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Brits’ bogus food poisoning claims leave hoteliers crying: ‘¡Basta!’

Two years ago the hotel, popular in Thomson and First Choice brochures, had just a couple of complaints for gastroenteritis (aka Spanish tummy). But last year Miguel was hit by around 200 claims alleging food poisoning. Every single one was from a British holidaymaker, with not a single complaint coming from the Germans or the Dutch. None of the Brits complained to the hotel at the time; all the claims were lodged by UK claims management companies once the holiday-makers returned home.

Inma Benito, president of the Federation of Mallorca Hotel Businesses, said that false claims cost hotels on the Balearic island €50m last year and that cases had soared by 700% since 2015.

Zacharias Ioannides, who heads the island’s association of hoteliers, likened the practice to organised crime, saying it was an exclusively British phenomenon. “It is always after the so-called event and sometimes it can be as long as three years before the bogus compensation claim lands,” he told the Observer from the organisation’s headquarters in Nicosia. “Action must be taken to safeguard the good name of the vast majority of British tourists.

But the problem in Spain is particularly acute. Agents for British claims management companies openly tout for business in Spanish resorts, telling tourists they can claim £3,000 a head with an allegation of food poisoning at an all-inclusive hotel, often following a package trip that cost only £500. Some holidaymakers are told that all the proof they need is a receipt for a packet of Imodium, the diarrhoea-relief medication, from a pharmacist in the resort.








Royal Ascot marred by brawl as bare-chested race-goer shouts 'let’s finish it off' on Ladies' Day


Broken Britain 2016 [4]: イギリス人の飲酒習慣、悪化の様相

スクリーンショット 2016-03-08 21.02.19


2.5 million Britons smash through weekly drink limit in single night

“What is really worrying is this belief that exists that alcohol is relatively safe, even at binge levels, so people are ‘rewarding’ themselves with large quantities.

“We have got to change the culture where reward equates to storming the bars to binge drink, or drinking excessively at home on a regular basis, because of the serious health issues in the years to come.

“Unfortunately having a good time is still synonymous for many with getting drunk.

“At the Priory we see people who consume alcohol in bars and pubs as if they were visiting Starbucks for a coffee.

“For young people, we see them drinking alcohol like water, just to rehydrate.

“For older people, often under considerable work and financial stress, there is more solitary binge drinking which is also highly dangerous, because there is no one keeping a check on levels.

“There’s this common feeling among people we see of ‘keep calm and carry on – and keep drinking.’

It has created an atmosphere whereby people who once enjoyed an occasional glass of wine now finish a bottle and sometimes open another.

“One former patient said she could remember the panic that she would not have enough bottles, so she switched to wine boxes, then cases.”



Broken Britain 2016 [3]: ロンドンで急増するラフ・スリーパー



Gimme shelter: stories from London’s homeless


The following interviews are the result of two days spent in the City of Westminster: the UK borough with the highest population of homeless people. Most of the men and women we spoke to were regularly sleeping rough, and all of them acknowledged a recent surge in numbers among rough sleepers; a claim resoundingly backed up by recent statistics. Throughout the UK, rough sleeping has risen by 30% in the past year, and according to the Greater London Authority, 7,581 people slept rough in London at least once between April 2014 and March last year; a figure that has doubled in five years, and doesn’t include the hundreds more “hidden homeless”, who don’t show up on official statistics.

While many of the people we met were understandably reluctant to be photographed or featured in a newspaper, they all spoke articulately about the particular conditions of their homelessness: the misfortunes that led them to the street, the statutory blind spots that make them exempt from or ineligible for immediate help, the numerous personal and legal obstacles between them and a warm place to sleep. Some with resignation, some with disbelief, all the interviewees expressed the lack of sympathy or respect they receive, from local councils, from the police, and from ordinary passersby.

Immigration has played its part in increased homelessness in London, with an estimated third of the capital’s rough sleepers coming from eastern Europe. A greater problem, however, is the dearth of formal accommodation to combat the deepening crisis. Hostels, run by local authorities to provide immediate support for rough sleepers, are constantly oversubscribed and, thanks to persistent funding cuts, increasingly being forced to close. Equally problematic is the dramatic decline in stocks of social housing, leaving fewer and fewer long-term solutions to individual homelessness.

Only one of our interviewees is female, a fairly accurate representation of the demographics of homelessness. Sophie Balaam, of homeless charity the Connection at St Martin’s, told me that only one in 10 of the charity’s clients are women, these women being “especially vulnerable” and more likely to suffer from mental health issues. The actual number of homeless women is probably much higher than this statistic suggests, but studies by the homeless charity Crisis have shown that women are less likely to seek help or even allow themselves to be seen on the streets. It goes almost without saying that mental illness and substance abuse are locked in a vicious circle with homelessness, each enabling and aggravating the other.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of these interviews is the sheer variety of testimonies we encountered. No two stories are similar, and there seems to be no predictable or formulaic path from a comfortable home to a life on the streets. There are as many ways of becoming homeless as there are homeless people, in other words, and almost no one is immune. It is important to recognise that the thousands of homeless people who share our cities differ from us only in terms of their misfortune, and deserve to be acknowledged and accounted for, not dismissed, despised or ignored.

