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Day: August 18, 2011

Do you like coffee more than electricity?

Well it seems as though the average person pays more per year in coffee than they do it electricity bills. This (to me) quite staggering revelation came out yesterday and there is more detail in this report in the Daily Mail.

As a nation we consume 511million cups of coffee a week nationwide. Now my crude maths tells me that adds up to an average of around nine cups each a week but of course not everyone drinks coffee so when you take out the coffee drinkers then that average explodes. People often ask me how I save money and not spending £20-30 quid on coffee is one easy way to save the best part of £100 a month. Yep when you work it out that is what the average coffee drinker is spending a month on coffee. That is an insane amount. I probably spend double that for all my groceries in a month.

I know that as a nation we have migrated from tea and coffee is now the drink of choice. I drink neither but I’m weird. I probably get through a bottle of squash a day so say that’s a quid when you balance out all the special offers etc… so that is £30 odd a month of my liquid intake. As a non alcohol drinker as well this all helps as my liquid intake is juice and water and that is it. Really saves the pennies. If people sat down and worked out what they spent a month on coffee and alcohol it could easily be 10-20% of their income.

The headline though is the electricity one. We all need electricity and we are use using it like it is going out of fashion. We all complain vigorously when the energy companies put up the cost of gas and electricity seemingly every year but when you take a step back and look at your outgoings and more money is going on a luxury caffeinated beverage than electricity then it is hard to really get worked up.

The fact on average we Brits spend more a year on coffee than we do on electricity just flabbergasts me. It really does. Just think of all you could do with the money you didn’t spent on coffee…

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Nick Clegg isn’t from Peckham

I just read over at The Radical Blues a story entitled Justice: Two cases of youthful indiscretion detailing the similarities between an incident involving Nick Clegg and one involving a 17 year-old from Peckham. It is a story that has been told several times in the past few days. I do though dispute what the author is trying to say in his blog though.

The differences are not their backgrounds but the way in which society dealt with both crimes at the time. Nick Clegg and his pals did some community service and gave something back and learned their lesson. They did something bad. Many teenagers do something bad but they weren’t thrown in jail because that helps no-one. When you are young you are often naive and you don’t get anything from being locked up and hanging around with genuine bad people for a few months.

It shows that community punishments can work. Whilst Clegg didn’t face any criminal charges that is only because he agreed to give something back to the community and if I recall the story correctly was painting local buildings in his spare time for the rest of the summer. Now unless there are a lot of skeletons in the closet that is the extent of Clegg’s past issues so it shows that community payback schemes that he advocates work.

Now in this current climate of everyone wanting all these rioters rounded up and put on the front line in Afghanistan to show them what’s what judges have been overly harsh in sentencing. Someone stealing a bottle of lucozade is not an offence that deserves jail time. Whatever you think about these people you can’t try them all using the same formula. Every offence is different. I have banged on about this for eons but people don’t believe it. Ok some people do but a lot don’t. They think we need a one-size fits all judicial system and that is crazy folks. Crazy.

I couldn’t give two hoots that she is a church-going girl. That to me means nothing but it is about as pertinent as the fact this young woman was from Peckham. Judges don’t care about that at this point as they are just too busy giving everyone convicted of anything to do with the wanton criminality of last week as harsh a sentence as possible. They think it is what the public want and they think it is what these young people need.

Instead of trying every case on it’s own merits they are just looking at the charge and the verdict and looking straight away at the higher bands of sentence and that isn’t justice and more importantly it isn’t right. Community payback punishments are the way forward but it seems as though large sections of society and the judges trying these cases would prefer to look tough and ruin people’s futures instead of being fair and that my friends makes me deeply uncomfortable indeed.

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