Treating your workers as expendable machines

To The Guardian I fear the plight of the middle class is even worse than Larry Elliott portrays. In addition to being “hollowed out” and suffering stagnant incomes, much of the middle class – public and private sector – has been subjected for two decades to increasing workplace monitoring and micromanagement, bureaucratic control, corporate compliance …

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Britain’s most unpopular generation

Britain’s youngest adults have suffered a slump in their discretionary spending power, while people aged 65 and over have enjoyed a sharp 37% rise. The findings shatter the myth of millennials wasting their disposable income on fripperies. In its first ever national audit on the subject, the Resolution Foundation’s new Intergenerational Centre concludes that compared …

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Some light relief: a little unknown bit of history

My father took the surrender of the Third Reich.  Yes, truly. It happened like this.  My father was a Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force, duty officer on the day in question on a North German airfield occupied by the British in 1945.  Hitler had committed suicide and Admiral Doenitz had taken over as …

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A nice, harmless report that isn’t about wrecking civilisation!

The use of birdfeeders in gardens has dramatically increased the diversity of the birds living in Britain’s urban areas, a new study has found. The British Trust for Ornithology said that at least half of home-owners feed garden birds – a trend that started to take off in the 1970s – and this now supports …

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Mafia steals billions: surprise, surprise

The Italian Mafia has made €3bn over the past ten years by siphoning off EU funds intended for farmers within Sicily’s largest national park, according to a former director of the park, who survived a Mafia assassination attempt in 2016. In his new book, Giuseppe Antoci claims that Cosa Nostra clans use threats to deter …

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In contrast to media Wikipedia arguments are quite civilised

An analysis of millions of Wikipedia articles suggests that ideologically diverse groups can not only cooperate effectively, but also produce better work than homogenous groups. How did Wikipedia succeed where much of the online world has failed? Misha Teplitskiy and his colleagues at Harvard University looked at the editors of Wikipedia articles on politics, science …

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The end of days for the family farm

Publicity for Blue Apron, a company selling pasture-raised, slow-growth, heirloom chickens direct to consumers as meal-kits, weekly if you want them, is a welcome development that  points up the disaster that is now ubiquitous factory farming, In the Midwest, rural towns are being (have been) destroyed by huge corporations buying up land and building vast …

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Cuckoos in the nest

The practice of “cuckooing” – victims’ homes being taken over by gangs as bases for illegal activity – is now estimated to affect thousands of people across the UK. Urban dealers typically befriend vulnerable people in rural and coastal towns, offering drugs to gain their trust. Victims often include those who are addicted, or who …

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That’s the way to do it!

“Joe Biden joked about the controversy that has engulfed his campaign-in-waiting in his first public appearance since several women accused him of touching them inappropriately. “Biden arrived on stage at the Washington Hilton to address the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) conference and shook the hand of the union president, Lonnie Stephenson, before giving …

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What you can do to help cut plastic waste

In our personal drive to reduce plastic waste, we should beware easy, but false, solutions:   Cutting out single-use plastic – water bottles, straws, disposable plates and so forth – is a good place to start reducing waste. But make sure you aren’t inadvertently increasing your carbon footprint. A cotton tote bag must be used …

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College recruitment in the US

The sordid scandal that broke this week concerning the bribery of college employees to get the children of rich kids entry into prestigious colleges when , by themselves, they hadn’t a hope, points to a growing crisis in the higher education that isn’t going away (given the general atmosphere of corruption in government nothing is …

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Womb rental: a racket for the rich

Kim Kardashian is having another baby. Well she’s not actually “having” it herself. She and her husband, the rapper Kanye West, are paying another woman to give birth to it. “I’m totally gonna forget,” she explains. “Then a month before I’m gonna be like holy shit, we need to get a nursery.” Rent-a-womb is legal …

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