Higher University fees putting off poorer applicants


University education is a strange thing. When it was worth something they paid you to have it, but now that it can be worthless they charge you a fortune for it. When I was a fresh-faced undergraduate I got a student grant for my living expenses and asking me to pay for the tuition I […]

Officials hold data on the numbers hurt in fairground accidents


For me chair-o-planes were about as risky as I would go in relation to fairground rides. So when I hear of people being injured or stranded on these ever bigger and faster machines it just encourages my inner coward. From a stats point of view, of course, the numbers injured in fairground and amusement park […]

Blobby bobbies on the rise


Just like the child in the proverbial sweet shop, newspapers can’t get enough when it comes to stories about obesity. The topic of how the nation is getting fatter as well as the more nuanced consequences for our general health and the cost implications on society and the health service are a sure fire winner […]

Councils exposed spending thousands on “stars”

Council chiefs will no doubt start another round of bleating soon that they can’t afford to deal with Freedom of Information Act requests any more as the next round of Government cuts arrive. Normally they claim they are besieged with pointless requests about how many toilet rolls they have used, are they making preparations for […]

A medical outlier or a mathematical anomoly


For whatever reason certain some subjects are considered more “newsworthy” than others. Professors of journalism, and there are such people, would probably spend many hours explaining why some topics fly into the pages of newspapers and others don’t. As a freelancer it is much more important simply to identify what these key subjects are than […]

Let the Gravy Train take the strain


It is only recently that Network Rail has been subjected to the indignity of having to respond to FoI requests. As the agency in charge of the nation’s rail infrastructure it seemed a little bizarre that it had managed to side-swerve the implementation of the Act. However, the Liberal Democrats may have gone back on […]

An Apple a day……

The Beeb's London HQ

The BBC has a curious position when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act. On the one hand its journalists use the Act as a means to help it get stories, yet on the other as a public body it is subject to significants aspects of the Act itself. As the BBC is help […]

Lib Dem Minister jets off

Lib Dem minister Ed Davey MP delivers his speech on the environment to Lib Dem conference

There’s nothing like having a go at a politician for being a hypocrite – and the Lib Dems seem to offer themselves up as the easiest target for this type of abuse. The Sun on Sunday did a great story under the headline Climate Minister Flies 100,000 Miles on the number of air miles flown […]