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A new dawn for Ghana Ghanaians are a happy bunch: over 23m citizens, but only five psychiatrists—and not one clinical psychologist in public health. But, the British Psychological Society reports in May, the country now boasts an institution many African countries lack: its first mental health journal. The Ghana International Journal of Mental Health will be published twice a year—news that Akwasi Osei, the country’s chief psychiatrist, says “gladdens our hearts and adds to the indicators of a new day in the life of mental health.” The other four psychiatrists are also said to be delighted.
14 · prospect · june 2010 Ultimately, 24 Fifa bigwigs will decide—a close knit group, and one the FA must embrace, not look down on. We cannot allow ego to get in the way. Patrick Nally has worked with Fifa and been involved in the World Cup since the mid-1970s
As the dust settles from the election, we can see that some people got more than they expected—and quite a few much more than they deserved. The Lib-Con coalition wasn’t based on justice but a mix of pragmatics and mathematics. This has left those on the outside turning various shades of green. They want the power and position they feel is rightfully theirs.
nvy is unpleasant. Aristotle defined it as “the pain caused by the good fortune of others”—it’s the flipside of schadenfreude, the pleasure in others’ suffering that some of the lucky ones are quietly feeling now. But envy isn’t just uncomfortable: it can fuel aggression and retaliation. Immanuel Kant recognised that its true aim is to destroy others’ lucky breaks. Despite the coalition’s optimistic start, the next five years could see a series of skirmishes as the envious return to eke their revenge on the smug.
By Nigel Warburton
To pay or not to pay? This June, the paywalls slam down around the Times and Sunday Times websites. Can Rupert Murdoch succeed where others have failed? US daily Newsday recently set an uninspiring precedent: in its first three months, a $5-per-week paywall around its website produced a princely 35 online subscribers—despite a print circulation of over 350,000. Yet in eastern Europe a more basic model may be working. The Czech Republic’s Nase Adresa papers and websites run a scheme involving coffee shops that doubleup as newsrooms: reporters working in each café exchange information with customers, with everyone plugged into the same social networking sites. As professor of journalism and former Times senior editor George Brock notes, it’s a “hyperlocal” experiment that has serious financial backing—from Amsterdam-based insurance group PF— and popular support during its pilot. Time for Murdoch to break out the espressos?
aristocratic values—not that Nietzsche valued compassion so highly. More plausibly, Bertrand Russell thought it one of the most potent sources of unhappiness. Children feel it from an early age. As soon as another child gets a better toy or better treatment envy rears its head. “That’s not fair!” rings round the nursery. This carries over to adulthood—except that most of us are better than children at hiding what we’re feeling. That’s certainly what some politicians will be trying to do.
one of this bodes well for Nick Clegg and David Cameron. Paradoxically, the amount of envy that is swirling around already puts them in a completely unenviable position. Nigel Warburton is a senior lecturer in philosophy at the Open University In defence of Mr Amis Michiko Kakutani, chief reviewer at the New York Times, recently delivered a verdict on The Pregnant Widow—“this remarkably tedious new novel by Martin Amis”—that was sufficiently aggressive to make headlines over here, writes Sam Leith. Yet her review stood out less for its ferocity than the clumsiness of its language. For the world’s most influential book reviewer, she’s really not a very good writer. First up, Kakutani’s register is all over the place, salting her prose with hipster informalities: “a bunch of... twits”; “pretentious jerk”; “blathering on”; “lame.” For balance we then get “miseen-scène,” “vacation idyll,” “rococo meditations”; and “sexual mores” (twice). Then come the second-order clichés: “powerful and deeply affecting,” “sorely lacks its predecessor’s snap, crackle and fizz.” “Fizz” rather than “pop” there—the reader infers that Ms Kakutani dislikes Rice Krispies. Finally, there’s this zinger: “If these musings were entertaining… that would be one thing, but Mr Amis, one of the great stylists of the English novel, has oddly traded his mastery of language in these pages for a mannered, self-indulgent style—much the way he did in his abysmal 2003 novel, Yellow Dog, the only one of this accomplished author’s books to stand as more of an annoying puzzlement than this one.” Amis has charges to answer. But he has never written as ugly and flaccid a sentence as that.
