The EU-led changes on the amount of cigarettes which may be imported strike me as poor news, not least for tobacconists in the south-east of England (and possibly also those in Northern Ireland?) who probably have a reasonable call for compensation. This may be a situation where harmonised taxes and duties across the EU would be desirable, and authoritarian me would prefer that they would be at the sensibly punitive British levels rather than the Continental European ones.
A dissenting viewpoint on the firefighters; it should not necessarily be accepted without debate that firefighters should be regarded as professionals. Firefighting should be treated as any other job with similar entry and training requirements. Undeniably the workers involved show physical bravery that few other professions can match and so the workers should be rewarded appropriately, but not every profession deserves an above-average wage. (Why does no politician dare say this?)
As there are so many people who seek to enter the firefighting profession, I have considerable sympathy with the market-led viewpoint that it would be better for the country if the majority of increased funds for firefighting went on enhanced equipment and more workers rather than on workers' increased wages. Of course, I don't have all the answers to my own questions, so I probably am poorly-placed to have answers to other people's.
Can't find a link on BBC News or Google News, but the BBC News at 1 had an article about kids complaining about boredom and boredom being a major contributor towards criminal acts. Perhaps I really am getting old, but one would have hoped that the recent relatively dramatic increase in multi-channel TV and access to the Internet would help to captivate the uncaptivated. "Bored" is probably the wrong explanation - the question is, what is the right one?