‘No blacks, no dogs,no Gypsies’

‘No blacks, no dogs,no Gypsies’

Gypsies and Travellers in the UK are uniting to form a nationwide coalition to fight what they describe as rapidly escalating levels of racism and discrimination. The leaders of the nation’s largest Gypsy and Traveller organisations will hold an unprecedented gathering later this month with the aim of bringing together the country’s 300,000 Roma, Irish, Welsh and English Gypsies and Travellers in a national federation. Two of the UK’s largest Gypsy and Traveller associations – the Gypsy Council and the…

Read More Read More

Three deaths in eight days spark concern over arrest methods

Three deaths in eight days spark concern over arrest methods

Concerns have been raised over extreme techniques used by police to arrest suspects after the deaths of three people in custody during the past eight days. Investigations have been launched following the deaths of two men this week during separate arrest attempts in Cheshire and Bolton in which Tasers and pepper spray were deployed. Last week a Cumbrian body builder, Dale Burns, became the first person in Britain to die after being subdued by a Taser. Officers shot him three…

Read More Read More

Rethinking the Tube map: A design for strife

Rethinking the Tube map: A design for strife

One simple yet brilliant brainwave has guided travellers around London for 78 years. Harry Beck’s Tube map is one of the greatest examples of graphic design in history. Beck was an engineering draughtsman whose radical idea to straighten out and simplify the Underground lines was way ahead of its time. It was pure modernism. And it has lasted, in different incarnations, right up to the present day. Geographers talk of mental maps – the way in which the human brain…

Read More Read More

Coulson to be questioned by MPs again – if police don’t get him first

Coulson to be questioned by MPs again – if police don’t get him first

Andy Coulson faces the prospect of another public grilling by MPs in the next two months if the police do not charge him with illegal phone hacking. Members of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee are angry about the replies they received when they asked whether Mr Coulson still had a financial link with Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire after he began working for David Cameron. One member of the committee, the Labour MP Paul Farrelly, accused him yesterday of…

Read More Read More

UK signs agreement to tax Swiss bank accounts

UK signs agreement to tax Swiss bank accounts

The Treasury will recoup more than £5bn in unpaid tax from Britons with Swiss bank accounts under a deal between the UK and Switzerland signed last night. Switzerland’s strict secrecy laws have made it a safe haven for the rich, but the UK Government is cracking down on offshore tax evasion. In 2013, the Swiss banks will hand over a one-off levy of more than £5bn to settle past tax liabilities of Britons with money salted away in the country….

Read More Read More

Anger over pay for RBS contractors

Anger over pay for RBS contractors

A union today pressed Royal Bank of Scotland to explain its use of contractors after a recruitment agency mistakenly emailed the details of hefty pay packets for thousands of temporary staff. Unite has expressed “serious concerns” over the revelations, inadvertently exposed by an employee of Hays, which are understood to show temporary staff receiving up to �2,000 a day – equivalent to �500,000 a year. Some 3,000 contractors’ names and billing rates were mistakenly attached to an email sent from…

Read More Read More

‘Disturbing’ rise in arrest deaths

‘Disturbing’ rise in arrest deaths

Campaigners warned of a “disturbing trend” over fatalities from police confrontations today as investigations were launched into a man’s death following a Taser shooting. The 53-year-old, named locally as Philip Hulmes, was hit with electric probes from the police weapon after barricading himself in his house yesterday. The incident in Bolton came as an inquiry was launched by the police watchdog into the death of Jacob Michael, 25, who was restrained using pepper spray in Widnes, Merseyside. The Independent Police…

Read More Read More

Jacqui Smith defends inmates painting home

Jacqui Smith defends inmates painting home

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has defended using day-release prisoners to paint her home, claiming they “didn’t have anything else on”. The former Labour MP admitted that two inmates from HMP Hewell in Redditch did some decorating at her luxury property in the Worcestershire town. A Prison Service spokesman said the offenders were supposed to be doing work to “help the whole community” as part of a scheme run by a local charity, the Batchley Support Group. He said: “The…

Read More Read More

Broke Britons put economic recovery at risk

Broke Britons put economic recovery at risk

George Osborne is under mounting pressure from Conservative MPs for a change of economic course amid new signs that the squeeze on household budgets is choking Britain’s fragile recovery. Backbench Tory leaders are becoming increasingly jittery about the country’s flatlining economy and fear it could cast a shadow over the party’s annual conference in October. They are pressing the Chancellor to trail a go-for-growth package in his conference speech to counteract problems beyond his control in the eurozone and the…

Read More Read More