Government is fully behind the project, even though the words "England" and "Britain" are left off official maps of each area and the Manche Region renames the English Channel "The Channel Sea".
Each region, which will be given taxpayers' money to promote trade links, cultural ties, transport policies and tourism, is to be run by a "managing authority" of unelected officials overseen by a director.
None will be based in the UK, with Manche ruled by the French, Atlantic by the Portuguese and North Sea by the Danes.
The regions have legal status and Manche has a budget of £261million between 2007 and 2013, Atlantic £127million and North Sea £219million.

Every project funded by a region must have a publicity campaign which ensures "there is provision for flying the EU flag at least one week every year".
Eric Pickles, the Conservatives' communities spokesman, said: "We already knew that Gordon Brown had hoisted the white flag of surrender to the European Constitution.
"Now the Labour Government has been caught red-handed conspiring with European bureaucrats to create a European superstate via the back door.
"Gordon Brown literally wants to wipe England off the map."
But a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government insisted: "It has nothing to do with altering names on maps.
"It is about support for business, helping boost employment and turning around deprived areas... helping firms in Kent do business with people in Northern France or promoting joint tourism initiatives between different countries."
The move came as Gordon Brown ordered that all UK Government buildings with two flag poles should fly the cross of St George alongside the union banner.
It follows a review of flag flying practices. Number 10 will in future fly the Scottish and Welsh flags on their patron saints' days.
Northern Ireland does not have an official national flag, and so the same practice will not apply on St Patrick's Day.
"The Prime Minister's view is that of course we should celebrate our Britishness, but celebrating our Britishness does not mean we cannot also celebrate our Englishness, Scottishness, Welshness or Northern Irishness," said the spokesman.
The English flag last flew over Downing Street during the 2006 World Cup.


Here's a sample of the latest comments published. You can click view all to read all comments that readers have sent in.

"Why bother this poor country is finished!-
I think we should declare a revolution, war on the EU, and the sort out the Scots on the way back. No I am not joking. We have to get off our backsides and sort this lot out, because for sure this government only know one thing. That is to draw their wages and claim their expenses."


" wonder how long it will be before Gordon flies the European Flag to celebrate our total capitulation and Tony's new job as president."

Monday, 21 April 2008

Thousands Of Staff Planning To Jump Ship

Going nowhere fast?

One in three workers feel demotivated - and many plan to quit their job in the next year, according to a new report.

A survey of almost 3,000 adults showed the main reasons for wanting to move were an unreasonable workload, feeling underpaid and lack of a clear career path.
Investors in People said its study showed that almost half of workers felt their organisation had failed to support their career development after an initial induction.
Workers in the North East were said to be the least motivated in the UK.
Chief executive Simon Jones said: "This research reveals a worrying picture, not only because such a significant proportion of UK employees are demotivated, but because it suggests that valuable employees may be heading for the door."
He said it was also important to highlight that employees who have been with an organisation for just one to two years are most likely to want to leave.
He pointed out that nearly half claim their employers focus their efforts on the initial induction stage but then, as they settle in, let development fall down the list of priorities.
Mr Jones added: "Employees, however long they've worked in an organisation, want better support from their managers alongside clear and effective feedback on their performance.
"This support is vital when it comes to mapping out career paths and identifying relevant training and development.
"Without it, employees are likely to drift and depart rather than stay engaged with their organisation's objectives.
"We hope this research will act as a reminder to employers of all sectors and sizes, ensuring they stay alert to the
signs of employee demotivation and take action to address it.
"Those that don't risk losing valuable talent and experience."

Friday, 11 April 2008

Harry Potter and the rise of school fees

How expensive is it?The average boarding school fee in 2007 was £20,970 a year, that is 73% of the average annual salary of £28,590, according to Halifax Financial Services.
In London it costs even more at £23,250. Wales, with an average cost of £18,540 a year, is one of the cheapest places for boarding schools.
And this is just for the first stage of a child's education, before university tuition fees and student debt make a bigger dent in pockets - and it doesn't include extras such as transport, school uniforms, books and, of course, pocket money.
For parents without savings or investments, and before the impact of the credit crunch, they might have thought about remortgaging to use equity in their home or taking out a personal loan to pay for school fees. But nowadays with mortgages and personal loans more difficult to get and more expensive, and with house price drops on the cards, these options need to be carefully thought out.
And indeed, some young parents, fairly new to the housing market, may not have high levels of equity anyway.
You can reduce the cost of sending your kids to private school by cutting out boarding. On average, a private day school cost £8,121 a year in 2006/2007, and £11,145 a year to be a day pupil at a boarding school.

Britain's Dirty Beaches - The throwaway culture

The quality of the bathing water at our seaside resorts has been getting better every year. But, our beaches just keep getting dirtier.
While just two coastal bathing areas out of a total of 567 in the UK failed to meet the EU's recent water quality standard, the figures for beaches makes grim reading.
Plastic litter on the UK's beaches is up by a staggering 126% since 1994, according to the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Beachwatch 2007 survey report published today.
Conservationists blame the increase on the massive rise in plastic production and the general 'throwaway nature of modern society'. They warn that as well as putting off tourists, the litter is also a threat to wildlife.