Monday, 22 July 2013

Royal Baby

Nicholas Witchell you really are a waste of space . We've got the detail (the time and weight). You really have nothing to do. Get off the tv.  #bbcnews #witchell

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wikipedia Asking For Donations

Used Wikipedia this morning. Up popped a begging letter,

"Dear Wikipedia readers: We are the small non-profit that runs the #5 website in the world. We have only 150 staff but serve 450 million users, and have costs like any other top site: servers, power, rent, programs, and staff. Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind, a place we can all go to think and learn. To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations averaging about £20. If everyone reading this gave £3, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. If Wikipedia is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Wikipedia. Thank you."

Well, if they hadn't come along and put book encyclopedias out of business, ... Still, £3 isn't a bad price to pay for all that knowledge.

There are alternatives. offers premium service at just 96p a week.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Extra Cost of Attending Job Centres Caused by June Spending Review

In his Spending Review announcement the Chancellor announced that attendance at Job Centres would be changed to weekly instead of bi-weekly

In view of the Job Centre's policy of closing local Job Centres, in favour of forcing people to travel to their next town, (in my case, to Luton), I wondered if the Chancellor would also be increasing the allowances to redress the extra cost of travel? The cheapest current charge by Arriva is £4.20 for an all day ticket from Houghton Regis (to get to Luton), so for an unemployed person the cost of extra attendances required would amount to £8.40 a month.

I should also be interested in learning the additional cost of extra staffing requirements needed to deal with double the attendances. Is the Chancellor aware that those in receipt of JSA are required to complete by internet a record of their job searching? The records are available to the associate person working at the Job Centre to enable them to see that effort is being made to look for work. 

The measures announced are likely to increase bureaucracy, not cut it, and as such goes against the ideals I thought the Conservatives stood for.

Having written to my MP, Andrew Selous, I am now waiting for a response which is expected from Mark Hoban MP, the Employment Minister who is responsible for Job Centres.