The Motor Insurers' Bureau, which compiled the figures, estimates there are 30,500 uninsured vehicles across the Bradford district.The BD3 area, comprising Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Thornbury, tops West York-shire's league of shame, with 4,403 uninsured vehicles, which equates to 57.3 per cent of all vehicles in that postcode area.The BD8 area, which covers Girlington, Manningham and Lower Grange, is the second worst in West Yorkshire, with 42.7 per cent of vehicles uninsured.The BD5 area, which takes in Little Horton and West Bowling, and BD7, including Great Horton and Lidget Green, are the third and fourth worst.Not all vehicles in that fair city are uninsured though, or Bradford wouldn't also be near the top of the table for the 'cash-for-crash' insurance scam.
Almost 2,000 immigrants are being granted the right to live and work in Britain every day, official figures have disclosed. More than 710,000 foreigners received National Insurance numbers last year, an increase of eight per cent from 2005-06, according to figures published yesterday.
Some useful and illuminating figures at the National Literacy Trust on literacy and education levels by ethnic group.
The increasing influence of Islam on British culture is disclosed in research today that shows the number of Muslims worshipping at mosques in England and Wales will outstrip the numbers of Roman Catholics going to church in little more than a decade.
Projections to be published next month estimate that, if trends continue, the number of Catholic worshippers at Sunday Mass will fall to 679,000 by 2020. By that time, statisticians predict, the number of Muslims praying in mosques on Fridays will have increased to 683,000.
Children with English as their first language are now in the minority in more than 1,300 schools, according to official figures. The Daily Telegraph (19/12/07)has obtained data from the Department for Children, Schools and Families illustrating the impact of high levels of immigration on the education system.
The figures show that in a total of 1,338 primary and secondary schools - more than one in 20 of all schools in England - children with English as their first language are in the minority. In 600 of these schools, fewer than a third of pupils speak English as their first language.
Top 30 councils, percentage of schools where English speaking children are in the minority :
Newham - 87.65432
Tower Hamlets - 76.19048
Westminster - 72.34043
Brent - 68.05556
Ealing - 61.84211
Hackney - 61.29032
Haringey - 60.27397
Kensington and Chelsea - 60
Harrow - 54.6875
Camden - 52
Waltham Forest - 43.83562
Redbridge - 43.28358
Lambeth - 42.85714
Hounslow - 41.89189
Hammersmith and Fulham - 39.53488
Slough - 36.84211
Enfield - 31.3253
Leicester - 31
Blackburn with Darwen - 30.30303
Barnet - 30.18868
Bradford - 30.10753
Islington - 29.62963
Southwark - 29.62963
Birmingham - 26.66667
Luton - 25.75758
Wandsworth - 22.72727
Oldham - 21.10092
Manchester - 18.70968
Greenwich - 18.18182
Rochdale - 17.64706
Interesting to compare this with the top 10 local authorities for births.
A possible Scottish back-door immigration route :
Sir Trevor Phillips said the Government's new points-based immigration system should be weighted to encourage skilled foreigners to move north of the Border rather than settle in London or the south-east. Critics warned last night that less strict rules north of the Border would lead to Scotland becoming the "back door" for migrants to enter the rest of the United Kingdom.
The number of migrant workers entering Britain annually to find skilled employment will reach a record 212,000 this year, business experts have predicted. An in-depth study found the influx of people seeking well-paid jobs in 2008 will be more than double that of 1997, the year Labour came to power. The report, by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, forecast there will be a total of 812,000 skilled migrants living here by 2012. A decade ago there were 400,000.
A whole slew of Telegraph links on the economy. Commentators seem to think either
a) we're reaping what Alan Greenspan sowed - by pumping in money every time a market crisis threatened he introduced moral hazard and dodgy practices of all kinds.
b) given the magnitude of the market crisis, his successor is quite right to do it again.
Some of them, like Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, seem to think both.
Across the water in what was once ould, Catholic Ireland, Ulsterman Seamus Heaney bemoans the cultural collapse which enables the Irish Government to whack a motorway through the Hill of Tara.
Mr Heaney, who is a fixture of the national secondary school curriculum, said that Tara represented “an ideal of the spirit” that was fundamental to what Ireland meant. “Tara means something equivalent to what Delphi means to the Greeks, or maybe Stonehenge to an English person, or Nara in Japan, which is one of the most famous sites in the world,” he said.
“It’s a word that conjures an aura — it conjures up what they call in Irish dúchas, a sense of belonging, a sense of patrimony, a sense of an ideal, an ideal of the spirit if you like, that belongs in the place. And if anywhere in Ireland conjures that up, it’s Tara."
The 1995 Nobel prizewinner, who is believed to account for two thirds of poetry volumes sold in Britain, said that Tara appeared to have enjoyed more protection while under British rule. He said: “I discovered that W. B. Yeats and George Moore, two writers at the turn of the century, and Arthur Griffith [the founder of Sinn Fein], wrote a letter to The Irish Times some time at the beginning of the last century because a society called the British Israelites had thought that the Ark of the Covenant was buried in Tara, and they had started to dig on Tara Hill.
“They talked about the desecration of a consecrated landscape. So I thought to myself, ‘If a few holes in the ground made by amateur archaeologists was a desecration, what is happening to that whole countryside being ripped up is certainly a much more ruthless piece of work’.”
Mr Heaney said that the country’s present rulers had made “a savage choice, they have made a secular choice. The Government is acting under pressure from secular motives”.
And finally - Matthew Parris has a funny kind of feeling :
When weather, wind and currents are on the turn, say yachtsmen, a curious, choppy and deceptive water (they call it “an uncertain sea”) can be the result. Such a sight is troublesome not only to the sailor's calculations, but to his spirit.
I think we in Britain are on such a sea in March 2008. The economic wind seems to be gusting one way, while the optimistic language of politicians gusts another. Most of my countrymen, in the backs of their minds, harbour doubts and worries about the future; yet few are sure enough to let it spoil their Bank Holiday plans.
Just as some animals can detect the approach of a storm, a tsunami, or even an earthquake, Mr Parris' sensitive antennae tell him something's amiss. He doesn't quite ask, like Churchill, 'who is in charge of the clattering train ?', but you get the idea :
Who knows what's happening? Perhaps nothing, after all. Perhaps this will all blow over. But what unsettles me goes deeper than a sense of mystery about the future. At most junctures in history there arises the feeling of a lull before a possible storm. Heck, we were in a worse state in 1945, or 1979. Danger was more imminent in the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 posited bigger unknowns for the future. But at these crossroads the air was full of ideas: strong ideas, competing ideas, confident philosophies, angry dissent. People had policies. Ideologies clashed. Politicians and thinkers jostled to present their plans. Leaders led.
But what distinguishes this hiatus in 2008 from those earlier forks in the road is the impassivity of our politics, and the idleness of political debate, as we wait. There is a sense of vacuum.
There was not in 1979, as there is now, this curious hollowness in the air. Where today is the bold advocacy, the impatience to persuade, the urgency of argument? Where are the shouts of “Here's how!”? It is as though the stage were set for some kind of theatrical climax, but peopled only with stage hands and the rattle and murmur of the scene-shift. Where are the leading actors, the big voices, the great thoughts?
I have a feeling that before he's an old man, some answers to his questions will present themselves. I'm not at all sure he'll like them.