The great media companies are laying off employees by the truckload. They ought to start with the feckless bureaucrats who are running the place.
Inequality within countries is explained by the past history of populations more than by ethno-linguistic differences and linguistic distance. This column suggests what matters is the history of the people who live in a country today, more than the history of the country itself.
The Independent in its “The 50 Most Ludicrous Britons 2008” reminds us of the torture travelling by rail in the UK must be:
Nannying railway announcers
Prosecution: They can’t tell you when the next train is, but they can tell you how to lead your life. “At this time of increased temperatures, you may find it advisable to carry a bottle of water…” “Because of today’s wet weather conditions, customers are advised that conditions under foot may be slippery.” What’s next? Asking if we’ve blown our noses? Telling us to make sure we’ve done Number Twos before leaving home?
Defence: Oh, come, come. It’s better than it used to be. Remember those muffled announcements of old when everyone froze as the baffling jumble of consonants and semi-syllables came out as: “Mwnnahnnn tffololition Junction, sidibnnnawewah falatedoh mmever laggaghanahh any inconvenience.”
Still, standing in your (=my) own thoughts on a Copenhagen commuter train only to be told WOULD YOU MIND DISTRIBUTING YOURSELF AT ALL EXITS by a robot voice can be a bit unsettling.