Return to normal.
4 hours ago
"Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold" - W.B. Yeats. "We're doomed !" - Private Frazer. "Like scrolling through a decade's worth of Daily Mail editorials in 20 minutes" - TheLoonyFromCatford
Gordon Brown promised severe punishment for people caught carrying firearms as he met a special police task force tackling gun crime in Manchester. The prime minister met officers at the task force's base at Greenheys police station in Moss Side.
He also talked to families who have had relatives murdered by gang members. The visit came as officers continue to hunt the killers of Jessie James, 15, gunned down a few streets away in a local park in September 2006.
Oh right, so the PM came to Greenheys (Moss Side) did he?
That would explain why:
*The toilets that perpetually smell of piss (to save water) and bad farts (no other reason than too many blokes using too infrequently ventilated small spaces ;)) were all cleaned
*The stacks of paperwork were all stuffed into filing cabinets.
*Response were told to get out and look like they were doing something useful.
*Area Policing Teams were told even less than normal and just pushed out of the door, leaving piles of full files unfinished.
*The entire centre of the car park, not exactly a large space to begin with, was cordoned off - leaving police officers to park their vehicles in the middle of Moss Side on nearby estates.
*You couldn't get through the hangers on.
On the bright side:
*First time I have seen the Chief Constable, ever.
*The toilets didn't smell so much.
*We were released from a half days drudgery of filework.
*Got to watch where we work on the news. Still looks like the set of "Life On Mars" however.
They should have left it how it was so that:
*The PM could hear people complaining about how crap it is working here with too little resourcing and staffing.
*The PM could go into the "bubble" and get stuck in there because he left his keyfob upstairs. Then he could have all his associates look through the door and laugh at him.
*The PM could have had his carkeys or wallet (in the absence of a warrant card) put into the vending machine with it's stupid slidey doors.
*The PM may have actually had to speak to a serving officer that hasn't told him how spiffing it was working in such a diverse community and that everything was all good and rosy, Sir.
Rules doubling the amount of passenger duty people pay when taking flights from the UK have come into force.
The increase was announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown last December. He said airlines should pay more for damaging the environment.
Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly is set to outline plans for a third runway and possible sixth terminal at Heathrow. She will say a third, short runway will not breach noise and environmental limits as consultation begins on a huge expansion of the west London airport.
Expansion at Heathrow could see flights increase from 480,000 a year to 800,000 - a move that will anger local residents and green campaigners.
A police mascot criticised for being too male and white will be replaced by more "ethnically diverse" models.
PSCO Steve was created by the Metropolitan Police to visit primary schools but drew criticism for failing to represent London's communities.
The Met will spend £15,000 in making three new characters.
The new costumes, expected to be ready early next year, include a woman PCSO, named Sunita ...
We’re so focussed on the 1,500 arriving here every day that no one really focuses on the 1,000 leaving every day. Figures from the OECD (pdf here) show more graduates, 1.3million, have fled Britain than any other developed country (even America, which has five times our population). On Brits deemed to have “high skills,” 15% have left to live abroad – the highest ratio in the developed world save for the notoriously itinerant Irish and Kiwis. In Britain, high skills are used as a passport to get the hell out and go make money elsewhere. (Perhaps why every English-speaking country has had better economic growth than Britain since 1997). An economic exodus is underway, and only mass immigration is covering it up.
We all know of the millions of Mexican emigrants who have left their country in the hope of a better life, usually to head to America. Among OECD member states, Mexico counts the largest number of emigrants – some 9.4m of them across the globe. But what few realise is that the second-largest group of exiles – some 3.4m at last count – are the British.
"My tools are but common ones,
Simple shepherds all,
My tools are no sight to see:
A little hempen string,
And a post whereon to swing,
Are implements enough for me !"