Dark, dismal, damp and dingy at the Castle this morn, the study is empty of all things broken and bollixed, his Maj is chasing things in the garden, the Honda has reached 162 miles on twenty squids worth of go juice and my lovely young lady arrived yestermorn to trim my locks.
The number of children living in poverty in Britain will rise by 600,000 to 2.8 million by 2012-13.
The introduction of the irritable bowel twins universal credit will lift 450,000 children out of poverty but, the IFS says other benefit changes – such as linking payment increases to consumer prices – will offset this. It projects that by the end of the decade, 23 per cent of children will be in absolute poverty and 24 per cent in relative poverty.
That would mean the legally binding targets set under the 2010 Child Poverty Act being comprehensively missed. The 2010 Child Poverty Act set a target for absolute poverty to fall to 5 per cent of children and relative poverty to fall 10 per cent by 2020.
The Department for Work and Pensions says the IFS did not take into consideration the beneficial impact on poverty levels that it expects to result from improving the incentives for parents to work.
Which means that if the IFS are right 23 percent of families in Blighty will be “living” in poverty?
British taxpayers are spending up to £400,000 a year to help maintain French trains in the aftermath of a failed European transport project.
The aborted rail scheme cost British taxpayers more than £180million but the Department for Transport continues to fund the failure.
It spent “between £300,000 and £400,000 last year” on mothballed facilities for the aborted Regional Eurostar project that would have provided a direct link between cities such as Manchester and Glasgow to Paris.
Seven trains were built for the Regional Eurostar but they were passed to the French train operator SNCF because its high-speed link between Paris and Lille was short of carriages.
A depot in Manchester to maintain the trains is still the responsibility of London & Continental Railways, a firm which is wholly owned by the DfT.
Here’s an idea-I have heard that there is a tunnel under the channel, why not take the trains to the French owners and let them pay.
Hungarian police announced Monday they had seized a shipment of weapons stored in a warehouse near Budapest airport, only for a film producer to reveal they were props for a new Brad Pitt movie.
Police told a press conference they had found and confiscated the arsenal -- which included machine guns, hand guns and sniper guns but no ammunition -- at a customs-free area near the airport during a raid at dawn on Monday.
"The military guns arrived from London on Saturday at Liszt Ferenc International Airport," Janos Hajdu, director of the police's Counterterrorism Centre, was cited by Hungarian newswire MTI, adding that the aircraft transporting the weapons left the airport right after unloading.
The Hungarian police had contacted its counterparts in Britain for more information, he also said.
As it turns out, the weapons were actually meant as props for a new zombie movie featuring Hollywood star Brad Pitt, "World War Z”.
Shooting in Hungary for the film was to begin Monday evening in an industrial district of Budapest, according to RTL Klub.
St Stephen’s tower is a bit wonky, and is on the lean to such an extent that the tilt can now be clocked with the naked eye, according to a report commissioned by London Underground and the Parliamentary Estates Department.
“The tilt is now just about visible. You can see it if you stand on Parliament Square and look east, towards the river. I have heard tourists there taking photographs saying ‘I don’t think it is quite vertical’ - and they are quite right,” emeritus professor and senior research investigator at Imperial College, London, John Burland, told the Sunday Telegraph.
The level of the tilt has accelerated since 2003, increasing to 0.9 mm a year, compared to the long-term average rate of 0.65 mm a year, the report revealed.
These levels are not considered to be unsafe.
The tilt has resulted in the formation of cracks in the walls and ceilings of parts of the House of Commons, including the Minister’s Wing.
Maybe it’s the entrance to the underworld opening up for the residents.
A church is refusing to change a light bulb because it says overzealous health and safety rules mean it would cost £500 to change the £2 fixture.
Health and safety rules mean scaffolding is required whenever a bulb needs replacing in the 30ft internal roof at St Mary's Church in Cottingham, Humberside. The church says the rules mean they cannot simply use ladders to change the bulb.
He added: "Health and safety concerns also rule out candlelight as an alternative for the grade one listed building.
But there may soon be light at the end of the tunnel for St Mary's. The village church is now looking at installing an LED (light-emitting diode) lighting system. LEDs have a longer lifetime so the lights would not have to be so frequently replaced."
Not replacing bulbs would save the church valuable funds at a time when costs are high. The church has had £30,000 of roof lead stolen in five raids in the past three years, including the latest theft in August.
Father Smith said stolen lead is being replaced with stainless steel in a bid to deter the thieves. Villagers have rallied round to help with fundraising, with the church's recent annual Gift Day raising about £6,000.
Ah, the old Elfandsafety scaffold ploy....
Yesterday a Russian region in Siberia confidently proclaimed that its mountains are home to yetis after finding "indisputable proof" of the existence of the hairy beasts in an expedition.
The local administration of the Kemerovo region in the south of Siberia said in a statement on its website that footprints and possibly even hair samples belonging to the yeti were found on the research trip to its remote mountains.
Apparently they found its footprints, its supposed bed, and various markers with which the yeti marks his territory, the statement said. The collected "artefacts" will be analysed in a special laboratory.
Probably Premier league footballers in hiding......
That’s it: I’m orf to check out the moat-just in case.
And today’s thought: Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.