A warm weekend for February, especially in Camden. The world economy gives up growth for Lent and journalism loses the plot.


The weekend papers have been chewing over the credit crisis over the past weeks finding new ways to put the fiscal frighteners on us. Expect to see more articles on darning your own socks. Indeed the fashion world has already responded.

The 100bn bail out of Northern Rock is to become a national debt.
http://www.independent.co.uk/ news/business/comment/hamish-mcrae/hamish-mcrae-if-you-think-last-week-was-glum-wait-for-the-inflation-news-and-the-bills-the-government-is-lining-up-for-us-780375.html

Not-so-new Labour put its faith in public-private partnerships, as Metronet goes down the tubes, the underground maintenance company is the latest failure to be paid for by the taxpayer.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ commentisfree/story/0,,2255136,00.html

House repossessions are up as some homeowners struggle to keep up with mortgages.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ business/2008/feb/09/housingmarket.economics1

In these uncertain times, investing in property or the stock market looks shaky, so choose art.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/02/09/cnart109.xml


This week the papers focus on the government’s attempts to generate revenue by fiddling with taxes for non-domiciled workers instead of cultural or educational spending cuts.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/02/09/cnart109.xml

Its up to Pat McFadden to make Post Office cuts, expect to see articles on spacious village schools and post offices in the property sections.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/news/politics/article3338052.ece

As Gordon Brown takes the blame for economic troubles, Blair is signed up as an adviser to insurance giant Zurich and is tipped to be president of the EU.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/ article3340856.ece

Gordon could learn something about tax from William the Conqueror as the Doomsday book is made available online.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ technology/2008/feb/10/1


A new book ‘Flat Earth News’ offers a stinging criticism of the British papers. ‘Davies's book gives cynical hacks cause to think. It is written by an insider who really does know what goes on inside newsrooms.’
Personally, I just find it outrageous how standards have slipped: ‘it is easier to rewrite press releases and download second-hand news from the internet.’
http://www.independent.co.uk/ news/media/hard-truths-for-the-trade-in-flat-earth-news-780385.html

No arguments here as the World Press Photo Awards are revealed.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ arts/gallery/2008/feb/08/photography?picture=332436241


It might be harder to pick up 70s ephemera or clothes in London for a while as Camden Market suffers a major fire this weekend. But it seems developers will wreak more damage as the ramshackle market is smartened up.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/10/nfire210.xml

The BD ran an article last year on revised attitudes to seventies architecture, The Sunday Times carries out a similar exercise as two serious cultural studies on the decade are published.
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/ article3320101.ece


Earlier this week the Anglican Church exhorted Britain to give up carbon for Lent. The Vatican meanwhile runs a cheap airline to Lourdes. Could carbon trading become the new indulgences? ‘say 10 Hail Marys and reduce your glazing U-value to 2.0.’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ france/story/0,,2254996,00.html

According to the Guardian developers have already submitted plans of ten Eco towns to the government, but local groups have not been kept informed.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ society/2008/feb/10/communities.planning1

Meanwhile in France Nicolas Sarkozy unveils plans for the beleagured suburbs. His new bride Carla Bruni apparently wanted a man with ‘nuclear power’.
http://www.independent.co.uk/ news/europe/sarkozy-marshall-plan-for-poor-suburbs-falls-short-780142.html

The Dutch want to expand Amsterdam downwards, is this where the red-light district will be moved?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/09/wcanal109.xml


Boris is a keen cyclist, but Ken has plans for cycle motorways in London,
‘cycling is now associated with a modern cosmopolitan city that is in control and at ease with itself.’ Ken is in control and Boris is at ease with himself, so we can’t have both.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ transport/Story/0,,2254962,00.html

Boris backs an idea for a new airport in the Thames Estuary as he dismisses Heathrow as a ‘planning error’.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/news/environment/article3341751.ece

The result of elections for the Mayor of London will have consequences for the national political parties.
http://www.independent.co.uk/ opinion/commentators/andrew-grice/andrew-grice-the-week-in-politics-780197.html


Social networking sites have had a terrible press again as the dangers of surrendering personal information becomes clear in the courtroom.
http://www.independent.co.uk/ news/science/facebook-can-ruin-your-life-and-so-can-myspace-bebo-780521.html

Gangs target potential gang members on MySpace. I didn’t join one of those sites for the same reason I never tried smoking crack.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/08/wface108.xml

At the other extreme, some are taking steps to actively shield themselves from intrusive surveillance and data profiling to live ‘off-grid.’
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/news/uk/article3338076.ece


Two rat trappers have been stranded on a small Scottish island after being helicoptered in to make sure no rats from a wrecked fishing boat destroy the sensitive bird life of the island.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/news/uk/article3338095.ece

An oil-rig off Aberdeen is evacuated after a suspected bomb hoax.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/10/nrig410.xml


Recent News Junkie international stories have linked to North Korean and Chinese state news agencies, here Chinese state control of the internet is investigated.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ technology/2008/feb/09/internet.china


Yes,yes, I know Mr Salmond, Scotland is really a country not a region. The foyer of Miralles’ parliament building in Edinburgh is too dark say Scottish MPs, it was intended to be a ‘little subterranean’ in feel say executive architects RMJM.
"That was part of the airy-fairy rubbish that was talked, which they thought would envelop us all and dumb our sense of reality." Said one MSP confusing phenomenology with a paper bag over the head.
http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/ edinburgh/Bright-idea-to-improve-lighting.3761918.jp


A few indiscretions on Facebook could get you the sack, but in New Zealand, a state housing manager keeps his job despite six drink-drive convictions. I suppose the worst he could do is run over a few sheep.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/ dominionpost/4395953a6000.html