Tag Archives: Britain

Boost the economy: give us weather forecasts we can use

At a time when we are being encouraged to spend to help the economy, I find myself incensed how weather forecasting is putting people off making the most of the summer and getting out and about.

Picture the scene: the weekend is here so we all take a look at the weather forecasts to see what to expect. If the forecast is generally okay we’ll likely head out somewhere but if not we’ll remain at home. Now, the main deciding factor in our decision-making is the weather forecast and it has for too long now let us down with excessively pessimistic prognoses of the weekend’s weather.

This weekend the forecast was fairly clear with a chance of showers on Saturday and a huge rain band passing over us on Sunday delivering heavy rain throughout the day. At least, that’s how you’d understand if watching the main weather forecasts. The BBC news forecast showed the whole region around us blanketed in blue (i.e. rain) for the whole of the day while the website confirmed rain and showers throughout the day too.

Clearly Sunday wasn’t a day to be setting off out anywhere. Only, it was. There was some rain overnight and a crash of thunder in the early hours but the whole day thus far, and it’s now getting on for 4pm, has been fine and sunny; really quite warm in fact; a fine summer’s day. Now there’s a clear contrast between what was forecast and what happened. How many people wrote off any plans for the day only to find – probably when it was too late in the day to change – that in fact a great deal could have been made of it. Trips could have happened, attractions visited, lunch out enjoyed, souvenirs purchased, the car topped up with petrol, perhaps dinner out; we’d have enjoyed ourselves and a great many businesses would have benefited as a result.

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Photography is no concern of terror legislation

I was already composing a blog post of the clamping down on photographers by the authorities when I noticed a piece on this morning’s BBC breakfast news about a local, long-standing photographer arrested for photographing buildings in Elephant and Castle. Now I can understand the privately employed jobsworth security officer asserting his power over his little domain, be it a supermarket or so on but being arrested in a public place by the police seems to be venturing further into disturbing territory.

Having been unable to track the story down on the BBC News website, I eventually located it on the Independent website, where it highlights further examples of photographers being prevented from going about entirely law-abiding and proper activities, such as reporting a protest and snapping a passing steam train. These invariably result in apologies and inquiries from the authorities concerned, yet an increasingly prevalent precedent seems to becoming the norm.

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