The one characteristic our interviewees do share is that, one way or another, they are being failed by the systems that exist to protect them. They have fallen though holes in the social safety net, and are unable to clamber back up. Some have failed to qualify for priority accommodation, some have despaired of the interminable bureaucracy they face when seeking social recognition, some have special needs, which the support system in its current state simply cannot meet.



I’ve been in London since last May, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of grief and aggro I’ve been given by the police. On one day, I was checked against the criminal register 10 times. A lot of homeless people are drinkers, rude, abusive, and they tar everyone with the same brush.

This is Troy – he’s my best friend. He’s a polecat, and I saved him from being put down. The lady who owned him couldn’t afford his vet’s bills, and his brothers and sisters kept attacking him, because he was the runt of the litter.

It’s very hard being a woman on the streets – there’s so much to cope with, keeping myself safe, keeping Troy safe. I sleep in a car park, but you always have one eye open. The other night a big homeless guy was threatening me – clenching his fist and asking for money. A man walked past and I said: “Can you help? He’s trying to rob me,” but the man just walked away. Then a woman came and stood with me for 20 minutes, until the guy left me alone. I thought it was funny that the bloke wouldn’t stop and help, but the woman did.

I was a chef for eight years, but my circumstances changed and I had to quickly move away from where I was. If I manage to get in some place, get settled, I’d like to make wedding cakes for a living. Recession or no, people won’t save on their wedding cake.

People often stop and talk to me – they say I’m too young, too well spoken to be homeless. I came to London because I thought that as there are loads of hostels, I wouldn’t have to live on the street. How wrong I was. I spent a few nights in a place for the recently homeless called the Hub, but they kept moving me around and then they said Troy couldn’t sleep inside. The other people there were all men and they kept saying he smelled. I just said: “If he can’t sleep here, neither can I”, and that was that.

I tend to keep myself to myself because of the situation I was in before I came here – I don’t trust other people. It’s lonely, but Troy makes it easier – he gives me something to wake up for. People say to me: “You should give him to someone who has a home”, and I think, so it’s fine for people to have dogs that they leave alone in the house for nine hours a day, but this is unacceptable? I give him all the attention he deserves. Tomorrow’s his first birthday. I know it sounds sad, but we’re going to have a party.

Broken Britain 2016 [2]: 海外暮らしで外国語話せないイギリス人



Brexit anxiety stalks the Costa del Sol: ‘If we quit Europe, Brits won’t buy here’


Audrey, a neatly dressed woman in her late 80s who has come in to the bar for her daily tonic water, has been in Spain for 37 years. “And not a word of Spanish,” laughed Lisa Richards, 46, who works for a Spanish real estate firm and is fluent.

 海外の同国人コミュニティで暮らしていて、その土地の言葉を話せない、話さないというのはイギリス人に限ったことではない。と判っていても、37年もの間スペインで暮らして、「not a word of Spanish」ってどうかと思う。



Broken Britain 2016 [1]: 無意味に高すぎるCEOの給与



Pay for UK bosses is ‘absurdly high’, top headhunters admit

Britain’s chief executives are wildly overpaid, and there would be no negative impact on the economy if their salaries were slashed, a groundbreaking study of the country’s top headhunters reveals.

The London School of Economics report is a damning indictment of the state of executive pay, and comes as an analysis of FTSE 100 company accounts shows that the average pay package of a top CEO is now £4.6m a year.

Interviews with the top 10 international recruitment firms behind 70-90% of chief executive appointments in recent years found a consensus among so-called corporate kingmakers that levels of remuneration for the most senior executives are “absurdly high”.

Headhunters claimed that, for every appointment of a CEO, another 100 people could have filled the role just as ably, and that many chosen for top jobs were “mediocre”.


Max Steuer, reader emeritus at the LSE and author of the new research paper, Headhunter Methods for CEO Selection, published in the Journal of General Management, said there was little evidence that lower pay would see a “brain drain”, as has been suggested.

In Denmark and other continental countries, the CEOs don’t get this high pay but they don’t seem to leave. The idea that if their pay were lower, British executives could show up in New York and say we would like to have your jobs, is a little implausible. I think the best way of thinking about it is that performance plays very little role in the selection process. Contrary to people saying these chief executives are ‘unusually able’, we don’t find any evidence of that.


“There is much less of a ‘global market’ than people claim. The problem here is really systemic. It’s not just the headhunters’ fault. Institutional investors, company remuneration committees, pay consultancies and CEOs themselves could all show greater restraint.