What’s coming up 1st June Egyptian legislative elections 5th June World environment day 11th June World cup kicks off 16th June Bloomsday 20th June Polish presidential elections, first round 21st June Wimbledon begins 26th June Start of G20 summit, Toronto here’s no easy way around this vice either: achieving success just makes you envious of those who are even more successful. And if you do succeed, and are much happier, others will start to envy you. Yet envy has some benefits. Russell claimed it was the driving force behind democracy. Without a sense of resentment and injustice, egalitarianism would never get off the ground.
Friedrich Nietzsche claimed envy was the source of Christian morality. Compassion was simply the weak turning their resentment against the strong into a virtue by inverting
Gutenberg invents the paper jam data number cruncher
Fair pay saves lives
By Stephen Nickell
In 2004, the Office of National Statistics produced its most recent regional retail price indices. These revealed that £100 in the north of England buys 15 per cent more than in London and over 10 per cent more than in the southeast. Despite this, pay in public sector jobs is much the same across the country, with the exception of a modest London allowance.
resumably, this situation has come about because pay bargains in the public sector are made nationally—and because of the view that fairness implies equal pay for equal work. But in fact, fairness implies equal real pay for equal work. Equal nominal pay, which is what we have, means that public servants in the north are 10 per cent better off than their colleagues in the south for doing the same job.
s you would expect, this near uniformity of pay does not apply in the private sector. Secretaries, for instance, earn about 20 per cent more in the southeast and over 60 per cent more in London than they do in the north. By contrast, nurses earn much the same in the southeast as the north, and only around 10 per cent more in London.
But these discrepancies have serious consequences. It is very hard for public sector employers located in London and the southeast to recruit and retain good staff because of the high level of wages in the local labour market. And, because they are locked into the pay system, there is little they can do about it. Therefore, hospitals in these areas suffer a chronic shortage of experienced permanent staff—a gap filled by temporary agency nurses.
he results of this skills shortage are unsurprising. One standard measure of hospital quality is the death rate within 30 days of admission for AMI (acute myocardial infarction, or a heart attack). A 2008 LSE paper showed there is a very strong correlation between a hospital’s AMI death rate and pay in the local labour market outside. In other words, the higher local wages are, and thus the harder it is to get good staff, the more deaths there are. So allowing public sector employers to pay locally competitive wages would not only be fairer on their employees— it would save lives. Stephen Nickell is an economist and the Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford the information What’s hot this summer on eBay?
14 % markup Top-of-the-range iPad prior to UK release RP of £699, £800 bid
200 % Champions League Final ticket RP of £250, £750 bid
211 % Centre Court Tickets for Wimbledon on 22nd June RP of £82, £255 bid
66 % Peter Kay live in Manchester RP of £35, £58 bid
84 % Ticket to the Latitude Festival RP of £155, £285 bid
257 % Le Mans 24hr race, hostel & ticket RP of £70, £250 bid 1718 %LadyGagalive in Nottingham RP of £27.50, £500 bid löwe david
o explore the hottest upcoming dates for this summer, Prospect trawled online auction site eBay in mid-May, calculating how much over the odds bidders were willing to pay for a variety of items and events. The figures above show the percentage markups that confirmed bids represented on selected items, from early iPads to Lady Gaga live.
German chancellor Angela Merkel is afraid of dogs. As Russian president, Vladimir Putin tried to exploit this by having Koni, his black Labrador, sit in on their meetings. Foreign Policy, May 2010
In the 1950s, over half of Britons ate cooked breakfasts daily; now less than 1 per cent do. Sunday Times, 11th April 2010
Barack Obama has played golf 32 times since taking office, more than George W Bush did during his entire presidency. BBC News website, 19th April 2010
Labour increased its share of the vote in 80 seats in the 2010 general election. UK Polling Report, 8th May 2010
In 1997, a PowerBook cost $5,700. But if you had put the money into Apple shares instead, they would now be worth $330,563. KyleConroy.com Outside Barbados, the largest population of Barbadians is in Reading. The Economist, 31st March 2010
Flying return from London to Hong Kong has the same carbon footprint as 340,000 plastic carrier bags. “How Bad are Bananas” by Mike Berners-Lee The phrase “long time no see” is a wordfor-word translation of a Chinese saying. New York Times, 2nd May 2010 Since 1945, every British prime minister who has won a general election either went to Oxford (Attlee, Eden, Macmillan, Wilson, Heath, Thatcher, Blair, Cameron) or did not go to university at all (Churchill, Major). Politicalbetting.com jolliffe
Goldfish can see ultraviolet light. Vision Research, Volume 31, Issue 3, 1991
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