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Two Universities In The United Kingdom Ban ‘Blurred Lines’ For Promoting Rape Culture

– Despite significant progress in reducing public sector net borrowing (PSNB from a peak of 11.2% of GDP (GBP159bn) in 2009-10, the budget deficit remains 7.4% of GDP (excluding the effect of the transfer of Royal Mail pensions) and is not expected to fall below 6% of GDP and GBP100bn until the end of the current parliament term. The slower pace of deficit reduction means that the next government will be required to implement substantial spending reductions (and/or tax increases) if public debt is to be stabilised and reduced over the medium term. The Stable Outlook on the UK’s sovereign ratings reflects the following factors. – Under Fitch’s baseline economic and fiscal scenario, which assumes a continued policy commitment to reducing the underlying budget deficit and medium-term annual growth potential of 2%-2.25%, government debt gradually falls as a share of national income in the latter half of the decade. – The long average maturity of public debt (15 years) – the longest of any high-grade sovereign -exclusively denominated in local currency and low interest service burden implies a higher level of debt tolerance than many high-grade peers. – The international reserve currency status of sterling and the ability and willingness of the Bank of England to intervene in the UK government debt market largely eliminates the risk of a self-fulfilling fiscal financing crisis. – The gradual improvement in the UK banking sector’s capital and liquidity position has further reduced contingent liabilities arising from this sector. The UK’s ‘AA+’ rating is underpinned by its high-income, diversified and flexible economy as well as a high degree of political and social stability. The monetary policy framework as well as sterling’s international reserve currency status afford the UK a high degree of financial and economic policy flexibility. Strong civil and policy institutions and a high degree of transparency enhance the predictability of the business and economic policy environment that compares favourably with peers in the ‘AA’ category. Weak economic performance and growth prospects, relatively high levels of private and foreign as well as public debt, along with sizeable twin fiscal and current account deficits, are weaknesses relative to rating peers. RATING SENSITIVITIES The Stable Outlook indicates a less than 50% chance of a change in the UK sovereign ratings over the next two years. The main factors that could lead to a negative rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Failure to stabilise the government debt to GDP ratio over the medium term. – Increased threat to macro-financial stability, for example arising from an intensification of the eurozone crisis or an erosion of confidence in the UK’s policy commitment to price stability. The main factors that could lead to a positive rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Stronger economic recovery and rebalancing of the UK economy than currently forecast.

The DVLA in the United Kingdom Refuses to Recognise an Irish Driving Licence

United Kingdom tourism board: United Kingdom When to go to United Kingdom Summer (late June-September) brings the warmest weather and least rain though clouds can appear at any time. Through the summer holidays crowds at popular attractions are largest and accommodation booked out. Travel between late May and mid-July, or again in September and the crowds will have eased. Spring (March-May) brings flowers and showers, while autumn (late September-November) sees beautiful red and golden tree foliage and soft lighting. Winter is cold and usually damp; theres some skiing in Scotland but nothing to match Europe’s ski resorts. International airports Heathrow Airport (LHR) is 24km west of central London. Gatwick Airport (LGW) is 48km south of central London. Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is 13km west of the city centre. Getting around in United Kingdom Domestic flights with various airlines link major cities. Most large cities have airports, many offering international flights to Europe and further afield. The UKs rail service is extensive, with regular trains run by numerous private operators serving most parts of the country; it is, though, expensive especially when booked on the day of travel.

October 2013

Its the second university in the United Kingdom to recently take this stand, after the University of Edinburgh banned the chart-topper last week . The officers in Leeds student union collectively made the decision to ban the song, saying it undermines and degrades women. The pop hit has been widely criticized for its lyrics connoting nonconsensual sexual activity such as I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it and its music video featuring naked women alongside fully-clothed men. Alice Smart, one of the officers at Leeds student union, told the Independent that students reaction to the decision has been largely positive. A few students are asking why if we have banned this song, we arent banning everything, but weve chosen this one as an example, because its so popular, Smart explained. Blurred Lines has reached number one in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) relied on similar logic when it moved to ban Blurred Lines earlier this month. EUSAs vice president pointed out that the song promotes an unhealthy attitude towards sex and consent, which violates the schools explicit policy to tackle rape culture and sexual harassment. Robin Thicke has brushed off the feminist critiques of Blurred Lines, saying its irresponsible to suggest that the lyrics are promoting rape, and noting that art is supposed to spark a conversation. But this week, the Sociological Images blog pointed out that many of the lyrics in Blurred Lines are lines that actual rapists have said to their victims. Using images from Project Unbreakable an online photo essay exhibit that features survivors holding signs noting what their rapists said to them before, during, or after their assault the sociology blog was able to match up Robin Thickes lyrics with sentences that have accompanied real instances of nonconsensual sexual activity. The issue of combating rape culture on college campuses has been especially prevalent across U.S. universities over the past year. Student activists have banded together to pressure their university administration to take rape more seriously, and work harder to create an atmosphere where sexual assault isnt tolerated and survivors are supported. Earlier this week, a group of college students sparked a widespread conversation about consent by playing a prank on Playboy Magazine , putting out a fake guide to a consensual good time that made it appear as though Playboy was prioritizing sexual assault prevention over partying. Tags:

Fitch Downgrades United Kingdom to ‘AA+’; Outlook Stable

An Irish driver, Michael John Shields, was disqualified from driving in the UK for two years. Following the period of disqualification, he was stopped by Kent Police and told that his Irish driving licence was no longer valid in the UK. Shields was taken to Kent Court in the south east of England, fined 3690 pounds and was prosecuted for driving while disqualified and without insurance, even though he had a valid Irish driving licence (European driving licence). This incident took place, despite the ruling on April 26, 2012 by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg that precludes the DVLA from refusing to recognise an Irish driving licence registered to an Irish national. The DVLA in the UK appears to be refusing to implement the ruling of the European Court of Justice from that day (Case no C419/10 Wolfgang Hoffman v. Bavaria). This incident is causing many people to wonder how many Irish drivers have actually been stopped and arrested for their failure to implement the European Directive. Based on the recent incident involving Shields, it appears to many drivers that their European driving licences seem to be recognised by every country in the world except for the DVLA. The ruling from last April states that the mutual recognition of a driving licence refusal by a member of state should be recognized in favour of a person whose driving licence was withdrawn on its territory. But the validity of the driving licence issued by another state and the finding of the European directive of 2006 on driving licences must be interpreted as precluding a member of state from refusaloutside any period of probation on applying for a new driving licence imposed on a holder of a driving licence issued by another member of state, when the condition of normal residency in the territory of the latter has been complied with. The DVLA appears to be breaking all of the European laws doing what they like; for example, arbitrarily throwing the book at scores of Irish drivers from the south, who have been forced to retake a driving test in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. This is completely unlawful following the ruling from the European courts.

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