Forecasts. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is the rich countries’ talking shop. It has just published forecasts for the UK. The major feature is that weak growth in trade and financial distortions are worsening slow global economic growth. John Ashcroft points out that unusually low – and sometimes negative – interest rates are distorting financial markets and increasing risk across the financial systems.
‘Brexit means Brexit’ our new Prime Minister declares. But non-one is brave enough to give us a definition, other than it is the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Propaganda is trying to convince us that there has been no damage to the economy since the Government’s announcement of its decision. Figures on the economy challenge the claim. Living standards have fallen. The international purchasing power of the UK fell immediately as the pound depreciated in the wake of the referendum’s result. The Bank of England’s measure of the value of the currency has fallen by 15% or so since the poll. Such a fall will lead to higher prices.
The unexpected result. The Office of National Statistics has reported that 29% of graduates last year are earning less per hour than a non-graduate who had taken an apprenticeship. This figure is up from 25% in 2014.
Footall in England. Mark Halsey is a respected and admired referee of matches in the Premier League. This is the most watched league in the world, a product that generates substantial revenue and profits. The intense competition creates significant pressure on clubs, managers and players to get positive results. Mr Halsey has claimed he was told to state he had not seen in incident in a game he was officiating in 2011 between Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers, in order to make sure that the offending player was punished after the fixture. This admission prompted immediate denials, confirmations and debate. There are now good reasons to reconsider the management, networks and protocols relating to referees in England.
Confirms our suspicions? ‘Alcohol enables Parliament to do things at 11 at night that no sane person would do at 11 in the morning.’ George Bernard Shaw (1850-1950), Irish dramatist and critic.
The battle. ‘Class distinctions do not die; they merely learn new ways of expressing themselves.’ Richard Hoggart (1918-2014), British academic in sociology, English literature and cultural studies.