 昨年10月、The Sunday Telegraphで以下の記事を読みました。

Pensioner questioned by police after complaining about gay pride march

 イングランド東部のイースト・アングリア北部に位置するノーフォーク県に住む敬虔なキリスト教徒の女性は、彼女が住む町で開催された同性愛者団体によるパレイドについて、キリスト教徒の視点での抗議の手紙を行政に送りました。手紙を受け取ってから数ヵ月後、二人の警察官が女性宅を訪れ、彼女の手紙は、「hate crime(憎しみを増長する犯罪とでも)」とみなすことが出来、最悪の場合、犯罪として扱われるであろう、と伝えたそうです。


"For democracy to survive people must be free to express their beliefs – yes, even unpopular beliefs – to government bodies without fear of a knock at the door from the police. It's not a crime to be a Christian, but it increasingly feels like it."






Full body scanners may break child pornography laws

 民主主義の国だから、そう、言いたいことがあればそれは許されるべき。でも、僕はこの見出しを見たときは、「Where is common sense?」と思わずにはいられませんでした。


今年の春、The Daily Telegraph紙が放ったスクープ、多くの下院議員が議員への補助制度を悪用・乱用していた、しているというニュースは日本でも報道されました。一番悪用されたのは、ロンドンに住まない議員たちによる、セカンド・ハウスの家賃補助と、ローンにかかる利子免除の優遇制度でした。検索すれば、いくらでも記事が出てきますので、ここでは大々的にキャンペインを行ったテレグラフ紙の頁をリンクしておきます。

MP’s expenses


House of shame

MPs' expenses: how scoop came to light – and why journalists fear a 'knock on the door'






Shamed Tory MP who paid £1.5million to his family to quit (but not before he earns £120,000 more)




Pay gap widens between executives and their staff


According to the left-wing thinktank Compass, which has called for a high pay commission to monitor top pay in the same way as the Low Pay Commission advises the government on the national minimum wage, the average ratio of chief executive-to-employee pay has risen from 47 to 128 over the past 10 years.

The banker John Pierpont Morgan, founder of JP Morgan, once said that no one at the top of a company should earn more than 20 times those at the bottom. Among FTSE-100 companies last year, only two chief executives met Morgan's test. Michael Lynch of the software firm Autonomy had a salary only 9.5 times as large as the firm's average of £64,500, while Andrew Sukawaty at the satellite communications group Inmarsat earned 16 times the firm's average – although that average is a hefty £119,000 a year.




'Don't try to rise above your station'






 どうやらきっかけはテレヴィ番組のようですが、その番組で紹介された、開放的な島で楽しむ、質は悪いけど安いアルコール、毎晩のレイヴ・パーティ、そして手軽に経験できるセックス。それに惹きつけられた10代後半から20代前半までの若いイギリス人が大挙してミコノス、ロードス、クレタ島などの小さな島になだれ込み、連日連夜、過度の飲酒、Binge Drinking、による暴力、強姦が繰り返されると。

Curse of the boozy Britons returns to Greek resorts

Antics on Crete would delight Dionysus but the local police are not laughing

Zante, bloody Zante: Sun, sex and the dark side of The Med

Britons warned over rise in Greek holiday 'binge-drinking' rapes


What is wrong with the British? Why can’t you have fun calmly? We try to be tolerant – after all, these are only kids, but we find ourselves asking why.


British tourist charged with murdering her child after giving birth in Crete hotel room

British mother accused of killing her newborn son collapses in Greek court



Britons abroad: Foreign Office warning over bad behaviour

Stag parties: 'badly-behaved Britons is a price Riga must pay'

Britons behaving badly abroad

 ご存知の方はおられると思いますが。Stag/ Hen Partyは、結婚前夜の新郎と新婦が同性の友人たちと独身最後を楽しむパーティです。が、最近では、乱痴気騒ぎの代名詞になっているように感じます。


Football: Crowd trouble at West Ham v Millwall

'Firms' used web to organise football violence



Schoolboys plead guilty to torture attack

Doncaster torture case: Social workers 'must intervene earlier'

Doncaster torture case: children's groups warns against naming brothers

Children questioned over 'torture' of schoolboys in Edlington are brothers


Setting about beating them with bricks and sticks and forcing them to eat nettles. During a sustained and sadistic attack on April 4 this year, they repeatedly threatened to kill the boys, aged just nine and 11, and forced them to a perform a sex act together.
At one point a disused kitchen sink was dropped on the head of the older boy and a noose put around his neck. He was then thrown 30ft into a disused railway line and left, half naked, drifting in and out of consciousness face down in the mud. The younger victim was burned with cigarette ends on his eyelids and ear before being stabbed with a sharpened stick and cigarettes were pushed into his open wounds.



 Baby Peter同様、生活能力のない親、常識が欠落した親から子供を救うためには、そういう親の下に生まれた子供はすぐにでも親から引き離すべきだ、という意見が出ました。

Take more babies away from bad parents, says Barnardo's chief

Barnardo's chief Martin Narey calls for children to be taken away from 'failed' parents at birth

Children need more from us than just giving them rights

'We didn't know our babies had been damaged by alcohol'




She 'loved Shannon to bits'. But she had her kidnapped. Inside the dark, dangerous world of Karen Matthews


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