In other news

Whilst it may not seem so at the moment, there really is other news besides Brexit. My reluctance to comment via my blog is not fired by a lack of interest; I actively follow what’s going on (or, to be more precise, what’s not going on) but today I’m commenting on a couple of other news items that have caught my eye.

Volvo, apparently concerned about passenger safety, have decided to limit the  top speed on their new car to ……wait for it……112 miles per hour!  You couldn’t make it up, could you?

How about £15 for a cup of coffee. Yes, you really did just read that! London’s Le Cafe Alain Ducasse justifies this exorbitant price by declaring the coffee, which is made from beans grown on a small holding in Yemen,  ‘perfect’. Given that I like mine quite strong whilst my daughter loves a latte (my idea of coffee hell), perfection is surely a subjective matter.  The manager concedes that not everyone can afford it but even if I could, and was convinced  that it would be the most amazing cup I’d tasted, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay up.

Less news and more of a gripe…I read in Yahoo’s online news that Northern Ireland get ten bank holidays against our eight. How unfair is that? Aren’t we supposed to be a United Kingdom.  Why do we not get St George’s day.  In Ireland get St Patrick’s Day and the Scots get St Andrews so why not a day off for St George? The Welsh are similarly discriminated against since neither is St David’s day a national holiday. Northern Ireland is also granted a holiday to celebrate The Battle of the Boyne.   Of course bank holidays assume far less importance once we are retired, or like me work a short week.  They might even said to be an annoyance since roads become congested and public areas heave with the hordes, but I’m still intrigued to know why it is that only ONE country in the world received fewer bank holidays than us (Mexico has seven). Some have public holidays well into double figures (even into the twenties!). Even if we only look at the EU we are a long way behind the rest.

In this diagram, Ireland refers to the Republic and not Northern Ireland.

Bank hols

Perhaps I’ll write to my MP and ask for her view on this but I doubt she’ll bother to reply. Many years ago I entered into  occasional correspondence with our local MP Jacqui Smith (prior to her Home Secretary days). She always wrote back promptly with a considered response. Following the demise of Ms. Smith we were served by Karen Lumley. She too always responded to my letters and was very helpful in sorting out a dispute with the tax office which I was dealing with on behalf of a relative.  On the three occasions I’ve written to Rachel McLean, our current  incumbent I’ve received only one response and even then it was in the form of an email from an assistant rather than the lady herself.


  1. We don’t get St Andrew’s day off, Eloise. That’s been a bone of contention for years! My husband will be 70 on St George’s Day which an appropriate birthday for a Yorkshire man’s son.


    • This surprises me, Catriona, since I’ve seem several sites including the Government website. It says that the Scottish Parliament declared it a bank holiday in 2006. Do you mean that you don’t get that actual day off but get another in lieu, or no allowance at all?


  2. Ooooooh, don’t get me started on the discrimination against the English. Free prescriptions in both Scotland and Wales, savings limit before you start paying for adult social care MUCH lower lower in S & W than us, no university fees in S, lower taxes in S. I did at one time seriously consider complaining to Race Relations Board and arguing that I was being discriminated against because of where I live! Savannah.


    • I share your pain, Savannah! I try not to think about how my children were saddled with debt from Higher Education fees when their Scottish counterparts haven’t had to pay. But at least it could be said that there is a choice in going to uni (though not if you want to teach or enter medicine or law) but when it comes to prescriptions, its so unfair that whether one pays depends on where they live. So unjust.


  3. Your bank holidays are probably the equivalent of our Federal holidays, when the Federal government offices close. We have 10 such holidays. Some of those Federal holidays are observed as State holidays, as well, but not all of them, as each individual state decides which holidays they will observe. And not all of the State holidays are observed by the schools in that state!


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