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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu XIX

Can this be true? Or is it just a report by Reuters?

Finland, followed by France, offers working people the most statutory vacation, at more than six weeks per year, the report, an international snapshot of how much paid leave people get by law and in practice in 21 countries, says.

The United States is the only country where employees have no statutory leave, and they get about half as much time off in reality as Europeans get, according to the report, compiled by the Washington-based Centre for Economic Policy Research.

“The United States is in a class of its own,” the report says. “It is the no-vacation nation.”


Ask the powerful five questions 1. What power have you got? 2. Where did you get it from? 3. In whose interest do you exercise it? 4. To whom are you accountable? 5. How can we get rid of you?

Only democracy gives us that right. That is why no-one in power likes democracy – and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it. Including you and me – here and now.

Tony Benn

Thanks to Undernews for this one.


Sebastian Faulks on writing the next James Bond thriller:

The book, Devil May Care, will be published next May and is set in 1967, when, Faulks said yesterday, “Bond is damaged, ageing and in a sense it is the return of the gunfighter for one last heroic mission”. His own interpretation of the spy, he hinted, would show all the caddishness of Bond’s previous incarnations, tempered with just a shade of new-mannish sensitivity.

“He has been widowed and been through a lot of bad things … He is slightly more vulnerable than any previous Bond but at the same time he is both gallant and highly sexed, if you can be both. Although he is a great seducer, he really does appreciate the girls he seduces and he doesn’t actually use them badly.”

Faulks is best known for his novel, Birdsong.

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