Daily View 2×2: 11 February 2010

Well, let’s see. First the earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. Then it was February 11th and time for Daily View, on this, Canadian actor Leslie Nielson’s birthday.

He shares the date with the Beast of Bolsover, Dennis Skinner, and Caribou Barbie, the Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Other notable occurrences today include the death of Sylvia Plath in 1963 and the début of Julia Child’s US TV show The French Chef in 1963. If you’ve never seen it before, go see Julia making omelettes.

2 Cheerful Stories

British Retail’s “irreversible downward spiral”

The Guardian has news that some British towns and cities have so many empty shops they may never recover:

Many of Britain’s towns and cities are suffering from such huge shop vacancy rates that they risk becoming ghost towns, wiping hundreds of millions of pounds off property values, a study revealed yesterday.

Cities such as Wolverhampton and Bradford, where nearly a quarter of shops lie empty, could be on an irreversible downward spiral as a result of the financial crisis. The research by the Local Data Company shows retail vacancy rates across Britain rose 2% in the past six months of last year to 12%, with some towns seeing as much as 24% of its shops lying empty.

“As much as 24%” ? What’s wrong with “Almost a quarter” ?

Oh, and NB, the photo in the story is my home city Nottingham. I’m not sure where it was taken, but it’s not really typical of the city.

Don’t care what the retirement age rises to, I’ll be dead

Good news for unemployed young people: the Independent has the glum news that many people won’t make it as far as retirement:

Plans to raise the retirement age to 68 will cause hardship for millions because three-quarters of people could be too ill to work, a Government-commissioned report warns today. […] Up to 2.5 million years of life are being lost each year in England as a result of poor people dying prematurely, the report estimated.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Lord Avebury on Uganda
  • As it happens, the House of Lords was debating legislation to add two countries to the ‘white list’ of states which are supposedly safe for asylum-seekers to return to. I started my speech with a reference to the treatment of gays in certain countries, and Uganda in particular.

  • Andrew Reeves’s two very different correspondents
  • Today has been a bizarre day, first John Prescott the former Deputy Prime Minister read my blog post about the hypocritical Tories and lobbyists, and then twittered the message around his followers.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

Coming up on LDV later today:

  • What Disraeli really meant
  • How can we sell STV?
  • Shock result – Nick Clegg approval rating
  • Social media and foreign policy.

Stay tuned!

That’s it from me today – now if you’ll excuse me, I have to drive to Scotland.

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