The UK in numbers – II


An article by The Times of August 2nd 2009 showed exactly how copy-writing can be done without a trace of irony: Take a chance on Sweden (read “take a massive gamble you will regret forever”). For a holiday home with seaside views and without the Med masses (read “millions of Britons drinking too much beer in Spain”), the smart money is on Scandinavia.

Who could have written that? Some Fred Redwood. And who for? The estate agents who paid good money for that article. Another estate agent paid for another article with the unfortunate title of “Nordic countries are hot property”.

What is wrong with those people? Is it this  third summer in a row with an impossibly miserable weather preceding a winter of gloom in house prices, scandals of corrupt politicians, swine flu and criminal bankers leaving us all in despair?

The weathermen who predicted a season of barbecueing are, literally, running for cover. I am struggling to find some positive proofs to raise my spirits but I only some . Admittedly, some are taken directly from The Times.

£44m paid to Cap Gemini by the Department for Children, Schools and Families according to Bishop Hill.

£2.7 billion for a few arguably inappropriate defence projects: the future carriers, Eurofighter Tranche 3b, A400M and Nimrod MRA4

£2.9 billion subsidised by the tax payers for the decommissioning of Dounreay, a nuclear power plan in Scotland planned to end in 2336. This figure does not include the cleansing of its dispersed radioactive waste, which cannot be done.

£1.46 trillion owed by Britons in 2009, according to the Bank of England of which £1.23 is mortgages, £231 billion is unsecured consumer credit including £55 billion in credit cards.

5-30 minutes of sun exposure on our face and arms two or three times a week, depending on how far away from the equator we live, are enough to get all the vitamin D we need. Which means that anyone living in the UK is vitamin D-starved.

6 months of average billing cycle of residential providers of gas and electricy like npower.

8 years since in 2001 Cross London Rail Links was formed to define the routes of Crossrail, as well as developing and promoting these two new railway routes.

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