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Showing posts from December, 2013

Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK. Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially. Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council m

The way we see charity

I recently watched a TED talk about how we look at charities and other organisations which try to help people or causes they believe in. It was a real eye opening moment for me. I was always suspicious of large charities and their high “overheads” which I read as the organizers taking home a nice pay packet. I would also wonder why so many charities spend so much on advertising and not actually on the cause itself. Well I can explain why this is not the best way to analyse a charity in a few examples. Firstly it is acceptable for a very successful professional to go to work make money for his or her organization and be sufficiently compensated for this at the end of the month. Now, if we were to have a professional who was making a charity a lot of money and took home a good competitive salary we may deem them to be a parasite. This attitude is not useful, it makes many people have to choose between a life where they can achieve financial success or one where they can help people

Multibuys in Farmfood

I used to buy two bottles of milk, two bags of bread, etc., in order to get multibuys saving. But recently I noticed you can mix and match any products, like one bread and one milk, to get multbuys savings. I don't know if it's checkout system error?

Text Santa

Text Santa is back on Friday 20 December, live on ITV. It's raising money for 6 UK charities. And JustTextGiving by Vodafone is proud to help by making donating as simple as sending a text. Text Santa aims to improve the quality of life for people in the UK. The charities being supported are Age UK, Barnardo's, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent and Help the Hospices. You could really make someone's Christmas, as just £5 gives an older person a hot meal. Or £10 means a Play Specialist can spend an hour with a child with cancer. Donating couldn't be easier. To give £5, just text SANTA to 70070. All texts are free and 100% of donations raised will be distributed equally between the 6 charities. If you add Gift Aid at no extra cost to you, it'll add an extra 25% to your donation. We'll let you know how to when you make a donation. To donate £5 now, text SANTA to 70070 Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


I have recently been reading a book titled “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book he talks about how people who appear to be exceptional achieve this success through a combination of small advantages. You can read the book yourself to find what are all the small things that we don’t notice which combined give people an unassailable edge. One of the main points made was that IQ is not a good predictor of success. Sure, some level of intelligence is required but it alone is insufficient to attain success. In the book, Malcolm claims that it is a combination of IQ and family background which leads to success. I was initially taken aback by this. There are many people who at least at first glance appear to have attained success from nothing. After all, every advantage must begin from somewhere. This is where I watched a TED video on Grit. In it the presenter talks about how this one quality appears to be the one quality which is a universal requirement for success. It is